Friday, July 20, 2012

June 20-25, 1955: But is it art?

June 20:

A weird art error in this one, the rain is drawn in front of the word balloons in the second and third panels.

Inthe June 15 strip we saw Lucy freak out when she demanded the rain stop, and it did. Reader John Evans reminds us that there is a sequence with Linus later in which he says "Rain Rain Go Away, Come Again Some Other Day," it does, and he's disturbed by it. That sequence, compared to these two strips' close proximity, seems to imply an underlying current in Schulz's mind.

June 21:

As long as we're talking about insights into the mind of the creator, I imagine that this question was starting to weigh in as well.

June 22:

A comic strip? Can it be art? Now the question, if not completely settled, is at least easier to judge (despite the tremendously influential Krazy Kat), but then comics were regarded as almost a disposable kind of art form, purchased outright from the creator by a syndicate or publisher who then hired him to produce his own work, from which he could be fired at a moment's notice. Newspaper cartoonists now have an easier time of retaining control over their work thanks in no small part to the efforts of people like Bill Watterson who refused to think of their work in belittling terms. It is important to remember, however, that Charles Schulz did not have complete control over his work -- he never did regain the rights to his life's work, and throughout its entire run it was saddled with the name Peanuts, of which he was vocal in his dislike.

June 23:
Say what you want about the lacy border, it looks to me like a girl kite flyer would need to be quite skilled to keep that thing aloft.
June 24:

A back-and-forth conversation between Charlie Brown and Lucy is becoming one of the staples of the strip. Their different outlooks provide endless opportunities for humor. It is theorized by the author of Schulz and Peanuts that Lucy is based off of Charles Schulz's first wife Joyce, which might explain their their conversations are so frequent around now, as well as Lucy's growing antagonism over the years.

June 25:

Charlie Brown only added the rec room to be able to charge higher rent.


  1. I'm not sure that having the rain overlay the captions in frames two and three is an art error. The convention does help to distinguish between Lucy's inner thoughts and speech, as if she's hiding her reasoning from her eventual demand to the Rain God. Legibility is certainly a problem with this narrative strategy, though.

  2. Yeah, I read the captions behind the rain meaning that she's mumbling that part to herself, rather than yelling it as loud as she can like the other two panels. Putting it in a smaller font, or in brackets, probably would have worked better - it's a neat effect, but not really successful.

  3. No one thinks the bird house with a rec room is a prototype for Snoopy's house?