Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sunday, September 27, 1953: Snoopy vs. The Yard: The Slide


There's not an awful lot in this neighborhood that doesn't have it in for Snoopy.

That's a good question mark in the second panel. Schulz had a kind of ornate style to his type-inspired iconography: serif Zs, fancy question marks, tapered exclamation points. It's one of the little tells that the simplicity of the rendering is an artistic choice and not a cheat.

I've mentioned before that the top row in a Sunday strip are designed to be removed at an editor's option, say to make more room on a crowded comics page. Usually Peanuts will use these in a throwaway joke or just to lengthen the buildup a little, but here I think it actually harms readability a smidge to excise them. Without the top three panels here, we don't have it established that this is Snoopy's first slide, and without that knowledge his Slide Malfunction seems more like an accident than an element of his lack of slidal* experience.

* Not really a word.


  1. I always figured Schulz used ornate lettering on single letters like "Z" and "?" to keep them from looking like squiggles in print. In cases where print quality is poor, it helps with readability.

  2. I noticed that the grassy horizon connects one panel to the next. It's probably more pleasing to the eye to have the backgrounds flow together in this way, than to maintain a rigid consistancy for each.