Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Week of July 19-24: Some more Pig-Pen

July 19:

There are certain problems with having a genius for a friend. Sometimes, when a melody strikes your head at just the right angle, you just have to get it out, your prized copy of Detective Comics #1 not withstanding.

I like how Charlie Brown still calls it a "comic magazine." I guess that term was current at the time.

July 20:

This is before Pig-Pen's messiness becomes a quasi-magical ability in later strips, where dirt appears on him spontaneously while he walks down the street.

July 21:

Snoopy's ear doesn't really have the pointy tip that a shark's fin has. But, then, it's a wading pool.

July 22:

Heh heh, I like this one. Reminds me of Lucy's gray jellybeans.

Pig-Pen is remarkably forward with his request for candy. Charlie Brown will hint and plead, but Pig-Pen (I'm not abbreviating it for what I take will be obvious reasons) just says "Gonna give me some?" Most Pig-Pen strips end up being about his messiness, which is really a shame because he has a unique personality among all the Peanuts cast.

July 23:

This is very much classic Lucy in personality. I joke about her incredible wrath and compare her to Cthulhu, but she's not all bad. She is funnier that way though. This is a pretty funny strip in all. It's not hard to invent gags about a really dirty kid, although later on they become less about the raw fact of his dirt and more about how comfortable Pig-Pen is in his own skin (and the layer of grime that covers it).

July 24:

I love the way Lucy looks at Snoopy in the third panel. I have to wonder about the source of Charlie Brown's "imitation people" comment though. Maybe it was something in the cultural air at the time.


  1. No, people in the Industry (like Schulz) called them "magazines"...everyone else called them "comic books"../

  2. One aspect of Pig Pen that hasn't emerged yet is the trademark dust cloud that always follows him around.

    CB's observation about dogs in the 7/24 strip has a weird existential quality to it... the kind of thinking that fans would embrace as Peanuts matured.

  3. How can Pig-Pen possibly be considered a major character of the Peanuts cast, when he has only made about 140 appearances throughout the entire run of the strip (which is less appearances than Snoopy makes in a single year)? Now, don't get me wrong, I love Pig-Pen, but he just *doesn't* appear in the strip enough! To illustrate even further, he made just TWO appearances throughout the entire decade of the 1970s. If he was a major character, you'd have expected him to appear 400 times, at least. Even Schulz stated that he didn't consider Pig-Pen to really be a member of the Peanuts gang in interviews: "I don't like to draw him (...) he's only useful if you've got dust and dirt, but I don't have many ideas on that".