Schroeder in the third panel is rather sadder than the average. His expression is maybe a little overdone? Anyway the kid is probably four or five right now, that's rather young to be obsessed with playing the big room.
Lucy remarks about Charlie Brown's annoyance with her asking him to do something. This is another case of a character's personality becoming defined from another character's verbal recognition of it.
That happens because comics use exaggerated behavior as a way to communicating effectively to the reader. To show anger, you show a character actually kicking the thing he's angry at, even though a real person would not usually do such a thing. It illustrates anger effectively however, and I think readers subconsciously recognize this and adjust their expectations. But it also means that, to actually establish a character's personality, you have to describe it explicitly somewhere, and in a strip that doesn't (generally) use narration like Peanuts you have to do that by putting that description in the mouth of another character.
Schulz would become quite masterful about adjusting reader expectations. His characters are able to act out theatrically when necessary, but can also play it very far down at times.
I also like the serif lettering on "RATS!" in panel 7.
It is worth reminding the reader that light piano jazz would become inseparable from the animated adaptations of Peanuts, so we must assume that Schroeder's not speaking on behalf of Charles Schulz in this strip.
It is rather a long time to go on wearing the same shirt. But the other characters have their own distinctive looks, including Violet, so it's really unfair to pick on the kid for this.
I wonder what it was that caused Schulz to decide on that distinctive zig-zag pattern, which is not a style of shirt that I am aware of as ever being popular, or at least not other than in the sense of referencing Peanuts.
Schroeder and Lucy have grown too much to be the strip's baby, now it's Linus' turn to have hapless infant adventures. After Linus grows to be the same age as the other characters, the strip doesn't get another new infant until Sally, and then she's the last one until Rerun, who doesn't show up for a long time.
Lucy and Schroeder are two characters who have yet to interact much. I think this may be the first time they have spoken to each other. The next year is the one in which Lucy develops her crush on the beleaguered musician.
Snoopy's ears demonstrate amazing utility throughout the strip. He appears to be able to manipulate them through muscular action, which must mean he has some freak mutation that allows him to do this.
Snoopy gets another thought balloon... one that contains a "sigh," oddly. He knows Charlie Brown's name in this one, a fact that he forgets in upcoming years, referring to him as "that round-headed kid."
We can put the script in the "Happy Thanksgiving" bubble down to cartoonist enthusiasm.
This strip is a continuation of the gag of Snoopy's hypersensitivity towards potential sources of treats, but it's also the first strip in which Linus wears his familiar striped shirt, or indeed a shirt of any kind. He's also out of diapers.
It's another strip, too, where Snoopy gets a thought balloon, and one with a thought-tail instead of a word-tail. Schulz still hasn't gotten the convention down entirely though, and in upcoming strips both kinds of tails are seen on Snoopy's thought bubbles.
It's the first of the (eventually) yearly strips where Lucy holds the football and Charlie Brown, for whatever reason, fails to kick it. The WHOMP in the last panel echos throughout the decades; through it, we hear history.
The first time it happens, as we see, there was no malice in Lucy's act, and there's no iconic AUUGGHH either. Charlie Brown's rueful reaction in the last panel certainly seems familiar though.
I've looked ahead a bit recently, and I'm pretty certain that the next year doesn't have another football strip. We might consider it compensation that Charlie Brown ends up on his back twice in this one.
To think, Lucy doesn't consider it a good idea....
1. Did Schulz chafe at the apparently simplistic art style of Peanuts? Did he throw in the realistic closeup of the telephone in the first panel to show he could draw in a more detailed style?
2. Lucy's expression in the last panel is very interesting. Comic strips so often come down to the same basic faces over and over again. People don't tend to think about it, but it's harder to come up with non-standard face expressions than you'd think. Here I think Lucy's expression might be a little overdone, but you can still get the point of the joke from her words combined with the expression, so it's okay.
Another strip in which Snoopy's human-like qualities form the punchline. I've said before, some of these strips seem like prototypes for the many snowman jokes of Calvin and Hobbes. (This isn't one of those, though.)
This joke has been made before, and I don't think it's the last time it will be made. Patty and Violet's antipathy towards Charlie Brown are built off of moments like this one, but again, it doesn't last for the length of the strip.
This is the first time the word "fussbudget" has been used in the strip. Now this word is almost impossible to separate from Peanuts. It is always, or nearly always at least, connected with Lucy.
Lucy hasn't been extremely fussy up to this point, but in Peanuts, when another character makes explicit reference to some trait supposedly possessed by another character, that tends to be the point where that other character begins exhibiting that trait as a defining characteristic. In other words, when someone is labeled, the label becomes indelibly part of them.
This is how most Peanuts characters evolved over time, and especially how they gained the traits for which they became memorable.
I'm linking this one because there's been a running gag for a little while now, one that intensifies a bit in the months to come, about Snoopy's ability to infallibly seek out someone with some kind of snack treat and beg. He carries this skill to great heights in upcoming strips.
The most interesting thing about this, beside the metahumor and Schulz playfully mocking his own pretensions, is that Charlie Brown's work on the comic is rather large. Of course, most cartoonists work at a scale we would consider to be very large, and artists for realistic strips are known to work larger still. But unless Charlie Brown were a serious comics groupie, he wouldn't know that. (Schulz may have been such a groupie himself; he might have known as a kid.)
The text of ROASTED PEANUTS is copyright 2009-2011 by John Harris. No copyright is claimed over the comic strips, which are here under the principle of fair use. Strips presented for review purposes only. We love Peanuts a whole lot, and wouldn't dream of exploiting it. Please don't sue us; we're only trying to love. Thank you for reading this notice.