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(GoComics)   Got a few days to kill? has every Peanuts strip online for free   ( divider line
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4595 clicks; posted to Main » on 24 Nov 2012 at 3:35 PM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

Voting Results (Smartest)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

2012-11-24 11:56:35 AM  
6 votes:
I'm gonna say it: I never like Peanuts, not even as a kid. I never laughed and Charlie Brown seemed like a whiny biatch.

And the Great Pumpkin? WTF?

You may all now commence the Internet Stoning of the Heretic.
2012-11-24 04:38:38 PM  
3 votes:
The artist who drew Bloom County (Outland, and Opus), Berkeley Breathèd, caught some flack from his peers for saying that Charles Schultz should have retired at his peak and not dragged the cartoon strip to the bitter end like so many cartoonists do.

After the awards show where he spoke up, he confesses (in the complete Opus collection) Mrs. Schultz came up to him:

To the NCS audience, I asked out loud how wonderful and brave it would have been for Sparky to have stepped off the dance floor when his feet were still nimbel and dazzling.

Little did I know that somebody besides poorly coiffed and undersexed cartoonists were in the audience that night.

To my horror, Jeannie Schultz approached me and put a hand on my arm. She squeezed gently, introduced herself and said "You need to understand, Berkley, Sparky kept drawing the strip because he couldn't have lived without it."

Mrs Schultz seems to be a wise and good woman. She got Sparky as well as any critic or fan ever could.

In the early years in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, Peanuts was therapy for Schultz and the world. The "kids" were at their most grown-up then, drawn less cutely and dealing with the issues of the day as sharply as the famous Spanish-language cartoon, Malfada, from Argentina but well-known in Spain, France and elsewhere through translatons.

Malfada was the female Charlie Brown. She had to deal with a lot worse from the Argentinian government and society than even Charlie Brown did. The USA had lynchings and massacres at university riots, but Argentina had Péron and los disparados. Even if you don't really read Spanish (as I do), the angst and the fear come through in a Malfada cartoon, and so it did in Schultz.

He was an outsider but sensitive. He was Charlie Brown. He was also Linus and Lucy and the others. They were all aspects of his personality and his ability to convey his own feelings and thoughts through ostensible wise children was his genius.

The early years of the cartoon delt with many things in society and in the psyche of all of us. Those children were the parents and grandparents of the overly sophisticated and wise children of today, including the Simpsons and every TV child star.

In later years, he kept on drawing in the new stereotyped style, with lighter, more meaningless gags which repeated. If you cartoon for too long, even the greatest cartoonists face this fate. He simply ran out of material--which is to say pain and fear, angst, guilt, hope, passive-aggressivity--whatever the soul contains that can fuel great satire and great comedy and tragedy.

To his credit, it took decades to exhaust his self-analysis. Linus is still the best Christian in cartoons. Lucy is still the most loveable bully and biotch. Charlie Brown is still the archetype of the born loser, the lonely, out-of-it child.

Cathy and Garfield declined much faster into a four-gag strip with only occasional flashes of brilliance or novelty. Some strips like Dagwood and BC declined in other hands or hit a plateau that they would never but seldom rise above because a family is a family is a family and cavemen don't have to evolve.

Peanuts was deeper, more brilliant and more intelligent than all of these and the decline is sadder, but it's like watching your parents grow old and feeble. You remember them in their glory or a little after and you are happy when a glimmer of that shines out from time to time. You'll meet people who knew them when they were completely different people and they will tell you about those people you never knew and you'll understand them a little.

I have known a lot of people who were friends to me but couldn't stand each other. It is the same with cartoons, books, and all human creations. The greatest geniuses hate the most passionately because they envy and are jealous more passionately and they are most likely to hurt each other's vanity and pride on the way up or down the ladder of success. But we can love them all or not love them a bit, like fans, not like rivals and peers.

God bless Mrs. Schultz. She really got Sparky. She really did.

And bless Breathed for telling his "most embarassing moment" story. It is a gem.
2012-11-24 04:29:56 PM  
3 votes:
Peanuts were great from the 50s to the early 70s. Here's a quick guide as to why:

Charlie Brown is the star of the 50s strips and he's basically Schulz himself, insecure, put upon but struggling to make it. All Schulz personal angst, lurking anxiety and deep seated insecurity about the whole world is on the page - and no other strip at the time was so revolutionary, personal and yet minimalistic.

In the 60s, Lucy (who had been in the strip since the 50s but wasnt a major character) replaces CB as the actual star of the strip - serving as perpetual antagonist to CB and everyone else over and over. This is right as Schulz was becoming a real success with the strip but feeling increasingly controlled and put upon by his wife. In those 2 decades Snoopy was intermittently seen - just another side character.

At the end of the decade, Schulz divorced his wife, and was left with both his complete freedom and his increasing wealth from the strip. He was allowed to do anything he wanted, was finally a major media player and no one could control him or tell him what to do. At this time Snoopy becomes the star of the strip - the Red Baron, Snoopys fantasies etc. Snoopy replaced Charlie Brown as Schulz alter ego in the strip. All the other characters serve Snoopy as foils.

By the mid and late 70s Schulz now has no stress in his life and he's rich. He merchandises the hell out of the strip. THAT is when his stories turn to junk, and what most people remember about how lame Peanuts was - and they're right. He had no inner turmoil, stress or anxiety to turn into stories.

I love Peanuts and think Schulz was one of the great cartoonists of the 20th century - but his work after the mid 70s is basically sterile.
2012-11-24 06:14:02 PM  
2 votes:
Anyway, here's the racism you all came for:

i235.photobucket.comView Full Size

November 06, 1974, in case you suspect a shoop.
2012-11-24 05:32:33 PM  
2 votes:
nasa.govView Full Size

If you don't know the story behind the pic. (new window)

There was a time that Peanuts were big. The 60s, to a kid, meant Charlie Brown and MAD magazine. Everything else was a footnote. At least it was in my world. The strip wasn't that funny. Not in the laugh out loud sense. But it did make some very good points. It helped put the bigger world in perspective. It also didn't talk down to you. They used big words, words that you might have needed to look up. It introduced me to Beethoven. It assumed you were intelligent. But it did all change in the late 70s. It just wasn't the same. It lost the charm it used to have.
2012-11-24 04:09:51 PM  
2 votes:
Notice that Roosevelt is also sitting on the lawn chair while the other kids have old-timey kitchen chairs ($3.99 each in Sears Roebuck, 1909). I am guessing that he is low man on the totem pole and that the kid with her back to the audience is a seat-filler.

Charles Swartz was probably just being lazy. He drew several main characters on one side and then realized that looks stupid and contrived as this isn't the Middle Ages, so he balanced them off with one kid on the other side, who was Roosevelt, because you need at least one token non white-kid, even in the 1960s, to represent the growing liberalism, diversity, and tolerance of suburban America.
2012-11-24 04:01:29 PM  
2 votes:

Ennuipoet: Toshiro Mifune's Letter Opener: Opinions vary, and I respect yours.

That's because you sir, are a gentleman.

I don't know if I could be so genteel if someone said the same thing about Calvin and Hobbes.

But then, I don't think anyone in the Universe dislikes Mr. Watterson.

I imagine the people who make t-shirts and toys despise him.
2012-11-24 04:01:00 PM  
2 votes:

OregonVet: [ image 640x360]
Why does the black kid have to sit by himself?

10 Possible Reasons Why the Black Kid Has to Sit By Himself

10. Because Segregation was still a fond memory in the South in the 1960s
09. Because the black kid always arrives late
08. Because the black kid is not one of the main characters
07. The Black Kid? What are you a racist? He has a name, you know! (His name is Roosevelt. Say it!)
06. The Dog switched placemarks and took his chair.
05. He's a gate crasher.
04. He's the guest of honor.
03. He smells funny.
02. He has cooties from kissing girls before natural girl cootie-immunity starts up at puberty.

And the Number One Possible Reason He Sits Alone is:

01. The cartoon is an allusion to a Renaissance painting of the Last Supper in which Judas was the only disciple seated on the opposite side of the table to symbolize his betrayal of Christ and suicide.
2012-11-24 03:50:28 PM  
2 votes:
Once you've read the one with the football being pulled away, the one with the kite caught in the trees, the one with the psychiatrist's stall, the one with the pumpkin, the one with the Red Baron, the one with Woodstock as a cub scout and the one with the little red haired girl, why would you want to read another thousand versions of each one?
2012-11-24 03:49:09 PM  
2 votes:
Wake me when the Bloom County collection get's released for free...
2012-11-24 12:13:28 PM  
2 votes:

Ennuipoet: I'm gonna say it: I never like Peanuts, not even as a kid. I never laughed and Charlie Brown seemed like a whiny biatch.

And the Great Pumpkin? WTF?

You may all now commence the Internet Stoning of the Heretic.

I didn't submit this, but I'm a huge lifelong Charles Schulz fan, and I will do no such Internet Stoning of the Heretic.

Me, I love the hell out of the newspaper strips and the TV specials and what-have-ya.

Opinions vary, and I respect yours.
2012-11-24 08:14:18 PM  
1 vote:

mjjt: Charles Schulz (note, people, no farkn 't') had unique advantage - he cd get to meet just about anybody he wanted to, just by featuring them in his strip.

Without fail, and no matter how famous, they wd contact him asking for the original, and taking him out to dinner.

Other interesting thing from his biography was that, despite his success, and the admiration of all these famous people, he was never very happy.

So you know how to spell Schulz, but not "could" or "would"?
2012-11-24 04:18:55 PM  
1 vote:

LockeOak: make me some tea: I also don't even get the joke in a lot of them.

Life sucks, each day is a new disappointment and we're all going to die? That seems to be the joke in most of them.

assets.amuniversal.comView Full Size

Read them as desperate scribblings from a depressive (as Schulz was) and they're a bit more interesting.
2012-11-24 03:48:31 PM  
1 vote:
As a kid I always read the Peanuts strips in the paper, every day without fail. It wasn't until I was older that I recognized what a few others here have said; they simply are not funny. All the 'humor' is of the insulting type where you laugh at the misfortune of others. A bunch of spiteful little brats is all.
2012-11-24 01:04:10 PM  
1 vote:

Ennuipoet: But then, I don't think anyone in the Universe dislikes Mr. Watterson.

My mother. Said it reminded her way too much of me when I was Calvin's age.
/ which explains so much
2012-11-24 12:51:54 PM  
1 vote:

Oh wow.

I loved Peanuts as a kid, especially the ones from the '60s.
2012-11-24 12:47:45 PM  
1 vote:

Toshiro Mifune's Letter Opener: Opinions vary, and I respect yours.

That's because you sir, are a gentleman.

I don't know if I could be so genteel if someone said the same thing about Calvin and Hobbes.

But then, I don't think anyone in the Universe dislikes Mr. Watterson.
2012-11-24 11:54:14 AM  
1 vote:
i2.cdn.turner.comView Full Size

Why does the black kid have to sit by himself?
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