June 18th, 2017
by Brian Walker, Greg Walker and Chance Browne
Hi and Lois Sunday page color proof, April 18, 1965.
Certain gags require secondary characters, like extras in movies, who are not part of the main cast. In the Sunday page above, Dik Browne created some friends for Ditto who look like child actors from the Our Gang comedies transported to the 1960s. Did the boy with the black eye get punched in a fight? Why does the other one look like he works on a train? We’ll never know, because these nameless characters only appeared in this episode.
The storyline is also interesting in the way that it shows how adults and children live in different worlds. Hi and Lois assume that the kids are discussing their pets in an innocent way. They are actually recounting how a turtle got stepped on, two crickets ate two other crickets and a cat caught a parakeet. They are learning about the inevitably of death, a subject that adults often have trouble talking about. This gag is a little dark for Hi and Lois, a strip that usually depicts the sunny side of life.
Stay tooned for more classic examples from 1965 in our Timeline series.
– Brian Walker
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