August 5, 2014

THE COMPLETE PEANUTS 1987-1988

  • I skipped about thirty years of Peanuts compilations but nothing seems radically different, which is maybe a testament to the consistency of the strip. All the characters are here now. Violet, Other Patty, and Shermy have been shuttled off to Limbo. The only change yet to come (that I'm aware of) is Rerun being given a personality.
  • Other than the occasional pop culture reference (like Teddy Ruxpin), the only thing that denotes the time period is the presence of the big black TV in the Browns' living room, always seen from the side. Although I checked and television was mentioned slightly more in the mid-50s.
  • "TV critic" is one of Sally's defining characteristics now:
    Peanuts 08/13/1988
  • The "adults can't be heard by the audience" rule is a little awkward sometimes, like when one character has to ask another character to repeat what the adult who's right in front of them just said. The television is allowed to bypass this rule, which makes me wonder if Schulz ever stopped to consider the logic behind this. Adults can be heard, but only if their voices are transmitted electronically?
  • Well no wonder Sally doesn't like school, they're forcing her to read Tess of the d'Urbervilles in first grade.
  • Franklin's defining characteristic is that he has a grandpa. Okay.
  • The fact that Peppermint Patty and Marcie both have unrequited crushes on Charlie Brown is really cute. Nobody seems to remember this aspect because of all the hacky "they're total lesbos" jokes.

    Peanuts 7/13/1987

  • Marcie is kinda the MVP of this book.
    Peanuts 9/11/1987
  • OK, so "recurring situation" (I don't know what the right phrase would be) is the backbone of Peanuts. Yet the Great Pumpkin strips every Halloween feel like they were done more out of tradition rather than Schulz thinking of a new twist.
  • Recurring situation I didn't realize was a recurring situation: Snoopy paying tribute to Bill Mauldin on Veterans Day.

    There's a strip where Snoopy is shopping for a Garfield greeting card that I forgot to scan before I had to return the book to the library.

  • Snoopy became a lawyer a lot during this era. I don't quite understand how the hat connotes lawyeriness... seems like a forgotten symbol, like how kids today supposedly don't recognize an icon of a floppy disk is supposed to mean saving your file.
  • Here's an uncharacteristic "meta" strip:
    Peanuts 11/6/1987
  • Peppermint Patty and Marcie sure went to a bunch of concerts. This is probably the most optimistic Peanuts panel I've ever seen:

    Peanuts 10/21/1987