Hi and Lois is an American comic strip about a suburban family. Created by Mort Walker and illustrated by Dik Browne, both of whose offspring currently work on the strip, it debuted on October 18, 1954, distributed by King Features Syndicate.[1]

Hi and Lois
Hi and Lois Logo 2007.png
Hi and Lois
Author(s)Mort Walker and drawn by Dik Browne
Brian and Greg Walker and drawn by Robert "Chance" Browne
Current status/scheduleRunning
Launch dateOctober 18, 1954
Syndicate(s)King Features Syndicate
Genre(s)Humor, Gag-a-day

Publication historyEdit

The Flagstons first appeared in Walker's Beetle Bailey. They spun off into their own strip, written by Walker and drawn by Browne. Lois Flagston (née Bailey) is Beetle Bailey's sister and the two strips make occasional crossovers. One of these occurred on the strip's 40th anniversary in 1994, when Beetle visited his sister Lois and her family. Chip resembles his Uncle Beetle in attitude and appearance, especially the eyes.

 
The Best of Hi and Lois (1986) was reprinted in 2005.

The strip made efforts to keep up with the times, such as housewife Lois Flagston taking a career in real estate in 1980. In previous decades, the strip was acclaimed; in 1962, it earned Browne a Reuben Award from the National Cartoonists Society.

The strip faced some controversy given the changes in content restrictions since its debut in the 1950s. Once, editors insisted that belly buttons could not appear; in protest, Browne included a box of dimpled navel oranges.

Now produced by the sons of the original creative team, the strip is written by Brian and Greg Walker and drawn by Robert "Chance" Browne and Eric Reaves.[2][3]

As of 2016, Hi and Lois appears in 1,000 newspapers around the world.[4]

Comic booksEdit

The Flagston family was also featured in a series of Charlton comic books. Eleven issues were produced from November 1969 to July 1971. The cover price was fifteen cents.[5]

TV animationEdit

Hi and Lois were featured prominently in the animated television film Popeye Meets the Man Who Hated Laughter, which debuted on ABC on October 7, 1972, as part of the network's anthology series The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie.

CharactersEdit

  • Hi and Lois Flagston: Hi (short for Hiram[6]) and Lois are typical middle-class American suburbanites. Their names are a pun on the "opposite" terms of "high and low". Hi is a sales manager, Lois is a realtor. They have four children.
    • Chip: a slovenly, indolent, teenaged high school boy; a running gag has Chip dating new girlfriends. Eight years old at the time the strip started, Chip grew into his teenage years by sometime in the 1960s, where he has stayed.
    • Dot and Ditto: rambunctious twins Dot (girl) and Ditto (boy), four-year-olds when the strip began, now (and since the late sixties) grade school-aged; Dot is the better student of the two.
    • Trixie: the Flagstons' freckled, blonde infant daughter, who loves "talking" (through thought balloons) to Sunbeam, a ray of sunlight. While the other children have aged, Trixie has not.
  • Dawg: the Flagstons' large, lazy, shaggy sheepdog.
  • Thirsty Thurston: the Flagstons' fat, lazy, and frequently tipsy next-door neighbor; Hi's co-worker and golf buddy.
  • Irma Thurston: Thirsty's thin, weary, and long-suffering wife.
  • Abercrombie and Fitch: the friendly neighborhood garbage collectors. Their names are taken from the elite outfitter of sporting and excursion goods of that era, the name later acquired by a popular clothing manufacturer. Fitch's employee hat has the "s" in "trash" reversed, like the "Toys 'R' Us" logo.
  • Mr. Foofram: Owner and president of Foofram Industries, where Hi and Thirsty work. Diminutive and at times short-tempered, but not a tyrant.
  • Mr. Wavering: An elderly neighbor of Hi and Lois; he served as a corporal in the United States Marine Corps.[6]

ReceptionEdit

Ron Goulart praised Dik Browne's artwork for the strip, stating "Browne made Hi and Lois one of the most visually interesting strips on the comics page."[1] In an article for Entertainment Weekly reviewing then-current comic strips, Ken Tucker gave Hi and Lois a B+ rating, and added that it had the "gentlest humor" of all the Mort Walker comic strips.[7]

Collections and reprintsEdit

(All titles by Mort Walker and Dik Browne unless otherwise noted)[8]

  • Trixie (1960) Avon
  • Hi and Lois (1970) Tempo Books
  • Hi and Lois in Darkest Suburbia (1971) Tempo
  • Hi and Lois: Beware! Children at Play (1972) Tempo
  • Hi and Lois: On the Grill (1973) Tempo
  • Hi and Lois: Family Album (1973) Tempo
  • Hi and Lois: Family Ties (1979) Tempo
  • Hi and Lois: Mama's Home (1982) Tempo
  • Hi and Lois: Suburban Cowboys (1982) Tempo
  • Hi and Lois: Father Figure (1982) Tempo
  • Hi and Lois: American Gothic (1983) Tempo
  • Hi and Lois: Dishwasher, Lawnmower or Snowplow? (1983) Tor
  • Hi and Lois: Home Sweat Home (1983) Tor
  • Hi and Lois: "Is Dinner Ready?" (1983) Tor
  • Hi and Lois: Saturday Night Fever (1983) Tor
  • Hi and Lois: "Hi Honey, I'm Home!" (1984) Tor
  • Hi and Lois: Mom, Where's My Homework? (1984) Tor
  • Hi and Lois: The Bright Stuff (1984) Charter
  • Hi and Lois: "How Do You Spell Dad?" (1985) Tor
  • Hi and Lois: Trixie à la Mode (1986) Tor
  • Hi and Lois: Good Housekeeping (1986) Tor
  • Hi and Lois: Dawg Day Afternoon! (1986) Tor
  • The Best of Hi and Lois (1986, 2005) Comicana
  • Hi and Lois: Sleep-Can (1987) Tor
  • Hi and Lois: Say "Cheese" (1987) Tor
  • Hi and Lois: Sleepbusters! (1987) Tor
  • Hi and Lois: House Calls (1988) Tor
  • Hi and Lois: Modern Chaos! (1989) Tor
  • Hi and Lois: Croquet for a Day (1989) Tor
  • Hi and Lois: Couch Potatoes! (1990) Tor
  • Hi and Lois: Wheels of Fortune (1990) Tor
  • Hi and Lois: Happy Campers (1990) Tor
  • Here Comes the Sun: A Hi and Lois Collection (1990) Avon
  • Hi and Lois: Mister Popularity (1991) Tor
  • Hi and Lois: Play Ball! (1991) Tor
  • Hi and Lois: Up Two Late (1991) Tor
  • Hi and Lois: Baby Talk (1991) Tor
  • Hi and Lois: Sunday Best by Brian and Greg Walker and Chance Browne (2005) ECW Press

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Ron Goulart. The Funnies: 100 years of American comic strips. Holbrook, Mass. : Adams Pub., 1995. ISBN 1-55850-539-3 (p. 110)
  2. ^ "Hi and Lois". www.comicskingdom.com. Retrieved 2021-05-13.
  3. ^ Holtz, Allan (2012). American Newspaper Comics: An Encyclopedic Reference Guide. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press. pp. 189–190. ISBN 9780472117567.
  4. ^ Dwyer, Ed. "CULTURE: The Funny Papers: Newspapers may be in trouble, but the comic strip is alive and well — and flourishing online," Saturday Evening Post (November 7, 2016).
  5. ^ "Hi and Lois (Volume)". Comicvine.com. Retrieved 2013-09-03.
  6. ^ a b "Comics Kingdom -". www.comicskingdom.com. Retrieved 2021-05-13.
  7. ^ Ken Tucker, "Ken Tucker Rates the Daily Comic Strips" Entertainment Weekly, October 05, 1990 . Retrieved February 05, 2018.
  8. ^ Walker, Brian. "Trixie". Hi & Lois. Retrieved 2015-06-20.

External linksEdit