August 6th, 2017
by Brian Walker, Greg Walker and Chance Browne
This page has some of Dik Browne’s remarkably expressive line work. The bare limbs of the trees in panels #2, #4 and #6 are shown in silhouette. The bushes in panels #3 and #7 are drawn with dense scratches. The rocks on the bridge in panel #6 are highlighted with stippling. Ditto’s dirty clothes in panels #9 and #10 are covered with parallel lines and his handprints are black splotches.
Dik did all this with a Gillote #170 pen nib and Higgins black India ink. He loved to draw. “Work has never been a big deal with me,” he explained. “It’s fun and I love it and I do it about as well as I do anything. – a whole lot better than I play golf. It’s sort of my form of crocheting.”
The superhero, comic character and historical references in the gag are also fun. Everyone knows that Lois Lane is Superman’s love interest, Robin is Batman’s sidekick and Olive Oyl is Popeye’s girl friend. Many of the other couples mentioned are also familiar. But not many of today’s readers remember that President Lyndon Johnson’s wife, known as “Lady Bird,” launched a program called the “Highway Beautification Act” to clean up America in the 1960s. This was topical humor in 1967.
Next week we will post another installment in our Timeline series, so check back with us.
– Brian Walker
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