Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sunday, November 29, 1953: Charlie Brown should see this

Read this strip at

Lucy's joy at being the best at jumping rope is wonderful.  Panel 2 is a bit strange for its abstract ground, but it works.  Panel 4 is terrific though, even if, when you look closely at it, Lucy's rope jumping isn't as fluid as it appears at first.  It's really several different, unconnected images of her jumping rope presented together in such a way that it scans as a continuous stream.  It does further the illusion of her skipping rope with a forward motion though, which is important since one jumping rope in place cannot come across other people.

He put so much work into this that I almost feel embarrassed to notice there's a small mistake here in the strip construction.  If you remove the top panels (like some newspapers do) the joke becomes much weaker, since Linus reaching 700 jumps isn't as impressive if we didn't know Lucy was so proud because she hit 600.  The boldface on "SEVEN HUNDRED" loses its relevance.  The strip is still understandable in that Lucy's change in demeanor implies that her brother has surpassed her.  I suppose, in that regard, the knowledge that she had reached 600 is extraneous information?

EDIT: Fixed gocomics link.


  1. What amuses me is that Linus appears to be levitating with his legs straight out.

    Also, Lucy's expression in the final panel is wonderful. The circle eyes and the slightly hunched-over posture...quite well done.

  2. Ah, the "Linus defies gravity" strip!

  3. Yet another strip I remember from the paperback compilations. As a kid, I thought it was hilarious that Linus was jumping rope by bouncing on his butt! And you don't see that vacant look of defeat on Lucy -- as shown in the last panel -- very often...

    As for the top panels, perhaps Schulz constructed the strip the way he did because he thought the top part wouldn't be cut. Do we know how frequently papers actually cut the top sections off of comics, especially an A-list strip like Peanuts?

    1. Remember that back then Peanuts wasn't A-list in popularity, more like C+ or B-