The Lockhorns

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The Lockhorns
The Lockhorns Logo.png
The Lockhorns
Author(s)Bunny Hoest and John Reiner
WebsiteThe Lockhorns
Current status / scheduleRunning
Launch date1968
Syndicate(s)King Features Syndicate
 
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The Lockhorns
The Lockhorns Logo.png
The Lockhorns
Author(s)Bunny Hoest and John Reiner
WebsiteThe Lockhorns
Current status / scheduleRunning
Launch date1968
Syndicate(s)King Features Syndicate

The Lockhorns is a United States single-panel cartoon created in 1968 by Bill Hoest and distributed by King Features Syndicate to 500 newspapers in 23 countries. It is continued today by Bunny Hoest and John Reiner.[1]

Characters and story[edit]

The married couple Leroy and Loretta Lockhorn constantly argue. They demonstrate their mutual deep-seated hatred by making humorously sarcastic comments on each other's failings as spouses.

Many of the business and institutions depicted in the strip are real places located in or near Huntington, New York on the North Shore of Long Island. The cartoon feature was initially titled The Lockhorns of Levittown. Anticipating national syndication, Bunny Hoest suggested shortening the title to The Lockhorns. It began as a single-panel daily on September 9, 1968, with the Sunday feature launched April 9, 1972. The Sunday feature initially employed an unusual layout that ganged together several single-panel cartoons. Comics historian Don Markstein described the couple's battle of wits:

It focused just on the couple themselves—no children, no next-door neighbors, no boss, etc., except to the extent others were occasionally needed as props. The entire raison d'etre of the series is to show Leroy and Loretta trading caustic one-liners. They fight about his roving eye, her cooking, his earning power, her excessive shopping, and the fact that both are middle-aged and dumpy-looking. Also, anything else that happens to occur to them. There are a few other recurring characters, such as Loretta's mother (so they can argue about her visits), their marriage counselor (so they can argue in front of him) and Leroy's favorite bartender (so they can argue about his drinking). But the entire focus is on Leroy and Loretta themselves. The syndicate's publicity tries to make them sound more like the average comics family, claiming (of Leroy, after describing some of his faults) "you can't help but love him nonetheless"; and (of the couple, after describing their relationship) "they realize they're together 'till death do us part' and they wouldn't have it any other way"—but don't you believe it. If either of them has a lovable quality, readers never see it. And if they wouldn't want to part, it can only be because their greatest pleasure comes from keeping each other on edge.[1]

Bill Hoest died in 1988, but his widow, Bunny Hoest, continued the strip with Bill Hoest's long-time assistant, John Reiner.[1]

The Lockhorns[edit]

Bill Hoest's The Lockhorns (July 12, 1981)

Parodies[edit]

Books[edit]

At least nine Lockhorns collections were published by Signet between 1968 and 1982. Tor reissued the first in the series as The Lockhorns: "What Do You Mean You Weren't Listening? I Didn't Say Anything" in 1992.

Awards[edit]

Bill Hoest received the National Cartoonists Society's Newspaper Panel Cartoon Award for the strip for 1975 and 1980.[2]

References[edit]

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]