The Kid Cartoonist

“If there is such a thing as being born into a profession, it happened to me,” Hi and Lois creator Mort Walker claimed in the introduction to his 2001 autobiography, Mort Walker’s Private Scrapbook.  “From my first breath, all I ever wanted to be was a cartoonist.” He drew cartoons for his school newspaper, The Scarritt Scout, when he was 10.  He sold his first cartoon to Child Life magazine at the age of 11.  His first comic strip, The Limejuicers, ran in the Kansas City Journal when he was 13.  He submitted his first comic strip to a national syndicate at the age of 15.  By the time Mort graduated from high school his work was polished and professional.

50th Anniversary

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Hi Lois, Chance drew a birthday party scene featuring all of the Hi and Lois main characters.  This illustration originally appeared on the cover of the National Cartoonists Society newsletter, The Cartoonist, in 2004.  He did the illustration in pencil to capture the feeling of the gag roughs that he remembered seeing on Dik’s drawing board when he was young.  He decided to keep the linework in pencil on the final version, instead of inking it with a pen, to give it a softer look.  All the color was done with watercolors.

Here Comes the Sun

In the late 1980s, King Features made a deal with Avon Books to do a series of reprint collections featuring a number of their popular strips.  The first volume in the series was “Trust Me! – Ernie’s First Year” by Bud Grace.

The second release was “Here Comes the Sun – A Hi and Lois Collection” by Mort Walker and Dik Browne. When this book was published in May 1990, Dik had passed away. His son, Robert, also known as Chance, who had started assisting on the strip in 1980, had taken over the drawing full time by then.