Sunday, October 4, 2009

Noveber 29, 1951: Comic books!


The kids' love of comic books is a staple of the early years of the strip. Part of this may be due to the fact that Universal Features Syndicate published comic books in those days, in which many of their newspaper strip characters, including the kids of Peanuts, would feature. I saw an issue of their classic title Tip Top on a dealer's shelf while at DragonCon a couple of weeks ago. It was selling for around $200 dollars, if I remember correctly.

Noteworthy is the fact that, as the decades rolled by and comic books lost their prominent place in kid culture, that nothing really moved in to replace them, except perhaps television. (As we've seen, in the earliest Peanuts strips the kids listened to radio instead of sitting watching TV.) Since then there's been rock music, action movies and video games, but the kids never really caught on to those things. One can only speculate what Schulz thought about those strange advents.


  1. I've always been confused by this one. Are they selling the papers/comics/etc. or collecting them, as implied by panel two? If they're collecting, why are they starting out with a full wagon, and why is it called a "sale?"

  2. I think they're on a scrap paper drive:

    The boys are collecting bundles of scrap paper, left by donors in front of their homes, which will be sold to the paper mill (or some intermediary scrap paper merchant) and the proceeds used to fund scout activities or something similar. Unfortunately for the boys' lofty plans for the day, a donor has included some comic books in a bundle of unwanted scrap.

    Some of the Peanuts references to comic books were kind of unflattering: one of my favorites is a 1952 strip with Charlie visiting the druggist to study a huge display of comics with titles like "War" and "Hate" and "Gouge" and "Kill" and "Stab" and "Kick"…