More consequences of Pig-Pen's extreme dirtiness. Nearly every Pig-Pen strip is a variation of this theme, in case you haven't figured it out by now.
This strip is missing from gocomics.com's archives. Hooray. Can anyone with the Fantagraphics collection fill us in?
EDIT: Myron found a scan of the missing strip! There are no words in it, just a sight gag of Patty jumping rope in eight panels with her hair up. Thanks, Myron!
This is an uncharacteristically energetic response from Charlie Brown. Even ignoring the fact that bombing and strafing is unlikely to be in his power, this seems somehow un-Charlie-Brown-like. He's looking very self-satisfied in the last panel.
One thing about the art from this age is that it's found a pleasing middle-ground between the extreme stylization of the first couple of years and the slightly more realistic proportions of later and modern Peanuts. The wide smiles, the shorter bodies, the looser art style, I think this is about as good as Peanuts has looked right here.
Yet I can't think that Schulz wasn't conscious that the art moved away to less cute figures over time. Is it possible that he purposely moved away from cute kid appeal to encourage readers to not trivialize these kids and their concerns?
You can tell everyone who's sent you that pass around email about using buttered toast strapped to the backs of cats as a source of infinite energy, or as the basis of a levitating train, that the toast part of the joke has been around for almost 57 years now.
The joke itself is another one about science, as usual in Peanuts from a layman's view. Schulz tends to view artists more empathically, maybe, than scientists, although I don't think he's really antagonistic towards them. One can certainly read the strip as just a joke about Lucy's misperception, anyway.
I don't think Peanuts' male characters ever went through a girl-hating phase like Calvin. In that way, they seem fairly emotionally mature (or immature, if you consider CB's question to show him to be clingy).
Snoopy vs. the Yard: Football edition.