Thursday, August 30, 2012

July 25-30, 1955: Fun is Good Enjoyment

July 25:

Lucy's smile in panel three is an atypical expression for her.

July 26:

Whoop? Although it's difficult to think of a better bit of onomatopoeia to use here. Maybe "whine," but that's not really a sound effect. Maybe "ouch," but Snoopy can't talk. Speaking of which, Snoopy's got another thought balloon here. I think he's finally in the phase where he mostly uses thought bubbles.

July 27:

We've not gotten huge amounts of hate out of Patty and Violet yet, although it's flared up from time to time. Charlie Brown does seem to be giving Violet cause for her outburst here. How about a little personal space, kid?

July 28:

Although Snoopy doesn't talk to the characters, they've never shown themselves (to my knowledge) to have any doubts that Snoopy understands them. Charie Brown's phrase here, "You just aren't much for doing things right, are you?", sounds idiomatic in a midwestern kind of way to me, like something that might have been floating around Schulz's hearing that he thought to call up. But that's just a guess, of course. The drawing of Snoopy running here is very nice, and the next strip shows that it's not the only way Schulz has to draw it. You can imagine pretty well what Snoopy would look like in motion from these.

July 29:

This is a very "Peanuts" kind of punchline, taking something the kids have figured out (regardless of whether it's true or not) and extrapolating it to draw further conclusions. I don't think an awful lot of strips would think to do that.

July 30:

Oooooo! Not only do we not get to get the bug's "house," presumably a hole, we don't even get to see the bug. The hyphens between the Ts in "pret-t-t-y fancy" are a good textual representation of a spoken idiom. (I guess "idiom" is the word of the day.)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sunday, July 24, 1955: WHEN Will I Ever Learn?!

What appears to be an ordinary gag shows unexpected depths when examined more closely.

What does Snoopy mean by "WHEN will I ever learn?!" At first glance it looks like he's expressing regret that he enjoyed himself too much and, in his excitement, hit the pavement. But look at Patty and Violet's faces: they don't smile, or frown, or act even act surprised the whole time. Even in panel six their expressions are remarkably deadpan. In panels eight and nine their reaction is mostly: "Well, that happened. Lemonade?" Because of this, I propose that Snoopy's thought balloon in the last panel has more to do with disappointment at the lack of concern expressed by the human girls than any regret for going overboard.

Oh, also, this is Snoopy using thought balloons completely in the modern style, with a trail of bubbles as if talking to himself. I don't think it's absolutely the first time it's happened, but up until now, except for one or two early instances, he's either been completely wordless or used word balloons. That marks a major advancement for the strip.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

July 18-23, 1955: Pig-Pen Cleaned Up

These strips might be slightly out of order or not match up with their dates due to a problem with my blogging client.
July 18:

Another strip that shows off Linus' genius. Lucy still seems mostly proud of her little brother at this point.

July 19 (?):

Snoopy vs. The Yard: Horseshoes. Not a lot to say. The last panel seems to exist mostly as a way to explain to people what's going on in panel 3, in case they couldn't piece together that a game of horseshoes was being played from the stake.

July 20:

Not an awfully kind for a kid to do to her little brother!

July 21:

This isn't that much better either, but I like Linus' reaction, and how it catches Lucy off-guard. Don't put up with it Linus! Fight the Man! Er, Girl!

Lucy pines away for Schroeder a lot, but you see very few strips, that I remember at least, that hint that Lucy might have a crush on Charlie Brown. Other than all the abuse she's heaped on him over the years, I guess. That might actually be considered a pretty solid hint, now that I think of it.
We barely recognize Pig-Pen either. He kind of looks a bit like Shermy like this.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

August 4 is Snoopy Day! Calloo Callay!


Happy Snoopy day!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Sunday, July 17, 1955: The Eternal Battle

Who is better: Christian Slater or the Earl of Sandwich?

Who is better: R. Crumb or George Foreman?

Who is better: Alfred E. Neuman or a cardboard cutout of Darth Vader?

What I'm asking in my roundabout way is, what criteria are they using? Apparently they're going by the personal flaws of their opponents, which I guess is as objective a measure or anything.

Peanuts would eventually earn a long history of abstract first panels, but I have to admit I don't quite get this one. Is that supposed to be an olive branch? It wouldn't fit in with the theme of the strip, which is that neither side is willing to give an inch.