I AM BACK! Still not dead, just really busy. Anyway, I’ve been reading a ton of Peanuts lately, and I’ve discovered a few things:
- Charles Schultz was a ludicrously funny man.
- Charles Schultz remained ludicrously funny for 50 years, which is pretty amazing.
- Occasionally, Charles Schultz took a break from being ludicrously funny to stomp on our hearts.
To celebrate the Peanuts movie (which I haven’t seen yet, but I’ll post a review when-NOT if-I do), I’ve decided to showcase this part of Charlie Brown history.
5. Snoopy’s doghouse fire
The thing about Snoopy is that he was much harder to depress than any other Peanuts character, which is exactly why this simple strip is so heartbreaking. It’s part of a much longer series where Snoopy’s house burns down (it’s eventually rebuilt), but Snoopy without his doghouse is just SO SAD (to me at least).Still though, it pales before:
Olaf was one of Snoopy’s relatives first introduced when Lucy tried to win an “ugly dog” contest. Snoopy flatly refused to help, and his more famous brother Spike balked at having to leave his home in the deserts of Needles, California (more on that later), Lucy convinced Snoopy to write to Olaf, the “ugly one” to ask for help. So ugly he wore a sack over his head until forced to take it off, Olaf was so depressed at his victory… that happened. Good news, though: Olaf eventually met up with Snoopy’s other brother Andy, and they set off on a journey with Woodstock, which led to this:
3. Charlie Brown is lonely
This is notable because it marks the exact date where Charlie Brown became so sad (February 1st, 1954, for the record). Before this, Charlie Brown was just one of the rest of the kids; as likely to start something as Violet or Shermy (Lucy, Linus and most of the other more famous characters came later). But after this, Schultz realized the value of having one character to dump on, which gave us this masterpiece of awful.
2. Peppermint Patty
I was going to post one of the many instances of Charlie Brown trying, and failing, to work up the courage to talk to the never-shown little red-haired girl, but then I remembered this story from the seventies where Peppermint Patty met the little red-haired girl at summer camp and tried to challenge her to a fight over Charlie Brown, but then… this happened. One of my favorite series, as the next thing that happens is:
As Linus put it himself, “Every now and then I say the right thing.” But by far the saddest Peanuts strip I have ever seen, which actually inspired this post, is this:
1. Why Spike lives in the desert
Spike has always been, in my opinion, the second most depressed Peanuts character (after Charlie Brown). He’s always out in the desert, lonely and trying to talk to a cactus. In Snoopy’s WWI fantasies, Spike is in the trenches:
But to find out that Spike’s in self-imposed exile? For accidentally killing a bunny? Now Schultz is just being mean.
Sorry this has been so late! Hopefully new stuff will be here soon.