Hi and Lois Sunday page color proof, March 17. 1963.
In a recent post, http://hiandlois.com/2017/03/18/timeline-1962-part-1/#more-70650, we showed how Dik Browne used a primitive drawing style to represent Dot’s point of view in a Hi and Lois Sunday page from 1962.
In this episode, Chip has an opportunity to express himself in cartoon form. His comic strip is not as innocent as Dot’s. He was going for maximum entertainment value. As a result of Chip’s imaginative depiction of his home life, Hi and Lois feel the need to schedule a meeting with his teacher to explain it was all just a joke. There have undoubtedly been many parents who have had to deal with their kids’ budding creativity in this way.
Hi and Lois Sunday page color proof, December 30, 1962.
Mort Walker made some conscious decisions when establishing the themes of Hi and Lois. “Most strips of the time depicted the parents bickering and the kids being mean,” Mort remembered in a 1986 interview. “I thought we would show the positive side of a family. The kids are cute. The parents love each other. It’s a nuclear family against the world rather than against each other. They’re against crabgrass and traffic and taxes. We took the meanness out of it.” The Flagstons are a “Good Housekeeping Seal of Appoval” family.
Hi and Lois Sunday page color proof, August 12, 1962.
Dik Browne was a veteran advertising artist when he started working on Hi and Lois in 1954, so he probably had prior experience drawing animals. It still must have been challenging for him to render an elephant, a lion, a giraffe, monkeys and seals so that they blended in with the established style of the strip. These look more like humorous caricatures than realistic wildlife illustrations.