Sunday, October 12, 2014

Hi and Lois, the sixtieth anniversary

I’ve noticed in recent weeks that the artwork in Hi and Lois seems to be getting better. I don’t think it’s my imagination: as I learned today, the strip is nearing its sixtieth anniversary, a good reason to neaten up. People are watching. You can read more about the anniversary here and here. But let me make my case about the art:

[Hi and Lois, September 16, 2014.]

Those walls! Or is it wall? This panel has the general strangeness that has prompted me to speculate that the Flagstons live in a German Expressionist suburb. See also this 2011 interior.


[Hi and Lois, September 19, 2014.]

The rooms of the Flagston house are often rendered, at least in the daily strip, in the most minimal way: white space and dripping black lines. The panel above is representative.


[Hi and Lois, October 17, 2014.]

Again with the dripping lines. But the background is, well, backier. Things are getting better.


[Hi and Lois, October 11, 2014.]

Here too, a better background. I especially like the care the artist has taken with the clapboards. Consider this 2008 panel as a contrast.


Sunday’s Hi and Lois always seems more carefully drawn. And for some time now, the Sunday strip has been getting its gradients on. (Does any other strip vary so much between daily and Sunday modes?) But look at the difference between these Sunday panels:

[Hi and Lois, September 28, 2014.]

The only real background: Lois. Lois, you’re a fine woman. You deserve better.

[Hi and Lois, October 12, 2014.]

The amount of background detail in this panel from today’s strip is especially noteworthy. Depth!

I look forward to the week of Hi and Lois anniversary strips that starts tomorrow. It will be interesting to see what happens to the strip’s art after that.

Related reading
All OCA Hi and Lois posts (Pinboard)

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