Wednesday, April 22, 2009

January 26, 1951: Viewing them head-on

Sometimes the real humor of a strip comes from a little thing.  Here, the joke would be much less effective if it weren't for two little things: the smile on Charlie Brown's face and the annoyance of Patty, both in the last panel.  Those tip off the reader that the characters know it's a joke, and that it's kind of dumb.  Although the strip does offer a "dumb kids" joke sometimes, more common are these strips where smart kids say something dumb to entertain themselves.

I mentioned last time that the characters look more like their later-day versions when viewed from the side, with only one eye visible, than from head on or three-quarters, when both eyes are visible.  It's due, I think, to the distance between the eyes, which is fairly substantial here, and the way open mouths are depicted, with a vertical line to define the nose and mouth when we shouldn't be seeing one.

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