Thursday, August 20, 2009

September 25, 1951: More Schroeder at the Keys


Look at the piano score in the first panel. Intense. Schulz had been quoted as saying he took time to make the scores accurate and loved how they looked on the page. Keep in mind, at this point Schroeder has only said a couple of words, yet he's already titling his compositions.

Another subtle innovation in these strips is a recurring gag template for Peanuts, the blatantly bizarre thing that is somehow real that the other characters can react to. Snoopy is a particular focus for these kinds of shenanigans later (I remember the "whirlidog" sequence, coincidentally also featuring Schroeder), but Lucy gets into some of it too. It works best if the bizarre character possesses an elemental, "force of nature" style of personality for it's a good way to illustrate their strength of will, by presenting it as triumphing over reality itself.


  1. I do remember Lucy commenting once on how Schroeder was able to play the black keys, even though they're just painted on.

    I hadn't really thought much about the "triumph over reality" motif, but now I'll be all over it. Love your site!

  2. A highly astute post, Mr. H.

  3. Hmmmm. The complex score of the first panel is in what appears to be a thought balloon. The musical notes in subsequent panels are free-floating -- and much less complex. This suggests that Schroeder, at this stage, is IMAGINING far more complex music, but what everyone else is hearing is merely what a toy piano could actually play˙

    ...but he plays it WELL, which Charlie Brown and Patty can recognize.