Friday, May 8, 2009

February 24, 1951: Does this qualify as gross-out humor?

This strip marks the beginning of a strange theme, Violet's fascination with making mud pies.  The "pardon my fingers" comment is a nice touch.

By the way, I just noticed that none of the other characters, besides Snoopy, have met Violet yet.  Patty and Shermy have yet to see her.

The book Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography by David Michaelis observes that most of the characters in Peanuts had analogues in people from Schulz's life.  While this is an appealing explanation to me, I wonder how accurate it is.  While I think an artist ultimately takes everything he creates from his life in some fashion, I'd say that sources are often heavily obfuscated.

The book notes that the name "Van Pelt," the last name of Lucy and Linus, was taken from some real-life friends of Charles and Joyce Schulz.  The name of the two Patties, both vanilla and "Peppermint" varieties, come from the same person, a cousin of Charles Schulz, with the later character being closer to the actual person.

Schulz often picked unusual names for characters: Linus. Marcie. 5. Eudora. Woodstock.


  1. Peanuts had a fascination with coconut as the least-liked food of the gang for a long while--this is the first time it's used in a gag, but far from the last.

  2. I think I remember one of the strips you mention....

    Oh, cool name by the way.

  3. I remember we made mud pies in the 50s. We would let them dry in the sun and then toss them through the air like frisbees (sometimes at each other!) I don't remember even thinking about really eating them. Isn't Violet's mud pie obsession one of Schulz's first ongoing themes?

  4. "Linus. Marcie. 5. Eudora. Woodstock."

    "Schroeder," for that matter. I don't think we ever found out if it was his first or last name, now that I think about it.