Monday, April 12, 2010

August 27, 1952: Bridge building


The card game Charlie Brown and Patty are playing here is probably Bridge, a game we hear Schulz was devoted to around this time.

As time passes, there are two types of character roles generally in Peanuts: those who we are expected to empathize with and those we view from without. Charlie Brown is nearly always someone with which we are to identify with, but with other characters it varies. After she settles into her role of Resident Crab Lucy, a force-of-nature type, is viewed from outside. Linus can play both roles, the former when interacting with his sister, the latter when playing the part of inscrutable wise kid. It's the difference between having a three-dimensional character and a two-dimensional one: both are actually necessary, but it can be troublesome to have all one or the other. (With three dimensional characters, it is easy to have them come out bland and wishy-washy. They tend to need elemental, two-dimensional characters to bounce off of and define them.)

Patty and Violet seem to be used more as persecutors for Charlie Brown later on, but here she and CB are used identical roles.


  1. Patty and Violet are my favourite Peanuts characters. When I was younger, I had a tremendous crush on both of them. It's such a pity that Schulz abandoned them!

    There is a question I would like to ask you: would you agree that, from 1967 onwards, Snoopy appeared way way WAY too often in the strip? In the year 1970, for example, he made 225 appearances!! Pig-Pen, on the other hand, made only about a 100 appearances in his entire 45-year history of being in the strip!!

  2. Violet actually appears once in a while even in the later years of the strip. They are mostly like cameo appearances though. Patty and Peppermint Patty are both based off the same real-life person, according to that Schulz biography, with the later one a more true-to-life rendering. But still, having two characters named Patty would have been extra confusing I suppose.

    Snoopy was a break-out character for Peanuts and to the strip's final years was (and still is) a merchandising phenomenon, so I can see why there'd be a lot of Snoopy. He probably did see a little too much use, but considering that most strips struggle to remain relevant and interesting for even half as long as Peanuts was around I think it could be excused.