The technique in the strip above, using a primitive drawing style to express a child’s point-of-view, probably goes back to the earliest days of cartooning. We have featured it many times over the years in Hi and Lois.
There was an innovative strip in newspapers at this time that used a similar approach exclusively. Jackys Diary by Jack Mendelsohn was a Sunday-only feature and debuted on January 11, 1959. It was presented as a hand-drawn, hand-written diary from Mendelsohn’s youth. Similar to Dot, Jacky related stores about his family, his boyhood adventures, his schoolwork and a variety of other experiences.
Here is an example from 1959.
Even though he signed it “Jacky Mendelsohn Age 31½” some readers mistakenly thought the strip was written by a child. Some even had their own children send in submissions. It was finally canceled by King Features on December 31, 1962.
Mendelsohn was an acquaintance of Mort Walker and his creation might have inspired this episode of Hi and Lois.
We will be featuring more color Sunday pages from the 1960s in upcoming posts, so stay tooned.
– Brian Walker