May 24th, 2016
by Brian Walker, Greg Walker and Chance Browne
Hi and Lois Sunday page color proof, June 7, 1964.
This Sunday page appeared in newspapers long before kids had video games and computers to play with. In the early 1960s, Dot and Ditto didn’t know what they were missing. They had a console television to watch, a phonograph for listening to records and many traditional toys, including a ball, a jack-in-the-box, blocks, a ring-toss game and a spinning saucer.
Since Chip is about fifteen years old, Hi had to be at least in his mid-thirties at this time, which would have meant that he was born a little before 1930. In his flashback panels, he appears to be around ten years old but the scenes look like they are from earlier time periods, ranging from the turn of the century to the 1920s. A Victorian house, a gazebo with a brass band, and a Model-T Ford can be seen in the backgrounds. Hi, who is shown wearing knickers and a coat, says he only had a jackknife and a slingshot to play with. Kids in the 1930s had much more sophisticated toys and daily life was not as carefree.
Of course, in most comic strips, the normal laws of time are not always followed. The settings can be adapted to fit the situation. For cartoonists, the “good old days” can be any period they want it to be.
During the past month, we have shared some classic Hi and Lois episodes from the 1960s, all of which were brilliantly illustrated by the great Dik Browne. Stay tooned for more fascinating material from our archives.
– Brian Walker
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