Timeline – 1971 Part 3

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Hi and Lois Sunday page color proof, December 5, 1971.

The Sunday page above features Trixie in her fully developed stage. She didn’t always look like this.

When Mort Walker and Dik Browne started designing Hi and Lois in 1954, they had different ideas about the way the characters should appear. “Dik drew in a clean, modern style which I thought would give a whole new look to the comics,” Mort recollected. “In the beginning he had a very high tech look, with angular lines. It turned out to be a little too sterile for Hi and Lois and eventually he began to draw rounder and cuter.”

Mort made these sketches of the Flagston kids and asked Dik to see what he could come up with on his own.

Dik came back with his version of the family.

Mort took these and made more changes. “When you have two guys who don’t draw exactly alike, it’s hard to get it to meld,” remembered Dik. This process of distillation continued and the ultimate design of Hi and Lois was truly a collaborative effort.

“You have to remember that Mort drew the original characters,” explained Dik. “That established everything that followed. When you draw a character, you immediately set the style for the whole strip.”

Dik concluded, “It was difficult to adjust to this fact of life when I started drawing Hi and Lois, but I got past it. Fortunately, it worked out well.”

Come back next week for our final installment from 1971 in our Timeline series.

­ – Brian Walker

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One thought on “Timeline – 1971 Part 3

  1. Thank you for these bits on the history of the strip. I remember reading Hi and Lois in the Philadelphia Sunday Bulletin back in the ’50s. I taught myself (with my parents’ help) to read because they didn’t always have time to read the funnies to me. Back then the school district was not happy with my mother. They accused her of ‘pushing’ me. As it was I was the only kid in kindergarten who could read.
    Now it is expected. Times change.
    I really appreciate getting back in touch with the Flagstons.

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