Timeline – 1973 Part 3

By Jeremy Meltingtallow

Hi and Lois Sunday page color proof, March 4, 1973.

This unusual Sunday page is set up by the evocative second panel.   The intricate patterns of the bare branches on the trees, the full moon against the dark blue sky and the silhouette of the howling owl all serve to establish the sources of Ditto’s fears.

Dot and Ditto share a bedroom, which allows for these late night interactions. Dot tries to reassure her brother, but also ends up getting spooked by the scary sounds. Ditto’s encounter with his father happens offstage in the penultimate panel, with some very exaggerated vocalizations. The reader has to imagine the scene when Ditto goes into his parents’ bedroom and scares them.

Many families with young children have undoubtedly experienced similar scenarios. Kids waking up at all hours of the night, scared by spooky sounds, waking up their parents. Although nobody likes having their sleep disturbed, Hi and Lois manages to find the humor in this familiar situation.

Next week we will share another episode from 1973 in our Timeline series, so be sure to check back.

– Brian Walker