Friday, October 11, 2019

Hi, Beetle and Lois

Methodically going through old newspaper comic archives at a rate of 10 days a week can yield some intriguing strips that went completely unnoticed by the bigger popular comic juggernauts.  Not many people think that much about Hi & Lois.  It's fairly amusing, but there's not that much substance there, and continuity is fairly static, save for the rare continuing storylines.  First, there was a short part lasting 3 days, then there was the arc where the family went to Disneyworld.

But I believe I may have found the zeitgeist of the strip's ambition in its later life.  Before that, I want to show another quick story about Hi coping with bachelorhood as Lois goes on a business trip with all the cliched reactions you'd expect.  For some reason, it starts on a Saturday, which then runs the gamut a full week, only concluding until next Monday.

I've mentioned before that there was a loose connection between Lois and Beetle having a family relationship that was rarely explored.  It was just something thrown in to make their world seem bigger than it actually was.  That while the Flagstons were doing their harmless family outing things, Beetle was out in the army doing his best to avoid doing actual work.

So, for a brief week, their two universes concided.  Depending on the order your comics were arranged on the page, you could either see Hi & Lois or Beetle first.  In my case, it was the former, so I've taken the liberty of arranging them to be chronologically consistent.

If you look in the background in the above 2nd panel, you can see a brief outline of Hi and Beetle's parents.  Despite their cameo role, they don't interact at all, which makes their presence something of a wasted opportunity.

One thing that should be noticed is that while Beetle was hanging around the family, he didn't show up at all in his own strip.  Since there's a wealth of side characters who can take up the flack, his absence wasn't noticed... save for one guy.

And while Beetle's brief furlough into civilian society ended, the Beetle Baily strip the very next day welcomed back his presence, focusing on the important questions.

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