by Brian Walker, Greg Walker and Chance Browne
Hi and Lois Sunday page color proof, June 17, 1962. Mort Walker and Dik Browne were having some fun with sound effects in this episode. “SKROOiiCK!” is certainly a noise that can grab your attention and get on your nerves. There’s a word for this technique that Mort Walker explains in his classic book, The Lexicon of Comicana. “Cartoonists are especially fond of onomatopoeia (words that imitate natural sounds). Comic strips are literally strewn with PLOPS, BLAMS, ZOTS, OOFS, SWOOSHES and ZOOMS. What’s more, a cartoonist takes great pride in interpreting new sounds all the time. Listening outside his studio you can hear him vocalizing the piece of action at hand…a bat hitting a ball, FWAT!...a foot kicking a garbage pail, K-CHUNKKK! He will try many sounds before he settles on the one that satisfies him. Then he will add more meaning to the sound by animating the lettering.” Here are some examples. Mort and Dik definitely made creative use of onomatopoeia in the Hi and Lois Sunday page above. – Brian Walker

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