Tag Archives: The Great Pumpkin

Peanuts Week: The Aftermath

So an average two minutes of Charlie Brown’s life came to a close today (click here to see the week’s worth). Even though I knew how it was going to turn out, I did look at the strips repeatedly this week and absorb them before. (When reading these strips in the Complete Peanuts books, I generally read a months’ worth in a sitting.) One wonderful arc became very clear to me when reading them in this slow, methodical way: Schulz deftly turns all of the characters into Charlie Brown. Check it out…



They’re at his side and they’ve (foolishly) pinned their dreams on him.





And like Charlie Brown, they let their delusions of grandeur get the better of them.





But, as it normally goes for Charlie Brown, failure is imminent.





And they have all become losers.




Also, for four days into the next week Schulz shows us the aftermath of Charlie Brown’s mistake. Even the normally neutral Schroder tears into him…

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I had so many notions I wanted to discuss in these few posts about Peanuts, and a lot of them got tossed aside in an effort to stay focused. Here’s two loose ends…

One of Schulz’s recurring gags was the snobbish Violet taunting poor Charlie Brown by bragging about her father (i.e. “My dad is taller than your dad,” or “My dad has more credit cards than your dad”), sometimes going for days at a stretch. One time, however, after only three days, Schulz gave Charlie Brown a rare moment of triumph. Imagine starting your week, reading this…

You think, Oh, shit, Violet’s at it again. And the next day, you read this…

Then, think how gratifying Wednesday must have been…

You gotta love Violet’s crushed “Charlie Brown look of nausea” face!

And lastly, there were a few storylines that spanned decades. One of the most famous was Linus’s loyalty to the Great Pumpkin. Every year there was another round of Linus being tested—and sometimes, after Halloween, he’d be downright pissed that he didn’t literally see the Great Pumpkin, his faith being tested more than his lumpy six-year old head could handle. In 1960, this prompted him to write his memoirs, giving us one of the Great Lost Peanuts Phrases…

“Rudely Clobbered”? How come a band hasn’t taken that as a name?!

So, if you haven’t already, I recommend that you find a spare 20 bucks, go to Amazon or Fantagraphics.com and buy yourself a volume of the Complete Peanuts (if you like, start with one from the early 60s, when Schulz was on a roll). You won’t regret it. Charles M. Schulz is one of the artistic geniuses of the 20th Century and, gratefully, getting a huge dose of that genius isn’t terribly expensive or difficult.

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