Chip Flagston got a job as a paperboy in 1970 and, like many boys his age, had his first experiences in the world of business. I had a paper route delivering the Greenwich Time in the mid-1960s, which might have inspired my father to come up with this idea.
Collecting money from his clients, counting his meager earnings and eventually being outdone by a papergirl taught Chip responsibility, integrity and how to get Ditto to do his deliveries for him.
Here is a classic example of the “Better Words” series that ran from 1963 to 1966.
Hi and Lois Sunday page color proof, April 19, 1964.
In a blog post dated March 14, 2013, we chronicled how Mort Walker came up with this idea when his son, Greg, called the Empire State Building the “entire state building.” This comment led to the series, which showed examples of phrases kids invent that are more descriptive than the original terms. Readers were invited to send in their own “Better Words” and the response was initially overwhelming. The novelty eventually wore off and the series was discontinued.
The first Hi and Lois Sunday page ran on October 14, 1956. Here is a classic example from the following year.
Hi and Lois Sunday page color proof, September 1, 1957.
This page showcases the style Dik Browne used in the early days of the strip, which was more typical of his advertising work. His love of detail is evident in the final panel. As the strip evolved throughout the 1950s and 60s, his technique became cleaner, with elegant line work and less cluttered layouts.