May 29th, 2018

Timeline – 1996 Part 3

by Brian Walker, Greg Walker and Chance Browne

Hi and Lois Sunday page digital proof, September 15, 1996.

Without a doubt, the most iconic image from Hi and Lois is Trixie sitting in her sunbeam.  Readers frequently write that this is their favorite recurring scene in the strip.

Here is a variation that Chance Browne did for a sales brochure a few years ago.It is actually quite challenging to write gags on this theme.  We have shown the sunbeam from every angle – shining brightly through the Flagston’s large picture window or peaking timidly between venetian blinds. We’ve compared the sunbeam to a moonbeam.  We’ve shown Trixie singing songs and reciting poetry telepathically to her trusty friend.  She competes with the family pet Dawg for space in the sun. The variations are endless but sometimes it can be difficult to come up with a new twist on this long-running set-up.

The episode above chronicles an entire day with Trixie and her sunbeam, from sunrise to sunset.  They truly enjoy each other’s company.

Comic strip panels come in many shapes and sizes.  In this Sunday page, Chance Browne showcases quite a few different layouts, using angles, circles and insets.  This helps to convey the passage of time and also makes the overall composition more interesting to look at.  Cartoonists are always experimenting with ways to improve their work.

Next week will be the last installment from 1996 in our Timeline series so be sure to check back.

– Brian Walker




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