July 27th, 2017
This week, we’re reading Hi & Lois, the classic family comic strip by Brian Walker, Greg Walker, and Chance Browne.
In 1954, fresh off his success with “Beetle Bailey,” Mort Walker partnered with celebrated illustrator and cartoonist Dik Browne to bring Beetle’s sister, Lois Flagston, and her family, to life.
Lois is a real estate agent and mother of four. Unlike her brother, even in her early days as a more traditional housewife, Lois has always been a hard-working go-getter who is tenacious and unafraid of a challenge. And her husband, Hi, is a district sales manager for a company called Foofram (you heard that right) Industries, where he works hard every day– but Hi, like Lois, does a great job of balancing his work and home life. Though he’s not much of a cook, Hi does his best to split the chores evenly with his wife. The two of them strive together to be the ideal modern family, and to instill those values in their kids.
They love their four kids– teenager Chip, who is too cool for school, his parents, his siblings, chores, homework, or pretty much anything; the twins, Dot and Ditto, who are rambunctious, fun-loving, and as likely to team up as they are to engage in sibling rivalry; and finally, Trixie, the baby of the family, who is wide-eyed, curious, and surprisingly cynical for a child who’s just learned how to crawl!
To top it all off, there’s their beloved dog, aptly named Dawg, and a cast of neighbors, friends, coworkers, and more.
We love Hi & Lois because it hits a neat balance of optimism and skepticism– one day’s comic strip will be warm and fuzzy, and the next day will leave us nodding along in sympathy with an experience we’d rather not admit we’ve shared. And the Flagston family never fails to be lovable, even as they’re perfectly human.
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