Timeline – 1975 Part 1

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Hi and Lois Sunday page color proof, April 6, 1975.

This gag is as relevant today as it was forty-three years ago.  In our age of performance-enhancing drug cheaters, sexual harassers, dishonest politicians and flawed individuals from every walk of life, we continue to wonder, “Where have all the heroes gone?”

Of course, when Hi was growing up, public figures were shielded from the intense scrutiny than is focused on prominent people in the current climate of 24-hour news and social media.  We have learned retrospectively that sports stars like Mickey Mantle, leaders like John F. Kennedy and entertainers like Bill Cosby were not as perfect as people thought they were at the time.

The message that the Sunday page above delivers so effectively is that a parent can and should be someone to emulate.  Media personalities rarely live up to the hype, but a father or a mother can be a good role model for a son or a daughter.

Hi’s speech, which stretches from panel #3 to panel #7, is a familiar lament.  “Who is there today you can look up to?” he asks. Chip’s response in panel #8 shouldn’t be a surprise, but it is.  Hi’s expression in the final panel shows that he is both flattered by the admiration his son has for him and apprehensive of the responsibility he now feels.

It’s amazing how much insight and wisdom can be contained in a simple comic strip.

This is the first installment from 1975 in our Timeline series.  Be sure to check back here next week for another classic episode.

– Brian Walker

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