Hi and Lois
is a comic strip
A comic strip is a sequence of drawings arranged in interrelated panels to display brief humor or form a narrative, often serialized, with text in balloons and captions....
about a suburban family. Created by Mort Walker
Addison Morton Walker , popularly known as Mort Walker, is an American comic artist best known for creating the newspaper comic strips Beetle Bailey in 1950 and Hi and Lois in 1954. He has signed Addison to some of his strips.Born in El Dorado, Kansas, he grew up in Kansas City, Missouri...
and illustrated by Dik Browne
, it debuted on October 18, 1954, distributed by King Features Syndicate
King Features Syndicate, a print syndication company owned by The Hearst Corporation, distributes about 150 comic strips, newspaper columns, editorial cartoons, puzzles and games to nearly 5000 newspapers worldwide...
- Hi and Lois Flagston: Hi (short for Hiram) and Lois are typical middle-class American suburbanites. Lois is a realtor. They have four children.
- Chip: A stereotypically slovenly teenaged boy (eight years old at the time the strip started).
- Dot and Ditto: Rambunctious fraternal twins Dot (sister) & Ditto (brother), who were four years old when the strip began, are now grade school-aged.
- Trixie: The Flagstons' freckled, blonde baby girl, who loves "talking" (through thought balloons) to Sunbeam, a ray of sunlight.
- Dawg: The Flagstons' large, shaggy sheepdog.
- Thirsty Thurston: The Flagstons' fat, lazy and eternally tipsy next-door neighbor.
- Irma Thurston: Thirsty's thin, weary and long-suffering wife.
- Abercrombie and Fitch: The neighborhood garbage collectors.
The Flagstons first appeared in Walker's Beetle Bailey
Beetle Bailey is an American comic strip set in a fictional United States Army military post, created by cartoonist Mort Walker. It is among the oldest comic strips still being produced by the original creator...
. They spun off
In media, a spin-off is a radio program, television program, video game, or any narrative work, derived from one or more already existing works, that focuses, in particular, in more detail on one aspect of that original work...
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 strip made efforts to keep up with the times, such as housewife Lois Flagston taking a career in real estate
In general use, esp. North American, 'real estate' is taken to mean "Property consisting of land and the buildings on it, along with its natural resources such as crops, minerals, or water; immovable property of this nature; an interest vested in this; an item of real property; buildings or...
in 1980. In previous decades the strip was acclaimed; in 1962 it earned Browne a Reuben Award from the National Cartoonists Society
The National Cartoonists Society is an organization of professional cartoonists in the United States. It presents the National Cartoonists Society Awards. The Society was born in 1946 when groups of cartoonists got together to entertain the troops...
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.
Current creative team
Now produced by the sons of the original creative team, the script is written by Brian and Greg Walker and drawn by Robert "Chance" Browne
Robert "Chance" Browne is an American musician, painter, and cartoonist. He was born in New York City.After his father Dik Browne died in 1989, Browne took over drawing the family comic strip Hi and Lois. The comic is syndicated throughout the United States and stars the characters Hi, Lois, Dot,...
The strip is apparently a favorite of the character known as Comic Book Guy
Comic Book Guy is a recurring fictional character in the animated television series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Hank Azaria, and first appeared in the second-season episode "Three Men and a Comic Book", which originally aired on May 9, 1991. He is the proprietor of a comic book store, The...
on The Simpsons
The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie...
. He has referred to it on a few occasions, once sarcastically asking Bart Simpson
Bartholomew JoJo "Bart" Simpson is a fictional main character in the animated television series The Simpsons and part of the Simpson family. He is voiced by actress Nancy Cartwright and first appeared on television in The Tracey Ullman Show short "Good Night" on April 19, 1987...
, "Are you the creator of Hi and Lois?
Because you are making me laugh." He also once intended to host a signing with the strip's creators at his store, but it was moved to the Springfield Coliseum, presumably due to overwhelming demand.
In 2005, the title characters made a cameo appearance in Blondie
Blondie is an American comic strip created by cartoonist Chic Young. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, the strip has been published in newspapers since September 8, 1930...
for that strip's 75th anniversary. Hi and Lois appeared at a party thrown by Blondie and Dagwood
Dagwood Bumstead is a main character in comic artist Chic Young's long-running comic strip Blondie. He first appeared sometime prior to 17 February 1933....
, as did Lois's brother Beetle.
The Flagston family was also featured in a series of Charlton
Charlton Comics was an American comic book publishing company that existed from 1946 to 1985, having begun under a different name in 1944. It was based in Derby, Connecticut...
comic books. Eleven issues were produced from November 1969 to July 1971. Cover price was fifteen cents.
Collections and reprints
(All titles by Mort Walker and Dik Browne unless otherwise noted)
- 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