Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday, November 21, 1954: The Most Aggravating Person In The World

Read this strip at

This is a wonderful strip overall. Although the punchline (or punch panel) is kind of flat and could have been done in a daily strip, the buildup to it is marvelous. Charlie Brown and Lucy's argument is wonderful and energetic, especially panels six and seven, where the characters lean into the other as they express their anger. Although most of the strip is just talking, it's far from static talking heads, Charlie Brown really acts out his frustrations.

The first two panels make the strip, for that feeling of dread Charlie Brown suffers through knowing what's about to happen while powerless to stop it. (It also gives us another use of thought balloons, which are far from a standard part of Peanuts at this point.) Lucy, as is often the case, argues from a misguided position, but she still believes in it and defends it.

I'm not sure I've seen a strip yet with this much shouting and anger. That recent Lucy and Schroeder strip had Schroeder quite angry, but it was a single burst of emotion, not a sustained assault. This seems like a breakthrough strip to me, in terms of Schulz's depiction of conversation and anger, and just the energy he infuses into it.


  1. "The life you save may be a fussbudget" is such an interesting line, but it doesn't quite work.

  2. "The life you save may be THAT OF a fussbudget" is more technically correct... but actually sounds worse.

  3. You could say "The life you save may be a fussbudget's", which is a little better. Charlie Brown's thought is a riff off of "The life you save may be your own," with fussbudget being a playful contrast to the original's terseness. It is awkward if you focus on it, but it read okay if you're not lingering over it, which comics readers are not known for.

  4. "I know your kind, Charlie Brown!"