Monday, August 2, 2010

Sunday, November 23, 1952: CTHULHU RISES

Blogger sometimes takes posts I've set to publish and makes them drafts instead, which once in a while results in strips getting overlooked. Sometimes it doesn't matter much, but this strip is incredibly important, so I'm using it even though it's a couple months old by this point:


This seems to be the first act of full-on spite Lucy commits that cannot be explained by familial antipathy or mere childishness. It is an act of pure evil by her, and it's glorious. Look at that little smile on her face in panel six. It's against her favorite punching dummy, too. And Charlie Brown was so happy in the throwaway panels!

We even get that "down on his luck" slanted mouth in the last panel.

Schulz had many, many positive attributes as a cartoonist, but there are a couple of things in these early days he could have used some improvement on. One of them was in varying his phrasing; here, Lucy uses the "slaughter" line twice, which is a bit awkward. This isn't the only strip in which this defect can be seen. As Schulz gains experience writing dialogue I believe these errors eventually go away.


  1. This strip shows Lucy's strong tendency toward passive aggressiveness that sets her apart from the other characters. It also emphasizes the importance of security in "Peanuts" -- as voiced by Charlie Brown in the second panel -- that becomes increasingly pronounced with time.

    As for Lucy's repetition of the "Don't hit me, don't slaughter me..." line, I always thought that was deliberate.

  2. Yes, I assumed that her repetition indicated that she was reciting some kind of internal script, waiting for someone else to come along and yell at Charlie Brown.

  3. "Don't run roughshod over me, Charlie Brown!" Oddly specific, yet totally vague!

  4. 1. John, I agree that this is a milestone Peanuts. Last night I was rereading it in Vol. 1 of Fantagraphic's book THE COMPLETE PEANUTS, thought it was a standout, and decided to post it on Facebook today. Well done. HOWEVER...

    2. I not only agree with njguy54 & greatgonzo but would go farther. You got the idea of the strip right but you completely missed the reason for the repetition in the punchline. It is BETTER that Lucy yells the same words at the end that she yelled at the start. It is not a "defect" or "a bit awkward." As greatgonzo says, Lucy is "reciting some kind of internal script." But also: The last panel reveals that what Lucy is saying was not even spontaneous the FIRST time she said it.

    P.S. Wish someone had a copy of the original Sunday color version.

    1. It was never in color no early Peanuts Sundays were in color in 1977 nothing was in color