Sixties – Easter

By Brian Walker

In this classic Sunday page from April 17, 1960, Dik Browne showcases the slick style that was typical of the work he did for the Johnstone and Cushing Art Agency during the 1950s.  Lois looks like a model in an illustrated magazine advertisement, glamorous and fashionably attired.  She moves with the grace and confidence of a young mother.  Chip, not yet a full-grown teenager, has a bow-legged shuffle to his walk. Dot, Ditto and Trixie, who are dressed in their Sunday best, are appropriately adorable.  The secondary characters look like people who might live in the same neighborhood as the Flagston family.

Dik was an expert at setting up a scene.  The shaded figures in the foreground of the long panel in the middle tier give depth to the composition, as do the flowers in other panels.  Close-ups of Lois and Hi are interspersed with wide shots to vary the pacing.  The aerial view in the last panel is a perfect setting for Hi’s mad dash back to retrieve the forgotten car.  This is truly a masterpiece of comic art.

Artist Eric Reaves paid homage to Dik Browne’s genius in an Easter Sunday page from 2019.

The panel that shows the family exiting the church has the same layout as the Dik Browne version.  The secondary characters are more contemporary looking and the digital colors are vibrant. Eric drew himself as the bearded guy with his wife Lori. The silhouettes in the lower panel provide a nice transition to the final gag of the scene around the dinner table. It’s amazing to think that Eric created this episdoe 59 years after the great Dik Browne. 

We hope all of our readers have a Happy Easter!

– Brian Walker