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Al Stenzel – Writer of The Tracy Twins

The Tracy Twins was illustrated by Dik Browne from its debut in the October 1953 issue of Boys’ Life magazine until he handed it over to other artists in the early 1970s. The feature was written and designed by Al Stenzel, an art director at the Johnstone and Cushing agency.

Here is a reprint of an illustrated tribute that ran in Boys’ Life after Stenzel passed away in 1979.StenzelThis 1970 episode of The Tracy Twins was probably one of the last ones that Dik drew.TTCityIn the current issue of Hogan’s Alley (#20) there is an article I wrote about the history of The Tracy Twins. To purchase a copy or subscribe to this wonderful magazine go to: http://cartoonician.com/purchase-hogans-alley/
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A Master of Pen and Ink

Dik Browne loved to draw. Here is a self-caricature he drew of himself at work, surrounded by his characters.DikCaricature

Cartoonists are frequently asked what kinds of tools they use. Dik’s favorite pen point was a Gillott #170 and his preferred ink was Higgins. Here is a Sunday page from 1980 that features some of his finest rendering.
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A Sunday Drive

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.

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.
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