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Timeline – 1962 Part 4

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.
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Timeline – 1962 Part 2

Hi and Lois Sunday page color proof, June 17, 1962.

Mort Walker and Dik Browne were having some fun with sound effects in this episode. “SKROOiiCK!” is certainly a noise that can grab your attention and get on your nerves.

There’s a word for this technique that Mort Walker explains in his classic book, The Lexicon of Comicana. “Cartoonists are especially fond of onomatopoeia (words that imitate natural sounds). Comic strips are literally strewn with PLOPS, BLAMS, ZOTS, OOFS, SWOOSHES and ZOOMS. What’s more, a cartoonist takes great pride in interpreting new sounds all the time. Listening outside his studio you can hear him vocalizing the piece of action at hand…a bat hitting a ball, FWAT!…a foot kicking a garbage pail, K-CHUNKKK! He will try many sounds before he settles on the one that satisfies him. Then he will add more meaning to the sound by animating the lettering.”
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Timeline – 1962 Part 1

HI and Lois Sunday page color proof, May 20, 1962.

The technique in the strip above, using a primitive drawing style to express a child’s point-of-view, probably goes back to the earliest days of cartooning. We have featured it many times over the years in Hi and Lois.

There was an innovative strip in newspapers at this time that used a similar approach exclusively. Jackys Diary by Jack Mendelsohn was a Sunday-only feature and debuted on January 11, 1959. It was presented as a hand-drawn, hand-written diary from Mendelsohn’s youth. Similar to Dot, Jacky related stores about his family, his boyhood adventures, his schoolwork and a variety of other experiences.
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