Thursday, July 7, 2011

Week of May 24-29, 1954: Lucy's soul darkens

It's another full week post. What do you guys think about this format? I don't think I'm going to do all posts like this, but it's nice for making faster time through Peanuts' run. But there are a couple of interesting strips this time out though that might more deserve their own posts.
May 24:
Sir Edmund Lucy! A key moment in her development. It's unwarranted violence against her brother, and it's willful as it is arbitrary.
May 25:
By way of contrast, this is an aspect of Lucy's character that holds over from her original personality, her ignorance about the world expressed in humorous ways. It's when that ignorance becomes willful that we get the Lucy we know from later.
May 26:
Another Snoopy power: uncanny reaction time. Similar to the "great experiment" strip from a few months back, Snoopy's affinity for candy has the ability to brush aside such petty concerns as Newtonian physics.
May 27:
Another of Lucy's evolving attempts at cruelty. Another thing this strip foreshadows is, of all the characters, Snoopy is the one that her malice has the least power over.
One can accept Charlie Brown's statement, about considering being called a "dog" an insult, in one of two ways: either that it is an insult but Snoopy is ignorant of it, or that Snoopy is secure in his place. Later strips reveal that Schulz probably intended it the second way, which is the better meaning, but I consider the fact that he leaves it open for interpretation interesting.
May 28:
For the record, Easter Sunday fell on April 18 that year. We are left to decide for ourselves if Lucy is really late or extremely early in her decision.
May 29:
Aah. Yesterday when I talked about remembering another jack-in-the-box strip I was remembering this one. It's another example of Schulz's gag-writing strategy of taking some thing and permuting it through its possibilities.
It is worth noting here that the last strip in Schulz's Sunday-only experiment with continuity and adult figures is the one after this.


  1. It wouldn't surprise me if Schulz lifted the "because he was there" line DIRECTLY from Hillary based on the press coverage of Hillary's '53 assault on Everest. Call it a "one degree of separation" pop culture reference.

  2. My own .02: I prefer the week at a time approach even if it means that there are less posts per (present-day) week.

  3. It's a lot closer to Willy Sutton than Hilary. Let's not overthink this too much.

  4. Mallory, not Hillary, said "because it was there" in 1923.
    Oh well, back to the comment/drawing board.

  5. You mean his name is Sir Edmund Mallory?

    (Note: I know it isn't. Just a dumb joke. Going back under the rock.)

  6. I agree with Chris, I like the feel of these week at a times.

    I'd be ok if this wasn't always the format, but I'd love it if it was generally used.

  7. Since you asked, I prefer one strip a day...It's a nice quick stop through my reader.