Timeline – 1998 Part 1

By Jeremy Meltingtallow

Hi and Lois Sunday page digital proof, May 10, 1998.

When I was a teenager back in the 1960s, I used to go out on “dates.” Before I got my driver’s license this usually involved inviting a girl to meet me at a local movie theater or pizza place.  When I started driving, I could pick her up at her house and take her places, like restaurants, dances or parties.

It was always hard to find a place to get some privacy.  One option was to go “parking.”   The best spots to do this were in public parks where there wasn’t much traffic.  Sometimes the police would come by and chase us away.  We would often go on double dates with one couple in the front seat and the other in the back.

Kids today don’t go on dates as much as we did.  They go out in groups until they start pairing off.

Parents with young children have very few opportunities to go on dates.  In the Sunday page above, Hi and Lois can’t seem to decide what to do on their night out.  They’re not in the mood for dinner, dancing or a movie. They end up parking at Lookout Point with a nice view of the town.

This is a good example of Chance Browne’s artistry.  The detailed settings, featuring the “Tres Cher” restaurant, the “Boogie Bar” dance club and the “Multiplex 8” movie theater, create believability and atmosphere.  The final panel has an oval inset to set up the punch line and a picturesque background.  The nighttime sky, subtle lighting and silhouettes of Hi and Lois in the car all suggest that things are about to get romantic and relaxing.  It’s a brilliantly composed conclusion to a classic episode.

This is the first installment from 1998 in our Timeline series.  Check back here next week for another.

– Brian Walker