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CSBG Archive

When We First Met – Hi and Lois and Luann Firsts!

Every week we spotlight the various characters, phrases, objects or events that eventually became notable parts of comic lore. Not major stuff like “the first appearance of Superman,” but rather, “the first time someone said, ‘Avengers Assemble!’” or “the first appearance of Batman’s giant penny” or “the first appearance of Alfred Pennyworth” or “the first time Spider-Man’s face was shown half-Spidey/half-Peter.” Stuff like that. Here is an archive of all the When We First Met features so far! Check ‘em out!

Today is firsts from the Hi and Lois comic strip and the Luann comic strip.

Hi and Lois was created by Mort Walker and Dik Browne.

Hi and Lois made their first appearance in Walker’s Beetle Bailey comic strip…

Before getting their own comic strip on October 18, 1954. Here it is…

Greg Evans’ Luann made its debut on March 17, 1985…

The first daily strip was the next day, which also introduced Luann’s best friend, Bernice…

Luann’s longtime crush, Aaron Hill, debuted on March 24th…

Two days later, Luann’s big brother Brad debuted…

This began an interesting stretch where Evans would introduce a new character and then debut a week’s worth of strips to that new character.

First, on April 1st, a week’s worth of strips with Luann’s other best friend, Delta…

Then, on April 8th, a week’s worth of strips with Luann’s guidance counselor, Miss Phelps…

On September 11th, Luann meets her new English teacher, Mr. Fogarty (like all of the new additions, Fogarty got a week of strips devoted to him)…

That Christmas, Luann got a pet dog, Puddles (again, a week of Puddles strips)…

On February 5th, 1986 we meet Tiffany, the bitchy popular girl in school who is Luann’s biggest nemesis (again, we got a week of Tiffany strips)…

It was not until September 15, 1986 that we got our next cast addition, with the bizarre Knute (who, of course, also got a week’s worth of strips)…

Another year went by before the next cast addition. The dorky but lovable Gunther was mentioned by name in the first week or so of the strip but it was not until November 29th, 1987 that he debuted (he, too, got a week’s worth of strips)…

Early on in the strip, Luann’s parents appeared as disembodied voices. Later on, they began to regularly appear as just people sitting in chairs where you could only see their legs. It was not until January 12th, 1988 that we actually MET one of Luann’s parents…

obviously, there was a whole week for the parents. Three days later, Luann’s dad made his debut…

If there are any comic firsts that you’re curious about, drop me a line at bcronin@comicbookresources.com

7 Comments

Did Luann first appear even earlier than this? I remember Greg Evans had a comic strip starring Mr. Fogarty in my high school newspaper back in the late 1970′s before he went national with a syndicated strip.

Brian: Looks like you called Luann “Veronica” when you start talking about her parents.

Joecab: Wow, that would be interesting. I remember reading a collection of Berke Breathed’s old comic strip “The Academia Waltz” from the University of Texas newspaper the Daily Texan, and it was fascinating to see all these characters who would later be in “Bloom County,” like Steve Dallas, Cutter John, and that basset hound that would later become Rosebud the Basselope.

Joecab is correct; Mr. Fogarty (and some other characters, like maybe Miss Phelps and Knute, but not Luann) first appeared in a strip Evans did for Weekly Reader. According to Wikipedia, the strip was called “Fogarty”…

How about the first time we ever saw Hagar the Horrible’s boat? First trip to the inn? His first mate?

I was reading the 1957-8 volume of Complete Peanuts and I saw the first reference to Charlie Brown’s idol, Joe Shlabotnik. Only it’s not the baseball player, it’s a pianist Schroeder references (and made up, anyway). So Schultz obviously liked the name.

What the hell kind of name is “Hi”?

Short for Hiram. It was a common enough nickname at the time. Hiram just isn’t a very common first name any more. When Hi debuted, it was still common enough that it would not stand out.

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