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1956 Part 2 - If My Kite Was Caught In A Tree I'd Yell At It

Jimmy: Hey, you Blockheads. Welcome back to the show. I'm Jimmy Gownley. I'm going to be one of your hosts for this evening. If you know me, you might know me from my comic book series, Amelia Rules, or maybe, you know, my brand new book. Seven Good Reasons Not To Grow Up, or maybe you don't know me at all. Joining me today are my two co-hosts.


First, he is a playwright. He is a composer, both for the band, Complicated People, as well as this very podcast. He's the co-creator of the original comic book price guide, the Argosy price guide to comics. He's the original editor to the Amelia Rules series. And he's the cartoonist behind such great strips as Tangled River, A Gathering of Spells and Strange Attractors, Michael Cohen.


Michael: Hey there


Jimmy: And he's the executive producer and writer of Mystery Science Theater 3000, a former vice president of Archie comics and current creator of the Instagram strips Sweetest Beasts, Harold Buchholz.


Harold: Hey Jimmy. Hey Michael. Hey folks.


Jimmy: So guys how about we just get right back to it? 1956 is a great year. Let's look at these strips.


Michael and Harold: Great/Why not?


March 5th, Schroeder's playing the piano. Lucy is hanging out on the end of it. She says, “I wish I could play the piano.” Schroeder says “maybe you could Lucy, if you practice a lot.” Lucy turns and asks him, “Practice? You mean you have to practice to play the piano. I thought it was just fool luck.”


Jimmy: I'm projecting again. But to me, this is Schulz talking about people saying how lucky he is to be able to have this talent, to draw this comic strip. Right?


It's like, oh, it's so you're, it's so wonderful that you're blessed with all this talent as we see him. And it's true. I mean, he, he does have a talent and an ability, but we are watching day by day. You can literally see every day. Well, not literally since by Charlie Brown rules. Figuratively, though, you can see every day of his life for those 50 years, you can see the work that he did and we can still read it and to dismiss that as, oh, I thought you just got lucky.


Michael: You’re so lucky. You get to draw your funny cartoons every day and I have to work.


Harold: Well, I can't believe, I, I can't believe I keep defending Lucy, but he was an instant savant as far as we know, in the, in the Schulz in the Peanuts strip. So I could see why she would believe that too,


Jimmy: I guess. It's true, but you know, Schroeder is saying as far as we know, that's maybe not true because you know, we didn't see what that Schroeder hadn't practiced as a baby before Charlie Brown gave him that toy piano. Who knows?


Harold: That is true.


Jimmy: You see, words matter. Communication, my friend. Okay.


VO: Good Grief


Harold: That is correct. See we agree.


Jimmy: I love this joke. I just think there's something, I think it's so funny about the phrase fool luck, which Schulz uses a few times.


Harold: Yeah, me too. That's just, that's just great. And this is like the, the, the era of the big jaw Peanuts. I mean, I think, I think Schroeder's mouth is like way high on his head here.


It's a, it's just an interesting, unusual look that I'm glad went away.


Michael: He’s putting on a little weight too.


Jimmy: It’s also big in profile like, if you see Lucy in panel two, that's really jutting forward to that's almost Popeye-esque.


Harold: yeah. Yeah. And he kept that for years. But yeah, it just seems like the, the eyes and nose and mouth just kind of float upward and in these years in some panels


Jimmy: Yeah, for sure. That's hard to do when you're drawing the same thing every day, these microscopic changes start creeping in and before you know, it it's totally different than, than where you started from.


Harold: It's crazy. And just to see over 50 years, how, how all the different places he went with these character designs.


Michael: Sometimes it's just, you don't have time to go back and look how you did it,


Jimmy: Right.


Michael: I don't know. I had a character, a little robot character, which is actually one of the first characters I drew and. Totally changed over the issues I had. I didn't do it consciously. It's


just kind of left out something and then sort of forgot I had this and made the head a little bigger.


Jimmy: It's strange, you know, I've, I've been working on a new Amelia story and part of it, she ages over the course of the series, but now I haven't really drawn her In 10 years, a lot, you know, like irregularly, just sketches and conventions and stuff. And now I'm trying in one scene to draw the old Amelia, the original Amelia. It's really hard.


Harold: Like book eight Amelia?


Jimmy: Like earlier, like book one, Amelia.


Harold: Oh, wow. Like the Peanuts-y Amelia


Jimmy: And it's so strange because it's, I do, I have not a lot, but occasionally I've done, you know, I try to copy it, another artist style and throw it in, in Ameilia. I've done like Kirby and Harold Gray and whatever.


And that's where I'm at now trying to draw the original Amelia, like trying to copy, like how did that guy do this? Oh, okay. Very strange.


March 8 Patty and Lucy are standing outside in their coats. Lucy's has a fur collar. Patty says “that's a beautiful fur piece Lucy.” Lucy looks down proud and says, “thank you. I'm glad you like it. It's my own creation you know. I made it out of an old Davy Crockett hat.”


Jimmy: Davy's back for one last hurrah,


Harold: the last gasp for Davy Crockett


Michael: Well, after the Alamo


March 29, Linus is sitting, contentedly holding his blanket and sucking his thumb. Snoopy crawls in low off panel. In panel two Snoopy, tentatively opens up his mouth, baring his teeth as he tries to steal the blanket. In panel three, Linus who hasn't indicated at all that he's seen Snoopy, says, “watch it there Mac.” And in panel four, Snoopy decides not to steal the blanket instead, puts his head down and just says, “sigh.”


Michael: I think the thing that makes this funny is the word Mac


Jimmy: yeah it does


Michael: you wouldn't call it dog, Mac.


Jimmy: Right. That makes it funny. And the other thing is the drawing of just Linus, not indicating that he sees anything wrong at all, until “watch it, their Mac” comes out. Really funny.


April 12th, Charlie Brown is standing, his kite caught up in a tree. Violet walks by and says, “Kit caught in a tree?” Charlie Brown says, “yup.” A look of disgust on his face. Violet says, “can't get it down. Huh?” Charlie Brown says, “Nope.” “What are you going to do about it?” asks Violet, “Nothing” says Charlie Brown. “I'm so mad. I'm just going to stand here for the rest of my life.”


Jimmy: So this is the beginning of of a sequence of strips that we talked about when we were doing the overview for this year where Charlie Brown is just standing there, his, his kite is caught up in the tree and the whole cast is basically gonna come by and have little conversations with Charlie Brown.


Harold: Yeah


Michael: I have a question. Is the kite-eating tree have a definitive look?


Jimmy: I think so. I mean, I could, yeah, I think so. I don't think it's every, cause he just draws-


Michael: is this the kite-eating tree?


Jimmy: Yeah.


Michael: So it always looks like this


Harold: Well it’s not an eating tree yet right? I mean, this is a, just a tree tree


Jimmy: This is not referred to as the kite eating tree, but Schulz considers this the first appearance of the kite-eating tree.


Harold: I see.


Jimmy: So like I had a trashcan, a little wastepaper basket when I was a kid that had the kite-eating tree on it and it was a tree with a smile, but that only happens occasionally. It's not like this is the Shire and Schulz mapped this out and said, here's the kite-eating tree and it's an oak. And you know, it's just whenever a kite is stuck in the tree, it's the kite-eating.


Michael: So these are not Ents as far as you know.


Jimmy: As far as I know, but you know, we're only in 1956 here, anything could happen.


Michael: They could be entlings


Jimmy: they could be, well, this is where the Ent wives went, Michael. They went off and they live in the Peanuts neighborhood. Oh, by the way, I know where Peanuts takes place, but that's, I'm not telling no, I know the real answer to where Peanuts takes place. But I can't reveal that until next year.


Harold: Wow. Okay. Looking forward to that


Jimmy: My mind was blown. And it makes all the sense in the world.


Harold: Wow.


Michael: Negative zone.


Harold: Is it near Hooterville?


Jimmy: No, it is not.


Harold: And one of the things you mentioned in the strip, which is amazing, there's this eight daily strips, 32 panels. And the, the setup of the panel is identical. Every single panel. So the tree is in exactly the same place. Charlie Brown isn't exactly the same place. And so it was the string that is attached to the kite that you can't see in the tree. But the expression on Charlie Brown is pretty much identical all the way through here. So I say this is also a momentous strip because these, these are the inspiration for Doonesbury and Tumbleweeds.


Jimmy: Very much so-- the repeating of the same panel over and over again,


Michael: And you couldn't do it in a Sunday strip. It wouldn't work because there's time passing.


Jimmy: Yeah, for sure. What do you guys think about this as a sequence? Do you see why people would be writing in letters to him about this? Do you, does it float your boat and the way it clearly got people going back then?


Michael: This is Frustration. This is frustration to the nth degree where he's just going to stand there until the end of time. It makes no sense. There's no logic to it, but that's the only way he can deal with this much frustration.


Jimmy: Right. I get that.


Harold: Yeah. And I think that in and of itself creates an impact where I was, you know, people, this is important,


Michael: But he's resigned to it. He's resigned to it. He's not. I’ll be here.


Jimmy: And that look on his face is unchanging. He is, he is gonna stay there.

Harold: And it's, it's fun to see the different characters coming in with their different responses. And just the sheer repetition sometimes gives weight to something. And I think he definitely gets that here. And I, you know, it's like, like the band Sparks-- repetition is is a piece of what, what the work is and somehow can give to, can give a piece of art weight just because it's, you know, the artist stayed there in the same spot for 24 panels. It's gotta mean something.


Jimmy: A hundred percent. And it's the kind of thing that like, if he just did three of them, it would be less-- it almost has to be too much and go beyond too much to get to be funny again.


Harold: Right.


Jimmy: You know, if you did two or three of them, it would be uh or whatever, but he does the whole week. And I think I would imagine that by like week by day four or five, you're like, what is happened? Is, is he going to stand here for the rest of his life?


Harold: Yeah, it works really, really well. And it is, I think creative


Michael: Dave Sim would have him stand there for the rest of his life.


Jimmy: I was, I I'm so glad you were going to say that. Cause it made me think of Guys-- or not is it Guys? Yeah, Guys where Cerebus, This is Rick’s story, I guess, where he's the bartender in the bar that no one comes to and he doesn't leave. Yeah. And it goes on for dozens and dozens of issues.


Harold: Schulz does break the monotony on April 17th and the in the fifth of the eight, eight panels though.


Jimmy: Well, hold on. I actually, I want to track there, there are two strips that I think in this are really, really funny. The first one is April 14. And Lucy comes up and says, “if I had a kite caught up in a tree, I'd yell at it.” Charlie Brown says, “oh.” “Do you want me to yell at it Charlie Brown?” Charlie Brown says, “no, thank you, Lucy.” And there's a silent panel as Lucy just contemplates the tree. And then she says, as she walks away,”if I had a kite caught up in a tree, I'd yell at it.”


And that leads to the April 17th strip, which goes Lucy, back at the tree again, saying “if my kite were up in a tree, I'd yell at it.” Charlie Brown says, “you told me that already.” Lucy says, “come down from there I'd say, then I'd call it a few names.” “Oh, good grief”says Charlie Brown, Lucy continues. “You dumb kite. That's what I call it. Then I'd yell at it some more.” She walks away fist clenched, saying “I yell at it and yell at it and yell at it and yell at it.” And Charlie Brown, just sighs.


Jimmy: Siga. Oh, Lucy saying I’d yell at it and yell at it and yell at it. Oh, that's almost, it's a bug. It's a piece of fuzz level comedy for me. I just think that it's so funny.


Michael: but like you say, this was never reprinted. I don't remember these.


Jimmy: Weird. No.


Harold: And this strip, he does make another bold artistic choice. The date he does as a fraction, which he never does.


Jimmy: Oh no he's done that a couple of times. It's weird


Harold: He’s certainly not doing it here. I think he said he's already drawn the graphs and he just doesn't have room


Jimmy: to squeeze it in. And Schulz is on the side


Harold: because he's usually doing the four dash 16. So he's doing, it's almost a quarter-- four out of 17,


Jimmy: you know, what's really weird, not weird, but interesting to me that third panel, the lettering looks like much later Peanuts, it's really loose looking and really bouncy and curvy. And I think it's more so than even the other panels, but it's a great looking comic strip. I think he had fun drawing that Charlie Brown face all those times too. It's just a great expression.


Harold: Do you think he traced?


Jimmy: I mean, he might've, but I don't think so. He's


Harold: amazingly good if he’s not tracing


Jimmy: yeah. I dunno. I dunno. I have no idea. I don't think I, yeah, I don't think he needs to, like, I, you know, again, behind the scenes I drew the, a little logo we use for the podcast and you'll never get a hundred percent that Schulz thing, because the art of it is that he pencils so minimally and then inks so quickly.


And if you're going to use that radio 914, you ha you have to ink quickly. But if you're not Charles Schulz, you really can't pencil it quickly because there's so few elements that make up a face and Peanuts, they all have to be in the right place. If one's off, it just doesn't. It just looks like something else.


Michael: I think it's photocopied or whatever the technology was. No. Seriously. Charlie Brown, the hand it's too similar


Jimmy: he may have,


Harold: I think he traced it


Jimmy: Panel three’s diff-- oh, you know what? No, let's see. Yeah, you're right. These are, these are photostats and he's putting just some extra lines around the eyes.


Harold: Wow. That's that's, that's pretty amazing because he would never have, maybe that's why he didn't reprint it. Cause he was always claiming I drew everything. And if he, if he did photostat this as an experiment, he probably it's a dark piece of Peanuts history because he did copy something


Jimmy: which is funny. I mean, cause that's only him failing by his own standards.

No one, I mean, no one in the world would think of thing of it.


Michael: also look at the grass, the grass around the tree, changing the grass changing, but his Charlie Brown.


Harold: Have you guys ever seen it? Have you guys ever seen the the YouTube, it's like a little minute long YouTube of of Charles Schulz drawing?


Jimmy: Yeah. The one where he's actually using the pen?


Harold: Yes, and it's like, it's like something unreal is happening. It's almost like those old Max Fleischer out of the inkwell cartoons where they're faking somebody draws something. It's like his, his hand is going over the paper with the lightest touch. And these amazing lines are popping as like, I can't even tell it's connecting to the paper and he's going at these weird angles.


He's going, like, he's going up, like to 10 o'clock with the pen and angles that you think would screw up a penpoint, which I guess is why this particular pinpoint was so amazing because little kids could use it for handwriting and he turns it around and uses it for his advantage because you can do anything with this pen and it won't skip or mess up.


Jimmy: And if you look at that that video that Harold's talking about, which you should, I don't, you certainly can't even see any pencil lines. If they're there, there were so faint that the camera couldn't pick them up. And it's, it's, he's drawing the bench that Charlie Brown sits on and he's standing in front of it's, it is like magic.


My, I had an illustration professor, Robert Nelson, who passed away a few months ago at 96. And he, I think was like a genius artist. And I was was actually talking to a woman who was his agent recently. We were just sort of reminiscing. And she said, watching him draw was like watching the hand of God, because like Harold says, you just, he would move his hand and you couldn't really understand how he moved it so effortlessly and suddenly this thing would appear. Watching that drawing, that video Schulz is exactly like that. It's like watching magic.


Harold: Yeah. It's so cool.


Jimmy: And then it all wraps up on April 20th. Charlie Brown is still standing out by the tree, Pouring rain now. Shermy runs out in his rain gear and says, “Charlie Brown, it's raining. You're going to get drenched.” Charlie Brown says,” is that stupid kite getting wet too?” Shermy says, “It's soaked.” And then the last panel, Charlie Brown’s expression finally changes to a huge satisfied smile.


Harold: that is some set up for a payoff.


Jimmy: And that's true. It's like the fact that Charlie Brown's expression does not change for a full week. And then it only does in the end because his inanimate kite now is feeling some of the pain that he is feeling.


Harold: Yeah, that's uniquely Schulz. This really is a remarkable series.


Jimmy: Very strange. And I guess we will never know. We can only theorize as to why it was never reprinted.


April 30th, Charlie Brown and Lucy are standing outside by the wall. They're looking at the grass and Charlie Brown says “pretty soon, Lucy, all the grass will be turning green. Lucy says, “light green, dark green or medium green, yellow, green, blue, green, or lime green.” She continues, “kelly green, forest green, hunter green, jade green, apple green or olive green, evergreen, wintergreen, Herb Green, or Graham Green? Charlie Brown puts his head in his hands at the wall and says, “oh good grief.”


Harold: Yeah. This is definitely a Peanuts obscurity to share what goes on, at least in this last panel. So do you know who Herb Green is, Michael?


Michael: Yeah, Herb Green was a jazz guitar player.


Harold: Well, there was another Herb Green.


Michael: Oh, there was?


Harold: Yeah, he he was a cartoonist and he had cartoons and the Saturday Evening Post, was from Kansas and Mort Walker mentions a story in what's the name of his backstage at the strips?


Have you guys read that thing? It was came out like in the mid 70s. Yeah, it's kind of this comic strip confidential, where he's kind of dishing out on the cartoonists, he’s kind of irreverent about everybody. But he does mention in 1951, Charles Schulz traveled to New York city, I guess, to meet with the syndicate.


And he he stayed on Herb Green’s couch.


Jimmy: Oh, wow.


Harold: So that, yeah, cause I was looking it up. At first I found that the jazz, the musician I said was this who he's referring to? And then I was like, oh my gosh, there's another Herb Greene in Charles Schulz’s life. And then Graham Greene,


Jimmy: I don't know who Graham Greene is either.


Harold: So Graham Greene is an author.


His most famous works with The Power and The Glory and The Third Man, which was made that movie with Joseph Cotton and Orson Welles with the, with the zither music in a post-war Europe.


Jimmy: I'll have to look in my zither music movie collection. I have a lot of those. All right, Graham Greene. Peanuts obscurity.


See, that's why you come here. Now you learn something. Despite our best efforts.


May 7th. Charlie Brown is watching Lucy. Lucy is on her knees, examining the ground very closely. She says “I've been watching these bugs, Charlie Brown. You see this one bug here is about to leave home. He has been saying goodbye to all his friends. Suddenly this little girl bug comes running up and tries to persuade him not to leave.” Charlie Brown looks out at us a look of huh? upon his face. Charlie Brown listens as Lucy turns away from the ground and smiles at him saying “if you're going to be a good bug watcher, you have to have lots of imagination.”


Michael: Maybe she realizes she's making things up.


Jimmy: Yeah. Now this also, this seems like something that could possibly be observed. My kids, they had an ant that was called for some reason named Wait, but any aunt they saw was Wait and they would say, well, there's Wait. He must be going off to his job or whatever.


So that could be, could definitely be a thing. But yeah, so Lucy though is okay with this because it's not a piece of funzz. That is, that is her big phobia. If she had seen a piece of fuzz on the ground, she would freak out.


Michael: This is a three-part parter, I believe.


Jimmy: Yep. It continues


May 8th. Lucy says, “You can learn a lot about life from watching bugs.” Charlie Brown and Lucy get up from the ground and walk away saying, “This one little bug had built the most beautiful home you've ever seen. Suddenly he lost it, just like that.” She snaps her fingers. Charlie Brown asks, “what happened?” Lucy says “I kicked it over.”


Jimmy: That's Lucy in a nutshell right there.


Harold: Yeah. Now I have a question for you guys. Does, does the drawing for her snapping her fingers work for you?


Michael: She has four of them.


Harold: Because I would think if you, if you're going to do a snapping of the fingers, you either have the third finger and the thumb right before the snap, or you have the thumb and the third finger down against the palm. You wouldn't have the third finger floating. So that, that was a


Jimmy: No matter how you flip your snap, your fingers, as I'm trying to do it right now, you're not going to get into that pose.


Michael: Yeah, write him a letter.


Jimmy: And it does look like she only has four fingers, but I think the pinky is tucked in.


Harold: Yeah. It's really, really hard to see. Yeah, but that was a choice I didn't, I didn't understand why he did it that way.


Jimmy: It's hard to do. Like hands in general are hard. And then having a hand do what I, I was just last night trying to draw Amelia, pretending she's on a cell phone while holding up her finger to the person she's talking to, to like hush them for a second. You've seen people do that a million times, but when you actually have to draw a cartoon version,


Harold: it's a hard draw.


Jimmy: It's very hard to draw. So I think snapping fingers works in that kind of thing.


Michael: He should have used some photo reference there.


Jimmy: Yeah. You know, it's funny. I do think, I don't think he had photo reference, but I definitely think there are instances where he looked at at his dogs and got some idea for Snoopy poses in the earlier days.


Oh. Which reminds me, I do have an answer. A way back while Michael, you asked, did he ever have a beagle? Yes, he did have a beagle. It was named Snoopy and he gave it away. And this was well after this. This was. He was, he was Charles Schulz and Peanuts was Peanuts at this point.


Michael: Really


Harold: Snoopy was a gift


Jimmy: Yeah. I don't know. But he, yeah, he had dogs his whole life


Michael: Must be worth a lot of money now.


May 9th. Lucy is back staring at the bugs again and says, “you know why that big black bug doesn't move?” She's speaking to Charlie Brown who kneels down and looks closer. Lucy says, “because she's the queen bug. She just sits there, see, while the other bugs do all the work.” Charlie Brown gets super close saying, “That's not a bug. That's a jelly bean.” Lucy looks closer as well and says, “by golly, you're right, Charlie Brown.” They walk away. And Lucy says, “I wonder how a jelly bean ever got to be queen.”


Jimmy: All right. Now let's defend Lucy's logic here.


[pause]


Michael: Well,


Jimmy: Exactly!


Michael: She's established It's the queen. Therefore she cannot contradict her own statement.


Jimmy: No, never. I'll never, never, never, never. I'd love it. And there's always this question about whether or not at some point, Lucy is putting Charlie Brown on, just intentionally never changing her viewpoint because she knows that would give Charlie Brown some sort of satisfaction. And she's just not going there.


Harold: She did acknowledge that it was a jelly bean. So that was, that was something. She gave him something.


Jimmy: Yeah. She threw him a bone.


May 13th. Charlie Brown is running, trailing his kite behind him, which is in the air, but looking pretty rickety and out of control. He darts between two buildings. In the third panel, Charlie Brown looks back frustrated. “That stupid kite went down again. Kites drive me crazy” he says, as he winds back up the string. He continues to wind back the string as he follows his path from where he went with the kite, I've never seen one yet that didn't get itself, all tangled up in everything.”Excuse me” he says. Schroeder who was on the tricycle is now completely caught up in the kite string. The kite string now has gone through two knots in a wooden fence in one side and out the other, as Charlie Brown says, “I wonder where that fool thing went down?”

Charlie Brown continues to follow the string saying “How I hate kites. I'll never buy another one as long as I live.” Now Snoopy is the one wrapped up in the kite string. Charlie Brown, “excuse me.” He continues. “I hate every bone in that kite's body. Good grief. What a mess.” Now the kite is all wrapped up in a garden hose. “So that's where you came down eh? Good. In the last panel we see the kite has gone into a burn barrel. Is that what they were called? Where you would burn your trash or your leaves or whatever. And Charlie Brown is yelling, “Burn yo monster!”


Harold: Yeah. Some of that strident anger from 1956.


Jimmy: Yeah. Cause it's like this righteous, you deserve this punishment kite.


Harold: It's a surprise. When I read it, it was total surprise that it's so intense at the end. It's like, wow.


Jimmy: Michael, does this remind you of anything in Love and Rockets? When Hopey’s band breaks up and she puts all her musical gear in a trash pile and lights it on fire. Die you demons of hell. It really reminds me of this


Michael: certainly possible.


Jimmy: And it's both the same thing. Where these were things that were supposed to give the person pleasure and satisfaction. And instead they're just a source of continual pain.


May 20th Linus is sitting in his classic pose, holding his blanket, sucking his thumb. Snoopy walks up and sits next to him. He eyes up Linus’s his blanket. Rather than grab it. Snoopy starts dancing. Linus stands up. He's inspired by Snoopy's dancing. Suddenly the two are dancing together, but Snoopy has a mischievous look on his face. Suddenly mid dance Snoopy zips out of the frame. Linus is confused as to where Snoopy has gone. I n the last panel we see, Snoopy is now asleep on Linus’s blanket.


Michael: The eternal struggle,


Jimmy: the eternal struggle.


VO: It’s Snoopy Watch


Harold: The Snoopy happy dance here is used for, to entice minus and it's trickery. Right? And I, I see something happening with Schulz this year where he, he takes this to a different level later in a different strip where the character is just happy for happiness sake.


And that to me is like a, a step forward for Schulz in, in his strip. And I can't think of another comic strip where you do have a character, just absolutely blissing out that's so iconic as Snoopy dancing. And it's like, it's almost like you see him getting to this place where he can just have a character being totally joyful. I don't know if it's for its own sake or whatever, but in, in the strip and I, I just was done a fascinating that he's, he's kind of getting there. He's getting to this place where Snoopy is, this can be this totally blissed out character in this world.


Jimmy: It's very strange to be in this mid period of Snoopy's evolution too, because clearly in the, in the happy dance panels, he's behaving much more like the other characters. The panel, the last panel in the second tier-- the expression that knowing mischievous expression is so human. But in the last panel it's like one of those observed draw dog drawings that I was talking about earlier. It's really neat.


Harold: He looks way huger than he should be, right?


Jimmy: Yeah. I think, I wonder if it was supposed to be Linus was more in the background or something and it's a perspective, but he does look huge. If he stood up, he would be twice the size of Linus.


Harold: Yeah. And I have to call out the, the drawing on the bottom left drawing in this strip of, of Snoopy zipping, 180 degrees to go after the blanket.


And we were talking about line of action in animation. This is Schulz's kind of version of line of action, where you Snoopy is just elongated and is, is gleeful dash to, to get the thing he always wanted and to lie on Linus’s blanket. But it's just, it's such a great piece of drawing. While it's line continues to dance, happily unaware of what's going on.


Jimmy: Yeah. Great, great cartooning in that panel,


May 31st Lucy is playing baseball or at least she's out in a baseball field with her baseball glove on, but she's playing with a stick in the dirt and whistling when a ground ball bounces over her head. Charlie Brown comes out to yell at her and says, “Are you out of your mind? You're supposed to be playing right field. You let that ball go right by you. Of all the stupid things” he says, as he returns to his pitcher's mound. “Good grief.” Lucy calls after him calmly saying, “A wise manager, never shouts at his players.”


Michael: I love that first panel. She's just like blissing out there playing with a stick.


Harold: Is this the first time Lucy refers to Charlie Brown as a manager?


Jimmy: I think so. Yes. We had a kid that used to call jukebox because he would stand out in the outfield and just sing songs to himself, the whole game. Honestly, there were times where he wasn't even looking in the right direction or I remember him, they had cut the grass and he would just pick it up and throw it in the air and dance.


Michael: Well the thing is they, right field is where you put the people who didn't know what they were doing. Cause the ball never went to right…


Jimmy: right, right.


June 1st, Charlie Brown and Violet are walking down the street. Charlie Brown says, “Nobody likes me. Nobody.” Violet says to him,” have you ever stopped to try to figure out why nobody likes you Charlie Brown?” “Of course I have. And I found out why too” he says. “I'm unpopular.”


Michael: Makes sense to me.


That makes sense. You know, this is one of the things about Charlie Brown. When you, when you are reading it all, you get a different point of view. Because Schulz was pulling out a lot of the straps where Charlie Brown was a wise guy, where Charlie Brown pushed the little girl over, or Charlie Brown's casually sexist to the girls and we're left with just, I don't know why nobody likes me, but he never thinks to change anything about himself.


I mean, and Linus just a few weeks ago, says I'll be your friend. And yet it comes with a, with a cut because that's just how life is. And kids are a lot of times, but here he's saying nobody likes me, nobody. Well, you've had weeks to be a really good friends with Linus. So I think at least one person likes you. Right?


Harold: Yeah. And we just asked a strip where one of the sweetest strips of the year where Charlie Brown notices that there's a dotted line on Linus’s blanket. So it Linus tears it in half and it gives them the other half and Linus says happiness should be shared, Charlie Brown.


Michael: Shermy clearly likes him. Maybe to Charlie Brown that doesn't count because he has no personality.


Jimmy: But he does now according to the Shermometer, but yeah, Harold you're right. I mean, that's like the greatest…


Michael: But Charlie Brown is-- This is going to drive him crazy. And you'll, as you will shortly see, he, he, he breaks.


Jimmy: Oh, okay. Great. All right.


Michael: The fact that nobody likes him and he doesn't know why.


June 10th. Snoopy is sitting and looking at his reflection in a puddle. He thinks to himself, “I wished that I looked real tough. I wonder what some dogs do to make themselves look tough.” Snoopy thinks to himself, “Fangs. By golly, that's what you have to have if you're going to scare people. Fangs. And a real fierce expression.” And we see Snoopy has transformed his visage to look angry and his fangs are bared. He thinks to himself “Here comes that stupid Linus and his equally stupid sister. I'll show him the old fangs and scare the daylights out of them.” Snoopy presents his new ferocious look to Linus and Lucy. Linus imitates a ferocious creature back to him. Lucy and Linus both now imitate creatures and they walk off both looking like monsters with their fangs bared. Snoopy is disappointed that this didn't go the way he thought. And he just says, “Sigh.”


Michael: Usually you don't see Linus being-- mock other people or dogs.


Jimmy: I don't think he's mocking them. I think they're just playing


Michael: I think they’re making fun of how stupid he is.


Harold: Oh, I, I read it as that. Yeah. Okay. There's a good idea. Let's do that fun thing too.


Jimmy: Yeah, that’s how I read it too. That Linus does it, and then he looks at Lucy and like, look how fun this is. And then they walk off doing it. But you could go either way I suppose.


Harold: The panel that shocked my socks off though, was Snoopy saying here comes that stupid Linus and is equally stupid sister. I wasn't expecting to have, it's just such an outright judgment on them. It's like, wow, Snoopy. I didn't know you felt that way.


July 2nd, Lucy and Linus are examining what looks like a birch tree. Lucy says this, Linus, is a giant oak.” “Oak? thinks Charlie Brown in the background. “When oak trees get real old, they're cut down and used to make knotty pine recreation rooms.” Charlie Brown says “knotty pine?” Charlie Brown says, “, I can't stand that. I just can't stand it.” And then he walks away saying “listening to Lucy's lectures always makes my stomach hurt.”


Jimmy: Poor. Charlie Brown is going to have an ulcer by the end of this. His stomach is always hurting


July 3rd. Lucy and Linus are examining another small tree. Lucy says, “this, Linus, is a palm tree.” Charlie Brown says “good grief.” Lucy continues to explain the tree. “It gets its name from the fact that the average person can put his hand clear around it.” Charlie Brown comes up to the two of them saying, “Lucy, you're killing me. These stupid things you tell him, they get me so worked up my stomach hurts.” Lucy continues. “Just ignore him Linus. Now over here is a bamboo tree.” Charlie Brown is now sitting on the ground, clutching his stomach, “Ow Ow Ow.”


Michael: Well, this is something he established a couple of years ago that this nonsense the fixes. So he-- a call back to an older strip and it continues the next day.


July 4th, Linus and Lucy are walking down the street. Lucy says, “Now this, Linus, is a telephone pole. You'll be interested to know that telephone poles are not poles at all. They're really a kind of tree developed by the phone company especially for their use.” Charlie Brown, “Ow Ow Ow.”


Jimmy: Charlie Brown appears essentially out of nowhere in that last panel. It’s like her lecture has manifested him. And then we wrap up here in--


July 5th, where Lucy says to Charlie Brown, “What do you mean I make your stomach hurt? Charlie Brown explains to her. “You do. You say stupid things. And then I get all worked up and my stomach starts to hurt.” Lucy says “just because of what I say, Charlie Brown?” Charlie Brown yells, “Yes!” Lucy smiles, leans into him and says, “are you sure it isn't love?” Charlie Brown sticks out his tongue in disgust.


Jimmy:I love that. That's so cute. I love Lucy’s ability to turn on a dime like that. So funny. And then our grand finale,


July 6th, Lucy and Linus are talking. Charlie Brown is watching. Lucy continues her lecture. “Leaves are a fascinating study Linus. Most people think that the leaves just fall off when autumn comes.” Charlie Brown says, “My stomach.” Lucy continues, “but the truth is that they all jump off before the squirrels can get them.” Charlie Brown is sitting on the curb. Linus now joins him saying, “That did it. Move over Charlie Brown.” Linus is clutching his stomach.


Jimmy: So there you go. Linus might be at the end of listening to Lucy, or at least he's taking a break from it. Oh, by the way, Michael, you talk about the liking, the falling leaves strips. If you go to go to comics.com they actually have a a curated collection of just the autumn leaves strips.


Michael: Oh. I’m just glad people are paying attention.


Jimmy: Absolutely. Absolutely. I think they did it somehow via time travel. Cause it's been up there for awhile, but it's really cool to see. And while you're on the internet, checking out go comics. Why don't you also hustle over to our website-- unpackingpeanuts.com and follow us on on the Instagram and the Twitter.


We're unpackpeanuts and we'd love to hear from you.


July 14th, Linus is standing yelling.”I'm independent.” Nobody is there to listen to this, by the way. He says, I stand on my own two feet. I don't need anybody. I don't need anybody.” Then he looks down and says, Lucy, will you tie my shoe for me?


Jimmy: The only reason I read this is July 14th, 1956. That was the day my parents got married. So that was the Peanuts strip on their day. And it's about needing someone. So that's beautiful.


Michael: That is beautiful.


July 15th, Linus is playing baseball. He stands there and he says, “come on, hit one out here.” Then he plucks a piece of long grass from the ground and puts them in his mouth. Suddenly it's clear that a high fly ball has been hit his way. He runs after it. Unfortunately right barring his way is Lucy and the other girls who are jumping rope. Linus manages to sync up with Lucy and successfully jump the rope while passing through and then catching the fly ball. Charlie Brown says “greatest catch I’v ever seen.”


Michael: And notice it's a basket catch. So it's a clear reference to Willie Mays and the 1954 world series making what they now call “The Catch.”


VO: It’s time for the Peanuts Time Machine


Jimmy: I am unfamiliar. I'm embarrassed because I claim I can talk about baseball, but I don't know The Catch. But I'm in my defense, I'm in Pennsylvania. And in our catch that everybody worships is the Immaculate Reception, but that's football.


Michael: This is Vic Wurtz, hitting a huge line drive in the world series and Willie Mays turning his back to home plate, running full speed towards the wall and catches the ball over his shoulder without looking at it.


Harold: What? Wow.


Michael: And then he turns and throws out the runner who was leading off at second. Watch it on YouTube. It's great.


Jimmy: Schulz is a huge Willie Mays fan. So I wouldn't actually be surprised if that was in the back of his mind.


Michael: Oh, I'm sure. And he lost his cap while he did it.


Jimmy: Like Linus! Fantastic.


Harold: That’s great.


July 25th. Charlie Brown is talking to Schroeder. Snoopy is sneaking up behind Charlie Brown. Schroeder says, “don't look now, but there's a python sneaking up behind you.” Snoopy grabs Charlie Brown by the ankle, squeezes. And Charlie Brown says, “Ooh, it's got me. It's squeezing me to death. I can't breathe. Aak.” Snoopy crawls away low, thinking to himself, “heh heh heh.” Charlie Brown in the last panel has a big smile on his face. As Schroeder says to him, “you made him very happy Charlie Brown.”


Harold: Yeah. What a, what a, what a good guy.


Michael: That was a nice thing to do.


Jimmy: What a great what a great bunch of lettering too. I love the really bold stuff you see with Charlie Brown, hamming it up. And I liked the little serif heh heh heh lettering that Snoopy thinks.


Harold: Does the python stand out to you? In the first panel?


Jimmy: As the lettering? Well, it’s wider


Harold: It’s so spread out compared to the rest of the lettering. It jumped out to me when I was reading it.


Jimmy: All right. I think that's a good place to take a break. Why don't we do that right now and then we'll come back and we'll continue with 1956.


Harold and MIchael Sure. Yup.


BREAK


VO: Hi everyone. I just want to take a moment to remind you that all three hosts are cartoonists themselves and their work is available for sale. You can find links to purchase books by Jimmy, Harold and Michael on our website, UnpackingPeanuts.com.


Jimmy: And we're back continuing on here with 1956, let's get right into it.


August 14th, Charlie Brown is standing holding a baseball bat. The three girls come running up. They're clearly upset. Lucy says “you struck out.” Violet says “you didn't even swing. You just stood there.” Patty yells. “We could have won the championship. And you struck out you dumbbell Charlie Brown, you blockhead.” Actually they're all yelling at him, including Schroeder. In panel three, Charlie Brown walks away a huge black storm cloud symbolically over his head. And then he says to himself, “I'll go home and I'll go to bed. That's what I'll do. I'll go to bed and I'll never get up again. I'll just lie there for the rest of my life.”


Jimmy: This is Charlie Brown's default when the depression kicks in. This is obviously situational depression because he has just struck out, but we've seen this going back even a few years now, Charlie Brown, when something bad happens, he really wants to go and lie in bed.


Harold: Yeah. And notice that Linus is not in the group chewing him out.


August 15th, the story continues. Charlie Brown is now lying in bed, just like Brian Wilson did. And he says “The bases were loaded and I struck out. I didn't even swing. I just stood there. Strike three. Oh, I can still hear it. Why didn't I swing? Why didn't I swing? Why, why, why, why why? he thinks as he slowly drifts off to sleep, then suddenly in the last panel he bolts upright “Strike three!” he yells.


Michael: He seems more upset about not swinging than actually striking out.


Jimmy: Yeah, well, I think it is humiliating to strike out standing, just watching. You know?I think I remember we're being razzed for striking out as a kid. It was much worse if you just stood there.


Harold: Yeah. I could see that, and not being a baseball player, but that, that makes sense.


Jimmy: Yeah. I mean, cause then you're just hoping that he throws a ball and you might get walked. But you probably won't.


The story continues the next day.


August 16th. Charlie Brown is still in bed sleeping, but now we can see his thoughts as he dreams. “You didn't even swing. You just stood there. We could have won the championship

you dumbbell. Charlie Brown, you blockhead.” Then he bolts upright again, actually being spun around in his bed as he yells “strike three!” He looks out at us and says, “The nights are the hardest” as he's completely back ensconced and his blanket..


Harold: Poor Charlie Brown.


Michael: This is something Schulz does occasionally is how did they get to the championship team? We've never seen them win.


Jimmy: Yeah. There is no hope of trying to find a continuing coherent world with cause and effect and rules. Really. It's just constantly, there's so many strips where it's like, we could have won the championship. The only, and if they've never won a game, that's pretty hard. The only way I could think about it, we used to have the wiffle ball world series. And that was, that was the entirety of the wiffle ball season was the wiffle ball world series. So if these are just, you know, kids playing


Harold: Yeah. That makes sense


Jimmy: Every games, the championship


Harold: This is it. This is for the, all the marbles.


Jimmy: All the marbles.


August 17th, We continue. But now Schroeder is visiting Charlie Brown in his bed. “I can't play baseball” Charlie Brown says. “ I can't fly kites. I can't do anything. I'm just going to lie here in bed for the rest of my life.” Schroeder says to him, “As long as you're lying there, Charlie Brown, why don't you read?” Charlie Brown yells, “I can't even read good.”


Jimmy: Well, Schroeder makes a classic mistake when dealing with a depressed person saying, why don't you just do this?


Michael: Yep.


Jimmy: Shut up Schroeder. That's not helpful.


Harold: So what, what is the, what is the appropriate response? If a Schroeder's sitting, standing there with Charlie Brown, what would have been the best thing he could do?


Michael: You need meds, Charlie Brown.


Jimmy: That is actually my favorite of the later specials. You need meds Charlie Brown. Oh, so good. I thought it was weird that they were no longer being sponsored by Dolly Madison. And it was by Merck, but Hey, you know,


Harold: It’s Xanax Day, Charlie Brown,


Jimmy: I think you can't, the two things you can't do is A) deny someone's reality by saying, what do you have to be sad about? And the other thing you can't do is instantly go, oh, well, you should do this because you don't know what that, what that was-- Schroeder's talking about himself. And when Schroeder’s thinking, boy, if I was lying in bed, that'd be great. I could sit and read. It's not understanding what, what Charlie Brown is dealing with. However, bonus points for Schroeder showing up. That's another example of Charlie Brown, having a friend, you know?


Harold: Yeah. Interesting that it, he does not choose to include Linus in this in this series. Even though he's been the star catcher in the last couple Sundays, he does not show up for Charlie Brown.


Jimmy: I also give Linus a pass on some of these things, because again, he's the younger kid, so who knows what, what he might not have the freedom of mobility as the other ones do.


We have the Shermy test? Is there a possibility that there is a reverse Shermy test? Do you think this strip would be better with Linus or with maybe a different character?


Michael: No.


Jimmy: No. Okay. So this does not, this either does or does not pass the reverse Shermy test. This has been--


Harold: Would Charlie Brown have yelled at Linus?


Jimmy: I don't think so. Maybe not. See that’s true.


Michael: No, it wouldn’t work. No the baseball-- He has to be the butt of all the baseball jokes.


Jimmy: Right. And now here we are in


August 18th, Charlie Brown, still lying in bed. And now he has another visitor. Lucy. Three panels of Charlie Brown, just a look of frustrated, anger. He knows what's coming as he just lies in bed, covered up to his neck with the blanket. And Lucy stands there in silence until the fourth panel where she screams, “You struck out!” And Charlie Brown bolts up again.


Jimmy: And we see the fraction date here again, Harold.


Harold: Ooh, look at that.


Jimmy: That's exciting. That passes for exciting in our world.


Harold: That's about, about 40% 8/18 is I dunno, something like that. Maybe off a little bit. But yeah. And this is also, it's interesting to note that Charlie Brown never takes his baseball cap off the whole time he’s lying in bed.


Jimmy: Yeah. It's almost like it's a totem of his failure. You know, he's not just being in bed. He's being he's in bed you know, ruminating and dwelling on this.


Harold: Yeah. That's definitely makes you think of that. kite sequence.


Michael: Sometimes a baseball cap is just a baseball cap.


Harold: Now did this one get reprinted? Because just looking at the quality of that,


Jimmy: It looks bad, yeah


Harold: I'm wondering why that would be.


Jimmy: I don't know. I will tell you,


Harold: The printing I mean in those Fantagraphics books what I’m referring to.


Jimmy: Yeah. Yeah. You can see the line around Charlie Brown’s pillow is all broken up. The line on the blanket is broken up, and I think we're missing Lucy's mouth in at least the first two panels. I don't think that's a thing where he didn't draw it because


Harold: you can see it in the Fantagraphics book.


Jimmy: Oh, you can. Okay. Online, you can’t


Harold: That's interesting too. I wonder if someone added it iat Fantagraphics?


Jimmy: Well, there are a couple of strips where a) they didn't, they lost the top tier of a Sunday, so they'd have to replace it with something.


Yeah. And there's a couple places where Seth actually did do touch up where they just didn't have to have the good enough file to print from. Seth also obviously recreates all the drawings on the covers.


Harold: Really? That's that's not a blow up.


Jimmy: It's not just a blow up. No.


Harold: Oh, wow. Nice job.


August 19th, Charlie Brown is sitting eating a box of popcorn as Snoopy watches on. Charlie Brown says to Snoopy “Here Snoopy, just to show you that my heart is in the right place

I'm going to give you a whole piece of popcorn” which Snoopy continues to chew for four entire panels in evermore elaborate and loud lettering. Finally, Charlie Brown just throws the box of popcorn over his shoulder to Snoopy as Charlie Brown walks away saying “if it were anyone else, I’d think it was careful chewing. With him I know it's sarcasm.”


Harold: I think this was my introduction to the concept of sarcasm when I was a little kid was this strip.. Oh yeah. Yeah. That's why I selected it. It just brought back some, some strong memories,


Jimmy: Another beautifully drawn strip. Great lettering on this one. Really cute. And definitely another example, especially if you look at that first panel of what Harold was talking about with the looser sketchier lines in the background.


August 22nd. Patty's yelling at Charlie Brown as Violet walks towards them. Patty says, “you're dumb Charlie Brown and you're useless, and” And Patty says, “Say, what time is it getting to be?” as she looks at Violet and Violet said, I think it's almost noon. Patty continues to Violet. “I have to go home I guess. Why don't you take over?” Violet doesn't skip a beat. Just starts yelling at Charlie Brown. “You're stupid. Charlie Brown and hopeless, and.”


Michael: What a great team those two girls make.


Jimmy: It's nice that they learn to work together. I will say that, right.


Michael: Really. It's very encouraging. People can work together.


Jimmy: Yeah, just unrelenting cruelty from these two now at Charlie Brown. And it does, I, there is a, there's a joy in Lucy's antagonizing of him that I don't think is here with these two. By this point, they're just being mean to him.


Harold: Yeah. I don't know what they're getting out of it.


September 7th, Charlie Brown is pursuing Violet. He says, “change your mind.” Then he says, louder, “change your mind.” Now he's screaming and punching the sky saying, “change your mind. I say!” He walks away saying “it's almost impossible to get people to change their minds these days.”


Michael: This is the one that terrifies me. This is terrifying. ‘Cause I am convinced that Charlie Brown has snapped. Maybe it was the baseball thing. Only a crazy person would do this.


Jimmyl: Oh, well I do this all the time.


Michael: He cannot-- what's he talking about? He's talking about change your mind thinking I'm a, nobody. He can't stand it anymore. And he's just like raving on the street corner.


Jimmy: Yeah. If you see that, that's what it's about. That is really interesting, right.


Harold: Yeah. This is like Peanuts without --- and Garfield without Garfield.


Michael: There's another one of these coming up, it's like, he's the crazy guy on the street corner. Cause he's been driven insanae by the fact that nobody likes him and he doesn't know why.


Jimmy: You know what's amazing to me here as we see these panels of them walking, we see the various fences and that the grass and the background and the character design. It's, even though we were looking at this so closely, day by day, it's still amazing to watch where you just look at it and go, wow, now that really looks like Peanuts to me. You know, it has something to do with the fact that there was such a gradual build to it. But boy, are we in the place now where just from a drawing standpoint, every, every little figure, every little blade of grass just is great. Harold: Yeah. It's beautiful.


September 9th, Linus is watching television. Lucy comes up behind him and then just walks past him and changes the channel saying “I don't want to watch that program. I want to watch this program.” Linus freaks out. “Yaughh” he yells as he runs away. Then he comes back. “Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang.” He unloads an imaginary six shooter at his sister. “Grrowrr” he yells as he pretends to kick her from behind. Then he shadow boxes, “pow, pow, pow,” and he walks away, gets his blanket, comes back, sits down to watch the TV with her and sighs.


Michael: Did you did either of you guys have an older sister.


Harold: Yes, Yes I did.


Jimmy: No, I think it's clear I am an only child. I am the poster for only children everywhere.


Michael: This is what it's like growing up with an older sister.


Harold: Yeah. I, this, this brings back memories. I think of the strip as well as just the general feeling. This totally totally rang true for me as, as a, as a younger brother. I remember Saturday mornings, you know, we'd have to share what we were going to watch. You know, it was a Saturday morning television for kids back in the day.


And, and I remember she liked, at least at one point she liked watching like the live action, like, like Sid and Marty Krofft stuff, and I wanted to watch the animation. And the frustration here I could relate to. But it's, you know, it's, it's, it's again, it's intense. It's like, I made me think of a number of years later, Al Capp said something that was not the kindest thing. He called the Peanuts kids, “good mean little bastards eager to hurt each other.” And that's, that's this era kind of does make me see where, where Capp was coming from.


Jimmy: Well, what's interesting about it is it contains so much. Because it has moments of pure joy. It has moments of reflection. It has crazy moments and visually fun moments. And it has really really mean and angry moments. It has the whole realm of human emotions


Harold: and it does make me think of Manga. I mean, so much of Manga stands out from where a lot of cartooning least has been in recent years in the United States.


And it's, the emotions can go to extremes and, and readers enjoy that in many cases. They'd like to see the character be incredibly angry, incredibly in love, incredibly blissed out. And I think Peanuts did do this more than most, any other strip, right?


Jimmy: I think so. Yeah. And boy, from a drawing standpoint, I love the drawing.


Second tier last panel of Linus freaking out growling.


Harold: It’s disturbing.


Michael: It does look Manga


Jimmy: It does. And you know what? He could not have done this. He didn't have the pen technique to do this then, just like a couple of years ago where he was, everything was much more delineated and beautiful, but much more carefully done. Here you can really see how fast he's moving and it has a real expressionistic quality.


Harold: When he does this it really affects me deeply. I mean, cause I, I know Linus, I love Linus and to see him so frazzled and angry, intensely angry is really, it hits you deeply.


Jimmy: Yeah. And I got to say, you can't blame him. I mean, can you imagine the unrelenting hell of being Lucy's younger brother? Oh my gosh. It would make you want to growl.


Harold: Yeah. Being the unfair little brother, I, I thought that of my sister who is actually quite wonderful, but you know, that's like, that's, that's the sibling situation, you know?


Michael: And my sister in a phone call last week, zoom call admitted that when I was born, she ignored my existence for like two years. She refused to acknowledge I exist.


Jimmy: How much older was she?


Michael: Two and a half.


Jimmy: It's so fun. I have twin daughters and I was an only child. And if there was even the littlest bit. They’re on their way to college now, but they were little, if there was even the littlest bit of friction between them, I would be so upset. Like, oh, you know, how could, how can this be? You must love each other every second of the day, but their mother had a sibling.

So she was like, yeah, they're, they're fine. Relax. Only child.


September 11th, Charlie Brown is standing on the street corner. Patty walks by and he yells “Believe in me.” Now Snoopy walks by-- his dog-- and Charlie Brown yells, “believe in me.” Violet walks by. Charlie Brown is actually walking behind her yelling, “Believe in me.” He sits on a curb and says, “I just can't get people to believe in me.”


Michael: This is terrifying. He’s insane.


Jimmy: I can't, oh man. Just seeing it through Michael's eyes. He's an insane person at this point. Believe in me. I believe in you Charlie Brown. I don't know why you're trying to get at, but I believe in you. Boy, and it almost looks like he has the stigmata in. Oh my gosh. You know, I wanna, I wanna go to a different comic strip. This one's making me feel funny.


Michael: This wasn't reprinted by the way.


Jimmy: Thank God.


September 12th, Schroeder is doing something completely normal and healthy, like playing with a football. As Snoopy watches, Charlie Brown runs up and actually kicks the football because it's Schroeder holding it. And then Snoopy is shocked to see the football go flying and Snoopy things to himself, “Well, that sure was a dirty trick.”


Harold: I only wanted to mention this to, to give Charlie Brown, that football kick that he did get, he did get that moment. So there you are ladies and gentlemen, Charlie Brown kicks a football,


Jimmy: Well done Charlie Brown and much earlier than we thought. You know I do think I, I'm not, of all the things that I love in Peanuts, the football one isn't like in my list of like top three or four things, but the last story he does with the pulling away the football is a really, really satisfying ending. Even though obviously it was not intended to be.


Michael: And we'll get to that soon


Harold: Well, we have to wait nine series for that.


Jimmy: Stay tuned people, although I'm freaked out after that last Charlie Brown. So this might be the last episode.


Michael: I'm so glad you're freaked out.


September 14th Patty and Violet are sitting on the curb. Patty says “people should be more kind to each other.” Patty continues. “Everyone should try to be gentle and considerate.” Violet agrees. “That's true.” Charlie Brown comes up, a smile on his face. They both look shocked to see him, and then they yell at him, “Get out of here. Can't you see we're talking?”


Michael: How can he get rid of these characters?


Jimmy: They hang on. I think Violet probably hangs on longer than Shermy and and Patty-- Shermy lasts. I know until 1969. And then he gets a mention in the seventies, but I think Violet lasts until the, till the nineties. It just not.


Michael: Okay. So the last Violet somewhere. She did a little walk on and that was it.


Jimmy: yeah, that's what they get re reduced to after awhile.


It's just these kinds of background characters. It is weird, but you know, I mean, he has so much to go with and just every, the new stuff just has so many different levels to it. Like Sally and Peppermint Patty and stuff like that. That I think it just took him in a different direction.


Michael: Yeah, it’s hard to say goodbye to a character you've worked on for years, though.


Jimmy: Yeah. Tell me about it.


September 17th. Snoopy is walking through the high grass and he thinks to himself “here comes the big elephant tromping through the jungle. tromp, tromp, tromp.” He looks ahead, focused ferociousness in his eyes. Suddenly he stops. He lifts his head. He sees the hated hunter. We now see him stomping on top of Charlie Brown's head tromp, tromp, tromp, tromp, tromp.


Harold: So once again, he's got this stupid and equally stupid Linus and Lucy, and now it's the hated hunter who’s Charlie Brown. So there is some, there is some real anger issues that Snoopy's going through this year.


Jimmy: I, you know, you wonder why Charlie Brown's losing his mind. He's just sitting there trying to read a book and suddenly his dog is standing on his head.


Harold: This is a true story. Our little Boston terrier Maisie was about, I don't know, 10 or 12 years old. The last day we had her I was sleeping in the sleeping in, and she could not get on the bed. She, she just was too weak to get on the bed. But not today in the morning, she jumped up on this high bed and she walks up and walks up to me and does something she'd never done before she walks on, on me, on my head, all around the pillow and then runs off and disappears.


I was like, what the heck was that? And then like five minutes later, she jumps up on the bed, goes up to the pillow and walks all over my head and then runs off. Like she, she wants something. So I go out and I go out to the living room and one of her toys is there and she's, she's holding the toy and it's like, oh, you want me to steal the toy so that you know what you do with the dog?


You pretend to steal the toy and then you let the dog win. And then she just walked off with the little, little, little skip away. I think all her life, she wanted to be alpha in this house and she knew this was her last chance. So she went for it.


Jimmy: Yeah. That's awesome. Shout out to Maisie. Great puppy.


September 20th, Charlie Brown is watching television with Patty and Violet. From the television. We hear “this program was shown in compatible color.” Patty says, what other kind of color is there? Violet says, “well, there's incompatible color.” Patty says, “what's that?” Violet say that's when you have color TV, but you won't let Charlie Brown come over and watch it.

Charlie Brown looks at us like “why?”


Michael: What do I do?


Harold: Peanuts Obscurities Explained In 1953 RCA came up with this way of using the airwaves to transmit color television. And it was a big deal. And there was a lot of battling over which version of color they should use. And obviously it wasn't really--well maybe not obviously to some people listening. This is 1956. Color didn't really become like the thing on television ‘til maybe 1965. But those few people, and I'm guessing, I don't know, maybe the Schulz’s certainly we're doing well enough at this point. And with a, with a bunch of kids to have gotten maybe a color TV, but they would have been some of the very, very first people to do so.


But you would hear that the announcer would say, while everyone's watching on their black and white sets, that this program was shown in compatible color. And that was like, you know, it used to, in my age, my era and NBC would show the peacock. It says in living color, you know, and all the episodes you're like, Ooh, color, you know, but anyway, compatible color was the terminology that they use for this new technology back in the fifties.


Jimmy: You know, it's funny. It's not just a real simple commercial thing. There is a real different aesthetic and viewing experience from watching something in black and white versus watching something in color. Especially if something was intended to be shot in black and white.


Like the Dick van Dyke show. One of the reasons they ended it after season five is they didn't want to go to color because they thought it would change the, the feel of the, of the show. And I also, they were, you know, at the end of their run, but it was still a really successful show, but, and color was one of the deciding factors.


When I visit my mom and I have to drive back down 78, there are at least three motels on the side of the road. that's still in Pennsylvania advertise that they have color TV. I want to go in and say, I just have to see.


Harold: I love that. Yeah. Yeah. Well, when I, when I was-- I remember I was in grad school and I was in the summer between the years of grad school.


I had a friend's wedding in one part of Tennessee, and then on the Eastern side of Tennessee, and then I had a a cartooning seminar. It was actually a Joe Kubert school, had a weekend seminar for a few years in the eighties and early nineties. And I was waiting to take the class and I, I was going to school in Virginia.


So went to the wedding in Eastern Virginia, and then I had like a week to do nothing. So I decided, well, I'm not going to drive back. I'm going to drive toward Nashville. And I looked up the, where I could find the cheapest hotel. I remembered I had driven by a number of years earlier and that there were these two competing places that advertised a $12 a night motel.


And I was like, well, which one do I pick? And I, so I drive by the first one and it's like cable TV, like, great. So I, I think I make $12 and it's got cable TV. I'm going to this one. So I pull in, I check in for the week. I go in to watch television. I find that, oh, they got, they've got the listing of all the channels.


Oh, they got American Movie Classics. This is going to be a fun week. I'm just going to hang out and watch movies. And I turned the TV on it's black and white. They got cable, but it's a black and white television set and I'm watching American Movie Classics. And Bob Dorian says, and now for the first time, in over 40 years, the showing of hell's angels, it was starring Jean Harlow in color. Oh man. Should've gone to the other $12 motel.


Jimmy: Listen, Harold used to work with us at Renaissance Press the original publishers of Amelia. By the way, in the introduction, we never mentioned the Michael was the original editor of Amelia for seven years.


Harold: And Co-founder of Renaissance press that published Amelia.


Jimmy: So, but Harold and I would go to various conventions together and we would end up staying in some of these Harold specials because we were a shoestring publishing company. And we were trying-- one thing I remember is us carrying boxes and boxes and boxes of graphic novels. And they're like stacked up five high cause we're not making two trips. Of course. And this was in Charlotte before Heroes Con. And Harold, very calmly and demurely says to me “Jim, just be careful you don't step in the puddle of urine.”


The life of being a cartoonist.


September 22nd, Lucy comes up to Charlie Brown. She's holding what looks like a toy dog in her hands. And she says, “look, my dad bought me a stuffed dog.” Charlie Brown says, “gee, is it a real stuffed dog Lucy?” This confuses Lucy who says, “of course it's a real stuffed dog. No, I mean, it isn't a real dog because it’s stuffed and it's well, I mean, what I mean is that it's stuffed and it's real, but yet it, well, I mean, I, I, Why do you ask me such things?”


Michael: I only picked this cause it was never reprinted, and I like stuffed dogs.


Jimmy: Hey, you gotta have a good stuffed dog. Shout out to Schmutz.


Michael: Oh he’s so excited.


Jimmy: Oh, Schmutz is there. Fantastic.


Michael: Of course. What do you mean?


Jimmy: Schmutz gets a call out.


This is funny too. I just, because this short circuits Lucy's wrong, but rigorous logic. Completely. And I don't think Charlie Brown, I don't even know why he asks it or what even meant by it, but it's finally gets him the best of Lucy, even though I don't think he intended it.


Harold: I love the why do you ask me such things. The way it's said it's so funny.


Jimmy: so funny and just the way he, his hands just are raised just a little bit in mild surprise that Lucy's coming at him so hard, really funny.


September 25th, Lucy is talking to Charlie Brown outside and she says, “did you ever notice how the sidewalk comes to a point way down there? I just took a little stroll down that way to see what it looks like up close. I didn't find it though.” She sighs. Then she looks back and says “it turned out to be further away than it looks.”


Jimmy: I actually had this experience as a little kid. I remember a period of time when perspective just didn't lock in to me. Which, by the way, spoiler alert from my art career, I still can't draw in perspective, but I remember clearly not understanding depth perception. I don't know if there's something wrong with me visually or whatever, but I remember that.


Harold: Yeah, it was, I was freaked up as the moon would follow you behind the trees as you're driving along. It’s like it keeps following us!


September 26th, Lucy and Charlie Brown are talking again. Lucy says, “I wonder why the city made pointed sidewalks?” Charlie Brown yells “Lucy, the sidewalks are not pointed. They only look that way because they go off in the distance. The dictionary calls it perspective, see? Lucy looks at Charlie Brown and then says, “why do you always wear that silly shirt with that stupid stripe on it?” And Charlie Brown thoughts is the book over his shoulder.


Michael: Yep, can't argue with Lucy.


Harold: I just like that Charlie Brown has shown up for the second strip with a book ready to disprove or knowing she's going to bring it up again. And it is the thinnest dictionary in history. And yet it still has an entry for perspective. So good for you, Charlie Brown.


Jimmy: Maybe it's an art book. Oh no. Cause it says dictionary. Hmm.


Harold: Good on you. Charlie Brown


Jimmy: , A super, super condensed dictionary. But if you're out there and you're just listening to these podcasts and you're trying to figure out who is, who, when they're speaking, here's how you can do it.


I say, becuz. Harold says becawse, and Michael says, becos. That's the major difference between the three of us.


Harold: Wow. That is, I have listened to these things so many times I'm like uh here it comes


Harold: That's becos you're a perfectionist.


Jimmy: So weird. And it's like east coast, midwest, west coast, right across. Becuz, becawse,


Harold: Because of the wonderful things he does,


September 27th, Snoopy is doing his happy dance. Lucy comes up and yells at him. “Stop it, Stop it this instant. With all the trouble there is in this world, you have no right to be happy. Snoopy thinks about it and says, “she's right, I've got to start acting more sensible.” Then he continues dancing. “Tomorrow.”


Jimmy: This is famous. I've seen this a million times in a lot of different places.


Harold: This is like the first Snoopy being defiantly happy. And it's just so unique. It's in a strip and it's, I don't know. It just lifts my, lifts my soul every time I see Snoopy just doing this dance of jubilation it's I don't know.


And to see Schulz kind of build his way up to it, the way he has It's like he earns his way into this. He earns the right to do a character, this happy somehow. And and for some reason, very few cartoonist go to these places. And I'm so glad he does.


Jimmy: He’s just a unique soul and a unique artist. It's and the re-- if it was a strip of nothing, but Snoopy being happy, it would be intolerable. I it was a strip about nothing, but Charlie Brown being miserable, it would be unrelenting. But he has such a wide spectrum of things he's able to talk about and has all these characters that it really feels, it feels natural to the characters and naturals to the world. Because Snoopy is doing what Snoopy should do, but Lucy's also doing what Lucy should do according, you know, she's coming out and she's being miserable. She would crush it on social media. Could you imagine if someone posted a tweet about something happy that happened on the day, something also bad happened. Lucy would be there in a second shaming him.


Harold: Yeah. Lucy, Lucy, Lucy. But, and the fact that it's Snoopy, just as you're saying, even within this strip, you have joy and you have sobriety and you have anger and you have judgment and you have transcendence.


It's pretty amazing.


Jimmy: Yeah. And, and she's right. I've got to start acting more sensible-- tomorrow-- is a really human-- it's funny that's coming from a dog, but it's a real human understanding of things like, yeah. Okay. Maybe you have a point tomorrow. I'll start the diet tomorrow. Great. And. For gen X-ers out there. Peter Buck of REM used to call Michael Stipe's dancing his Snoopy happy dance.


September 30th, Schroeder is playing the piano. Lucy is leaning on it and listening. Lucy asks him, “Schroeder, do piano players make a lot of money?”Schroeder yells “Money! Who cares about money. This is art you blockhead.” He's standing up as he yells it. Now he's kneeling in front of his piano, just frustrated and saying, “this is great music I'm playing. And playing great music is an art. Do you hear me? An art? He pounds the piano, “art, art, art, art, art.” Lucy leans onto the piano, her head in her hand and says “you fascinate me.”


Michael: We all picked this one.


Jimmy: Oh, did we all pick this one? Well boy. Isn't that? That is funny. I should have known. This is the artist's dilemma my friend..


And I believe Schulz, it's funny because you know, Schulz obviously became wealthy beyond his wildest dreams, but I never got the impression that he cared about that. If he cared about that, he would have turned it over to assistants in probably by this point. But he's, he drew it even when it was obviously physically painful for him to draw, he drew it to the bitter end because this was art to him.


And that's one of the things I love about doing this podcast is that I wanted to treat it as art, you know, something that's worth discussing for on its own sake.


Harold: Yeah. And this, this totally is embedded in me, you know, with Diane, if she, if she had my wife, Diane, when she has really a strong opinion about something and she's, she goes on a, she goes on a, you know, a lengthy diatribe about something. And and then it's like, I find you endlessly fascinating, which just diffuses the whole situation.


Jimmy: You know and the other thing I like about it is it, it does make it seem like, well, you know, they're from different worlds, but Lucy kind of gets Schroeder or if she doesn't get them, she's super intrigued. You know, it's not a superficial thing. She, she really is interested in this guy.


Harold: Yeah. I mean, Lucy is-- she, she surprises in this panel, this last panel, you fascinate me. It's not what I was expecting, but at the same time, it's, it's delightful, really.


Jimmy: So cute. And again, just a great drawing. I love the drawing in the last panel.


Lucy is as cute as Lucy could get standing up on her little toes as she leans on the piano. Oh, wearing those are, what are those shoes called? Mary Jane's. Right?


Harold: Saddle shoes?


Jimmy: saddle shoes. Right. Thank you.


October 7th, Charlie Brown is eating some sort of candy or something. He says, “here Snoopy.

You can have the rest.” And he tosses Snoopy a little piece of it as the candy is in the air. Snoopy thinks “The rest. That's what it always is. I get the leftovers. The candy is still in the air. “I suppose that there isn't even any hot dog left in there.” (Oh, he was eating a hot dog) “Probably just the ends of the bun.” The little bite is still in the air. And Snoopy is still thinking, “They always act like they're doing you such a big favor too. Some favor.” Snoopy, snatches it out of the air and eats it. Gulp. And Snoopy walks away thinking “it's funny how much can pass through your mind between the toss and the gulp.


Michael: This is very meta. And it's clearly a reference to the famous butterfly, potato chip.


Jimmy: Potato chip, the most controversial of all Peanuts comic strips.


Harold: But it’s interesting that he, he, he makes it, it makes the joke work better and more and makes it more accessible at the same time, which I think is quite a feat. It's kind of cool that he, he knows how to sell this meta thing. So people go along with them on it.


Jimmy: The other thing that's really neat about it is it would have been easy to just draw Charlie Brown in the same pose or photostat it. Although wouldn't have been easy to photostat in 1956, it was doable. But he actually draws it in each panel and you can see Charlie Brown's arms slowly lowering after he tosses the candy.


And you can see Snoopy slowly leaning towards it and opening his mouth to eat it. It's really nice.


Harold: Someone should do a GIF of this.


Jimmy: Oh, for sure. It would, it would be really cute.


October 14th, Linus is walking down the street, holding a balloon. Lucy is behind him also holding the string. Linus says “Phooey.” Lucy says, “What do you mean, phooey?” Linus says just what I said, Phooey.” Lucy says “for goodness sake, Linus stop complaining.” “Well, good grief” says Linus. “how does it look to have my sister tag after me to help me hold on to a stupid balloon.” “All right”, says Lucy, “I'll tie it on your shoelace and then you can take care of it yourself.” “Good” says Linus. “Hey wait” he says the balloon starts lifting him off the ground and he's hanging by his feet. Lucy grabs him and says “that wasn't so good was it? I'll tie it to the shirt button and we'll see if that works better. Nope. I guess it doesn't” she says, as the shirt is pulled inside out as the balloon tugs at Linus. “This time I'll tie it to your collar. That should work.” says Lucy. Linus, by the way, is not wearing his striped shirt. He's wearing a button down short sleeve dress shirt. Lucy walks away and says, “whew, what a struggle? I'm glad we got that straightened out.” “Whoops” we hear off panel. The last panel. There's Linus, topless, saying, “Don't say a word. Just don't say anything.”


Jimmy: I'm not sure how much my description of that conveys the strip, but it's, it's a very visual, strip.


Harold: So I chose this strip because it reminds me of my childhood, again, relationship with my, with my sister who's trying to fix problems for me. And, but also there's this surreal. It's so real, but it's also surreal because the balloon is carrying Linus up.


And somehow Lucy needs to help hold the balloon to keep him on the ground. Which absolutely makes no sense, but it's, it's weird. It's this weird, just show the relationship, but that's quite real and complex between these two siblings mixed with these absolutely surreal comedy jokes of, of the balloon carrying off Linus and lifting his shirt up.


And again, you know, maybe this is because Schulz did have kids ranging from a newborn to a six-year-old in this period of his life that he's able to kind of mix these, these two different styles of storytelling that you don't normally see side by side. Linus is drawn with this a little bit more detail in certain panels, including what I, what may be armpit hair, which is something I wasn't expecting to see.


Jimmy: It does look like that. I hope to God, not because that's, that's more disturbing than the stigmata from a few strips back. I don’t know. This year of Peanuts is scaring me guys.


Harold: But I remember this so well from my childhood, this, this strip just kind of is burned in into me.


Jimmy: That surprises me because I have never seen this one before. Oh, wow. Yeah. So you had some collection. I did not. He's going with the serif lettering again and Hey wait, which I like, and I love the big whoops lettering. I really like the drawing at this point, it's just really hitting the sweet spot for me. I like all of it.


Harold: It’s great


October 27th, We see a wide shot of a field with very high grass in the second panel. An exclamation point pops out from the grass, but we don't see who is surprised. Suddenly we see Snoopy leaping above the grass saying, “Aack.” then we cut the Charlie Brown and Schroeder who are watching this. And Charlie Brown says, “Snoopy could never be a hunting dog, Tall weeds, give him claustrophobia.”


Jimmy: This is actually a whole run from my childhood. I remember I remember the weed claustrophobia thing being a big a big deal in my mind. It was like 12 weeks of Peanuts. I'm sure it was only four or five days.


Michael: I don't know if it was continuous, but I seem to recall it was like a really big thing for a long time. All right. And he really milked that way. And they're very funny. This first one isn't particularly funny,


Jimmy: but he gets a lot out of weed claustrophobia..


Harold: Yeah. It's like, he's trying to get back to that fuzz, that fuzz magic.


Jimmy: Can't recapture the fuzz bug magic,


November 11th, Linus and Snoopy are dancing as Lucy watches on and yells, “Disgraceful.” But they continue to dance. Lucy criticizes them from the distance, yelling, “dance, dance, dance. That's all you guys ever think of. If you keep hanging around with that stupid dog Linus, you'll end up just as worthless as he is. You'll be a nothing.” Linus and Snoopy continue to dance. Lucy yells, “Do you hear me? You'll be a nothing.” Linus, still dancing turns and says 500 years from now who'll know the difference? Snoopy smiles, a triumphant smile at Lucy who walks away saying “Sigh. Youth never listens.”


Jimmy: So we have Linus and Snoopy having a moment. They have a pretty complex relationship. I think ‘cuz Snoopy's always trying to steal the blanket. But yet they share in this kind of joyful dancing. I think Snoopy really likes Linus. I think that's why he's always kind of even teasing him with a blanket and stuff.


Harold: Yeah. Certainly in later, later years as well, he's he seems to warm up to Linus and help him out occasionally in big moments,


November 20th, Charlie Brown and Lucy are at the wall. Charlie Brown says, “I wish I had a friend. I wish somebody would come up to me and say, Charlie Brown, I'm your friend.” Lucy says, “Uh huh. why don’t you wish for some wings?”


Jimmy: Well, this is Charlie Brown's problem. He already had that. The year basically started out with Linus coming up saying, Hey, Charlie Brown, I'll be your friend. And he still wants it. And I think that's a really human thing. A really human thing that you're so used to longing for something. And you have it specifically in your head. What he's talking about is he really wants Patty and Violet to be his friend. He has friends really, honestly, including Lucy. Lucy is just the kind of person that's going to, you know, she's going to try to take you down a peg or two. She's just a smart mouth. That's the type of person she is.


But she's friendly with Charlie Brown and Linus specifically said, he'll be his friend. So, you know, I wish Charlie Brown would be able to see that.


Harold: Yeah. you just kind of long for him to have, have some insight into himself. But I will say that the, the cartoonist certainly gives them some, some honor. No matter which direction Charlie Brown is facing, that's where we get to see in every panel of this strip.


Jimmy: Oh, very true.


Harold: It's the only time I know of that we get to see the backside of the wall.


Jimmy: There's one or two coming up, including the wall in perspective. And you see it's a bridge. Ooh.


Harold: Oh, you mean like it's a, it goes to a point?


Jimmy: Yeah. It goes to a point. No, there's a wall on both sides. So it's obviously some sort of bridge over, over something.


Harold: Oh wow.


Michael: Maybe it’s a magic wall. Sometimes it's black and sometimes it's white. So it’s like…


Jimmy: Well, you know what that is? That's that spottin’ blacks you hear about.


Michael: Yeah. But why do it on all three panels where you see that side of the wall?


Jimmy: I guess he could do that.


Harold: Th that is interesting. So now that you read the strips and you are aware that this, this, do you always think that they're on a bridge whenever you see this from now on?


Jimmy: Well, I discovered this last night, so as of now I can say yes. I mean, I've, obviously I read that strip before I saw it last night, but I know it just never registered with me, including like, not realizing that they completely say where the strip takes place. That that never registered with me until I until the last night. So that's pretty exciting.


Lots more good stuff to come and wrapping it up here.


December 20th, Charlie Brown is standing with Shermy. Charlie Brown has his tongue out and he's rubbing the back of his head saying “That Lucy's a fiend. Wow. She hit me on the head with my own rock collection. Wow.” Charlie Brown continues. “Have you ever been hit on the head with a rock collection? It's awful. It just keeps going on and on and on.”


Jimmy: Much like this episode of Unpacking Peanuts. Come back next week, where we're going to jump in with 1957 and guys-- spoiler alert. I think it's the best year yet. 1957. Will be next, next week. We hope you come back until then follow us on our social media. Unpack Peanuts on Instagram and Twitter and go to our website. Unpacking Peanuts.com, where you can vote for the strip of the year. Which is-- guys, what are your picks?


Michael: I don't have the date handy. It's Linus with the toy telephone, getting all wound up and frustrated,


Jimmy: Linus with the telephone completely visual gag, really funny. And it is February 12th. Okay. All right. So that is Michael's pick. All right, Harold.


Harold: Well, my pick is the strip that we all decided we should talk about, which is Lucy and Schroeder with him getting absolutely emphatic about art, art, art, and Lucy at the end say you fascinate me.


Michael: Good choice


Jimmy: So my pick is going to be January 8th, which is Linus and Charlie Brown with the snow forts, just because I love the way Linus’s fort is drawn.


And I remember this strip really vividly from my own childhood. And I desperately wanted to make a fort as nice and as impressive as Linus’s. So that's my pick.


Guys, do you have any final thoughts on the year, Michael?


Michael: No, just consistently great. Which is dull.


Jimmy: Yeah. You know, we're hitting brilliance, fatigue. Harold, what about you?


Harold: Like I said, when I read this again, I read this in a one hour, you know, all of them together and, you know, your point of view or where your head is at within that given hour shapes my entire view of the year going into this. So it stood out to me as a very intense year.

Strident year. Schulz is going to extremes. He hasn't gone in all directions. And yeah, I'm going to be interested to see if things calm down a little bit, or if it keeps this kind of level of intensity that we got in 1956.


Jimmy: Well whatever happens, we can be assured that it will be great, great cartooning, because this is Peanuts, the greatest comic strip of all time. I am so happy I get to do this is my favorite day of the week when we get to record this, I hope it's your favorite day of the week when you get to listen to it. Follow us on the social media accounts. Please come back next week for our 1957 on Unpacking Peanuts until then I'm Jimmy. For Michael and Harold,


Be of good cheer.


Michael and Harold: Yes, be of good cheer.



VO: Unpacking Peanuts is copyright Jimmy Gownley, Michael Cohen and Harold Buchholz. Produced by Liz Sumner. Music by Michael Cohen. Additional voiceover by Aziza Shukralla Clark. For more from the show follow unpackpeanuts on Instagram and Twitter. For more about Jimmy, Michael, and Harold visit UnpackingPeanuts.com.


Have a wonderful day. And thanks for listening, you blockhead.



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