Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday, April 4, 1954: Lucy sees the night-time sky as a challenge

Read this strip at

There are multiple ways one could interpret this strip.

The least charitable is that's it's twee and annoying.  A cute little girl doing a cute little thing.  The kind of place "Happiness is a warm puppy" comes from.  Bleah.

If Peanuts never became anything more than that, then this would probably be the way we would look at the strip now.  But because we know that more complex things were going on inside of Schulz's head, things that were demonstrated by later strips, we can get a better sense of what he was trying to do, and I think that saves this strip.

The point of the strip isn't to look at Lucy and go "awww," the point is to empathize with her.  I think the third panel is the one that proves this, and it's a shame it's one of the ones that was removed from some newspaper printings.  She's been told that it's hopeless, but she is confident in her abilities.  The strip is about her disillusionment when faced with the vastness of the universe, which is a lot bigger than she is.  At the most charitable, we could possibly interpret Lucy's "SLOW DOWN" in panel 11 as Man's rejection of his station, but that might actually be too far for this one.

Schulz does a pretty good job of drawing stars here.  On normal paper, it's a lot easier to depict black dots on a white field than white dots on a black one.

Notice his signature in the first panel, where it intersects the black.  Snazzy!


  1. Is that supposed to be an old fashioned adding machine Lucy is sitting at in the very first panel?

  2. That is my guess. Like a cash register.