July 17th, 2016
by Brian Walker, Greg Walker and Chance Browne
Since the debut of Hi and Lois in 1954, the layout of the daily strips varied from two to four panels, depending on the gag. In 1965, the creators started experimenting with a new single-panel format. This was an important development in the stylistic evolution of the strip.
The example above was the second time this approach was used. (The first time was on May 12, 1965, which we previously posted on June 10, 2016). Dik Browne took full advantage of the wider space to trace Hi’s bouncing path through the house before he finally embraces Lois in the kitchen.
The next example used the panoramic format to add extra visual excitement to the gag.
Below the entire family was shown in the living room after a rained-out picnic.
Another interior scene was filled with action and sound effects.
The final example from 1965 has Lois and Chip shopping for pants in a clothing store.
Panoramic panels gave the Hi and Lois creative team an added option for presenting more ambitious gag ideas. Dik obviously enjoyed the challenge of designing his drawings in the wider format. Panoramic panels have been featured in Hi and Lois ever since.
– Brian Walker
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