Hi and Lois was created in 1954 by Mort Walker and Dik Browne, two of the most successful cartoonists in comic history. Provoking a strong emotional response from readers right from the beginning, it grew steadily in popularity, passing the 1,000-newspaper mark in 1982. It is continued today by their sons, writers Brian and Greg Walker and artist Chance Browne. Whether it’s busy parents juggling jobs and raising a family, a teen coping with his self-image, sibling rivalry among the youngsters, or a toddler learning about the world and her place in it, Hi and Lois has kept pace with mainstream life and found the gentle humor in familiar situations.
Awards and Distinctions:
Hi and Lois was voted best humor strip by the National Cartoonists Society in 1959 and 1960.
Dik Browne won the Reuben Award as "Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year" in 1962.
In the 1980s, the creative challenge of producing the strip was handed down to the next generation.
Hi and Lois is a unique collaboration between the Walker and Browne families that has lasted for more than 60 years.
Brian Walker, who graduated from Tufts University, has a diverse background in professional cartooning and cartoon scholarship. He was one of the founders of the Museum of Cartoon Art and has served as the curator for more than 70 cartoon exhibitions. He taught cartoon history at the School of Visual Arts and was editor-in-chief of Collectors’ Showcase magazine. He has written, edited or contributed to more than three dozen cartoon-related books, including the recently-published history "The Comics – The Complete Collection" for Harry N. Abrams, Inc. He has been contributing to both Beetle Bailey and Hi and Lois since the early 1980s.
Greg Walker studied liberal arts and journalism at Syracuse University and has worked in film, commercial photography, newspapers and graphic arts. He started his cartooning career writing and drawing comic books, including such well-known titles as Rocky and Bullwinkle, Barney and Betty Rubble, Underdog, Sarge Snorkel and Beetle Bailey. He began providing gags to his father’s strips in the early 1970s and, in addition to writing, currently does the inking and lettering on Beetle Bailey. In the 1980s, Greg also collaborated with Guy and Brad Gilchrist on the Rock Channel comic strip and with brothers Brian, Neal and Morgan on Betty Boop and Felix.
Chance Browne, also known as Bob, attended The School of Visual Arts in Park College and distinguished himself as an illustrator, art director and musician before eventually going to work for his father. After Dik launched Hagar the Horrible in 1973, Chance stepped in to help with Hi and Lois and has been the primary artist on the strip since the mid-1980s. He also serves as the editor for Hagar the Horrible, which is drawn by his brother Chris. A true renaissance man, Chance still finds time to paint, do freelance graphic design and play guitar with a variety of blues bands and jazz ensembles.
Hiram Flagston is the happy husband of a beautiful wife and the proud father of four lovely children. He works as the district sales manager for Foofram Industries, pays his taxes, mows his lawn and loves to play golf. He is a decent and likable guy who anyone would be glad to call a friend. A willing supporter of his wife’s career choices, Hi doesn’t mind taking care of the kids or fixing dinner, even though he’s a lousy cook. Although he occasionally daydreams about his lost youth, he will never experience a midlife crisis because, like most cartoon characters, he doesn’t age.
Lois Flagston started out as a classic baby-boomer mom: a romantic lover to her husband, a devoted den mother to her kids, and a civic activist in the community. The perfect housewife, she’s always worked hard at raising the children and making her home a loving, laughing place. Lois survived the “battle of the sexes” and changed with the times. In 1980, she took a job as a real estate agent, creating many new challenges in her life. Like most of today’s career-women, she still has the same old household responsibilities and parental obligations.
Chip Flagston is the only character in the cast who has aged slightly over the years. In the beginning, he was about eight years old but now he’s fifteen, perched on the precipice of adulthood, waiting to get his driver’s license, hoping for his first serious romance and looking forward to college. He will never know the joys of paying income taxes, commuting to work or having his car repaired. He will, however, keep learning about the mysteries of the opposite sex, the hypocrisies of the older generation and the inevitability of homework. One thing is for sure, Chip will never get around to cleaning up his room. He is probably afraid of what he might find after five decades of accumulation.
Ditto Flagston, who is seven years old, has discovered more ways of getting in trouble than his mother can shake her finger at. He broke a window with his first home run and took a bath with his cowboy suit on. He imitates everything his father does and has an insatiable appetite for cookies. He is a kid who maintains that sense of fun most of us lost with our childhood.
Dot Flagston is more precocious than Ditto and believes in her inalienable right to boss her twin brother around. The result is a minor-league battle of the sexes, pitting Dot’s compulsive nature against Ditto’s impulsive behavior. She is a know-it-all and a tattletale with a generous dose of sugar and spice thrown in. In more recent years, she has added a feminist point of view to her pushy personality.
Trixie Flagston is cute and cuddly but has also developed a capacity for cynicism and over confidence. She keeps a running commentary on family life inside her thought balloons and looks at the world through the window of the Flagstons' home. She loves to feel the warmth of her friend, Sunbeam, and snuggle up with Dawg to take a nap. Although she wouldn’t mind increasing her vocabulary or learning to walk, she will never give up pulling paper out of the wastebasket or tossing peas in the air.
A number of supporting players have also become regulars in Hi and Lois. Dawg, the fun-loving family pet, does his best to add to the general chaos. Jerry plays drums and Sid plays keyboards, along with Chip on guitar, in a noisy garage band. Next-door neighbor Thirsty Thurston is everything Hi isn’t, a lazy, irresponsible chauvinist who lets his long-suffering wife, Irma, do most of the work around the house. Hi’s boss, Mr. Foofram, is the quintessential small man in a big job with lots of power but not very much wattage. The local garbage collectors, rotund Abercrombie and sloppy Fitch, stick their noses into everyone’s business. Mr. Strivemore, a yuppie across the street, and Mr. Wavering, a charming old codger from down the block, make occasional appearances.