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1973 Part 2 - That’s Not a Grade, It’s Sarcasm

Jimmy: Hey, everybody. Welcome back to the show. We're here in 1973. We're going to go through the second half of the year today. I'm your host for the proceedings. My name is Jimmy Gownley. I'm also the cartoonist of Amelia Rules, the Seven Good Reasons Not to Grow Up, and the Dumbest Idea Ever. Joining me, as always, are my pals co hosts and fellow cartoonists. He's a playwright and a composer for the band Complicated People, as well as for this very podcast. He's the original editor of Amelia Rules, the co creator of the original comic book Price Guide, and the creator of such great strips as Strange Attractors, a Gathering of Spells, and Tangled River. It's Michael Cohen.


Michael: Say hey.


Jimmy: And he is the executive producer and writer of Mystery Science Theater 3000, a former vice president of Archie Comics, and the creator of the instagram sensation Sweetest Beasts, Harold Buchholz.


Harold: Hiya.


Jimmy: You guys are shaking. It up all over the place.


Michael: We're rebels


Harold: this has not been pre recorded.


Jimmy: Innovation. That is what this podcast is all about. We're basically reaching just like-- we're peaking. We're having a moment because between recording part one and recording part two, we got two more text messages on our little hotline. So can I read it?


Michael: Sure.


Harold: Please.


Jimmy: All right, here we go. So this one comes from Jtoons, as in cartoons. And he's @Jcartoons on Twitter. And he says he can't call totally different time zone. But you could call doesn't matter any old time. Iit'll ring and it'll be fine. Anyway, I can't call Totally Different Time Zone, but I love Schulz's line work, the brevity and the economy of line. He truly only drew what was necessary. And that is in reference to-- I put out a little thing. What do you like best about the 70s? So that's JToons. And then, Scott Baxter has a one word but very emphatic reply. Spike. Vote for Snoopy's Brother Spike as the best thing in the 70s.


Michael: Or it's a reference to the volleyball strips.


Jimmy: and the tennis strips. Maybe he just likes spiking. So if you guys want to get, in on this chat, you can just call us on our hotline. Hey, Liz, what's that hotline number?


Liz: That number again is 717-219-4162.


Jimmy: And we would love to hear from you. Other than that, I think we're just going to get straight to the strips today. So if you're out there and you want to follow along, here's what you can do. If you have those Fantagraphics books, you could just pull one of those out. But, if you're not quite so bougie, you could go on GoComics.com, type in 1973. And as I read the dates, away you go. If you want a heads up on what strips we'll be covering in each episode. You can, go to our website, unpackingpeanuts.com, and you could click on the old Great Peanuts reread, and that will, sign you up for a newsletter you will get once a month from, my good pal Harold Buchholz. And that'll alert you to what strips we're going to be covering. So, with all that out of the way, let's get right back to the action. You guys ready?


Michael: We are.


Harold: Yeah.


June 17. Snoopy is making a little craft for-- with his paw. He's taking a little paw print and and making the word dad out of it. Then in panel two, we see him leaning thoughtfully up against the side of his dog house, thinking, “today is Father's Day.” Then he's on top of his doghouse, thinking,” I wonder where my father is?” He rolls over and continues, “that's the trouble with being a dog. They take you away from your family and sell you to some stupid kid, and you never see your mom and dad again. But you get to live with a human family. They say, ha, big deal. Some choice.” Snoopy looks outraged. He's still fuming in the next panel as he continues, “you don't even get a choice. You go where they send you. Humans drive me crazy. Just thinking about it makes me so mad, I could--” then in the next panel, good old Charlie Brown comes up with a big bowl of food for Snoopy, says, “supper time, Snoopy.” just a hint of a scowl on his face. But he does hop down, eats all his food. Chomp, gulp. Chomp, gulp. Chomp, gulp. And then in the next panel, we see the supper dish flying from off panel, hitting Charlie Brown in the head. Bonk. And then in the last panel, Charlie Brown sitting on the ground, dazed. And he says, “now what brought that on?”


Michael: Way back in the late 50s, way back when we were talking about the late 50s, it occurred to me that Snoopy was Schulz's way of talking about civil rights movement. Snoopy was very angry that he was not treated equally from the other ones. There are all these rules that didn't apply to anyone else, and he was just pissed about it the whole time. This really looks like a reference to slavery. I mean, that fourth panel, they take you away from your family and sell you. You never see your mom and dad again.


Jimmy: It really is dark. I never thought about it that way. But it's also, I guess, what a dog could conceivably think. Says something pretty dark about human nature there.


Michael: Yeah.


Jimmy: What a hoot to get off on that foot. A little slavery.


Michael: Well, Harold picked it


Jimmy: You didn’t see that coming.


Michael: Harold picked it.


Harold: Well, yeah. this one is memorable. Snoopy is really processing a lot here. and there's also some classic 1970s art. That shot of Charlie Brown being hit in the head with the dog dish. Charlie Brown. I think this is just about the most appealing Charlie Brown, visually, that we see the whole run. It looks really, design wise, just beautiful. But, I love it when the Sundays allow a character to really get inside their head and you get to think what they're thinking. Because if this is where Snoopy is, this says, a lot about what's underlying everything else he's doing with the kids. And I'm always struck I don't know if you guys are, but I'm always struck when Snoopy calls one of the other kids stupid. His owner is stupid. He used to say that about Linus and Lucy. And it always just kind of hits me when Snoopy says that, because, again, we're talking about complex characters. He has those other moments where there's something he loves about being around them. But, yeah, he's such a strong character that when he says something like this, it really makes an impact.


Jimmy: Absolutely. Also, I think, it's a nice upswing because the last two, Father's Day, strips were Schulz just complaining about people not taking Father's Day seriously enough.

I like this one.


July 21. We see Snoopy, on a night of a full moon, lying on top of his doghouse, only he is lying the opposite direction. In panel two, he sits up and thinks to himself, “that just doesn't work.” Then in panel three, we see him situating himself into the more traditional pose. And then in his classic on top of the doghouse position, he thinks, “I have to sleep in the same direction that the World turns.”


Jimmy: I picked this one.


Michael: This is super disorienting. It's breaking my brain.


Jimmy: What, seeing him lie the other way?


Michael: Well, because now we know what the directions are.


Jimmy: Oh, yeah.


Michael: And the moon, a full moon rising. I mean, does this work?


Jimmy: Sure.


Michael: If he's going the wrong way, he's going west to east, so the west would be to the left on that first panel.


Jimmy: It doesn't matter anyway. No, it really doesn't matter. Here was why I picked it. Here's why I picked it. Harold's wife and I had the same teacher inexplicably hundreds of miles and several years apart. Sister Regina Alma. Sister Regina Alma once told me that everyone should sleep north to south so that the magnetic lines of the earth flow through the body rather than slam up against it.


Michael: Wow.


Jimmy: So that's why I included that north to south.


Michael: So he's totally wrong. We have to tune the doghouse 90 degrees.


Jimmy: I guess that's true. Yeah. Well, maybe that explains some of the anger in the previous strip. He's being pelted by those magnetic waves.


Harold: Yeah, he's just getting sideswiped.


Jimmy: The whole he's totally getting sideswiped.


Harold: Poor, poor feller.


July 22. We see a TV screen with a pretty nicely drawn little golf green on it. Charlie Brown is watching it, and it continues. And we see that it is, in fact, a golf tournament. And we hear the announcer from the TV. “All right, golf fans, this is it. The old pro has to make this one. He's down to the last putt and he can't play it safe. He has to go for it.” Charlie Brown's intently listening and watching. Sally comes up behind him in the next panel. And the announcer says, “there's no tomorrow.” That's all that Sally hears. So she freaks out and starts yelling, “there's no tomorrow.” She runs out of the house. “There's no tomorrow. They just announced on TV that there's no tomorrow.” She's yelling at Linus, sending his hair flying backwards. Now she's at Snoopy's dog house. “There's no tomorrow. They just announced it on TV. Panic, panic. Run, hide, flee. Run for the hills. Flee to the valleys. Run to the rooftops.” Then we see Sally, a disheveled Linus and Snoopy all on top of the dog house. Linus says, “somehow I never thought it would end this way.” Then Snoopy thinks to himself, “I thought Elijah was to come first.”


Michael: I really like when Sally goes from zero to total freak out in like, 1 second. But I'm really confused about the last panel because that should be Linus's line.


Harold: Yeah, that's very interesting that it is Snoopy saying it instead of Linus. It's like so much of that has been taken out of Linus's character in the last two or three years. It's funny that Snoopy gets the line. Although it makes-- it's very funny that Snoopy’s saying that .


Jimmy: You know what, it is funny that Snoopy says the line. I've always thought about that as weird myself. I've always liked this strip. Sally is just so funny, but it somehow doesn't make it funnier. Like, Snoopy is also paying attention to all this other stuff, right?


Harold: Yeah. This is not getting past him. Van Goghs down in the pool room and there's a lot going on there.


Jimmy: Hey, Sally’s not wearing a traditional Peanuts outfit. You're going to start seeing more of these more modern outfits appearing.


Harold: Yeah, I love her crossed legs when she first hears that--yells that there's no tomorrow.


Jimmy: Oh, that's a great drawing. A panel four tier two.


Harold: Gosh. I remember this again, so strongly from childhood. This was a strip that stays with you. You don't forget it. And it's a riff on the one we think we read earlier from the previous episode where the philosophy that Charlie Brown's sharing with Lucy, and then she freaks out, and he's not all philosophies for everyone. What was the philosophy specifically? I'm trying to remember what Charlie Brown said. Someone who said that we should live at each one day at a time, our life.


Michael: Live as if each day is your last.


Jimmy: Oh, your last.


Harold: Right. Yeah. Lucy does exactly the same thing, but they're both classics. And given that the dailies are done a little closer than the Sundays, those two must not have been terribly.


Michael: Lucy is being sarcastic, and Sally just always believes everything she.


Harold: well, you have to guess.


Michael: She is. I know.


Jimmy: Well, that settles that.


August 2. Oh, good old Thibault is back, and he's been harass--. This is a part of a sequence where Peppermint Patty forces poor Marcie to play baseball, even though she does not enjoy this. But she's up for anything for her friend. But old Thibault comes up to Marcie, who's standing out in the field and says, “what do girls want to play baseball for anyway?” Then the little jerk kicks sand all ove--r dirt, I guess all over her feet, and says, “girls should learn their proper place.” Marcie says, “hey, you're kicking dirt on my shoes.” Now she's at the pitcher's mound talking to Peppermint Patty and says, “Sir, your second baseman has offended me beyond endurance. Can you stop the game for a minute?” Peppermint Patty balks not a bit and says, “time out,” and Marcie heads off to Thibault. “All right, Thibault. This is it.”


Michael: Got to go to the next one right away.


August 3 So a good old Thibault’s standing out there. Marcie approaches him and says, “now, look here, you cement headed male chauvinist dummy. I'm going to tell you something, and I want you to stand still and listen. If you say one word, I'm going to belt you right across the chops.” Thibault says, “oh?” Marcie says, “that was one word.” And she opened hands him one right across the face. Pow.


Michael: Cool. Now, I really like Marcie.


Jimmy: All right. Isn't this great? Marcie has all kinds of levels. To me, this is all about the line of, sir, your second baseman has offended me beyond endurance. I just love that. And I just love that Thibault finally got his from two years ago. Stealing Charlie Brown's baseball mitt.

Harold: Yeah. Boy, I did just think of Billy Jean King in that fourth panel, the way she looks.

Jimmy: My gosh, a favorite of Schulz, definitely. He was a big fan of Billy Jean. I'm sorry. I read a little bit ahead this year. There's another Billy Jean King reference, an actual one, right to the Bobby Riggs match.


Harold: Yes.


Jimmy: I don't think we picked that one. Yes, you're totally on. She has a lot of Billy Jean King in her.


August 5, Charlie Brown is getting a phone call, and he says, “yes, sir.” Then he runs out of the house and over to Snoopy's dog house. Snoopy is not looking the best sitting on top of his doghouse, and Charlie Brown says, “if you're not feeling well, the vet said I should take your temperature and then call him back.” In the next panel, we see Snoopy with thermometer in his mouth, getting his temperature taken. However, his buddy Woodstock comes over, flies in, and lands perching on the thermometer. He stays there for a couple of panels and flies away. Charlie Brown comes back checks out the thermometer and says, “that's funny. According to this, your temperature is only 42. Then he walks away saying, I don't understand.” And then Snoopy is back in his classic position on his doghouse, thinking to himself, “somebody must have had cold feet.”


Jimmy: And there's one other thing in this strip just on the side of Snoopy's doghouse. It just says, Happy Birthday Amy.


Harold: He pulled a Walt Kelly Pogo there. You saw his on the side of their little boats that they were in Okefenokee Swamp. He would have various salutations to people. And Amy turned 17 that day. And that means the-- boy, the kids are pretty much grown up now.


Jimmy: Yeah, absolutely.


Harold: Now, is it true that if you put something cold on the top of a thermometer that it's going to change the temperature?


Jimmy: I don't know. Ask Mr. Science over there with the astronomy lesson.


Michael: I don't know. Say we should have our resident physicist come in and explain this.


Jimmy: We've threatened that from the beginning. We need to get a physicist on here to explain the strangeness of Peanuts.


August 12 Oh, I just like the drawing in this one, people. It's a beach scene because we have a beach ball floating around on the waves. And then we see a happy Peppermint Patty and Charlie Brown playing out in the water. Then they walk up on the sand very calmly for two panels. But then we see them hopping, and looking absolutely, pained as they say, “ow, OOH, ow”. And the next panel, they're still hopping and looking even more, aggrieved. Ow, ow, ow, ow. And then the next panel, “hoop, hoop, hoop, hoop” as they hop up and down on their right feet. And then in the last panel, we finally see them, arriving at what looks like the family station wagon for one of their parents. And Peppermint Patty says “the worst thing about swimming is crossing a hot parking lot.”


Michael: So is this east coast or west coast?


Jimmy: I think it's a great lake.


Harold: This is Hennepin County Lake.


Jimmy: Yeah, it's a great lake.


Michael: I remember in LA the sand would get so hot. Forget the parking lot. You couldn't even get across the sand.


Jimmy: Yeah.


Harold: Wow.


Liz:: You wish your tired feet were fireproof.


Michael: Yeah.


Harold: This is again, memorable strip as a kid growing up. And I love looking at this strip as essentially a visual gag Sunday, which we don't get as many of art right now, do we? There's a lot more dialogue involved in most of this. This certainly has dialogue, but I love that this is like a 70s Peanuts visual strip. the drawing style of Peppermint Patty and Charlie Brown makes me think of the 70s in how he's drawing their disheveled pain as they're going across the lot.


Jimmy: Absolutely. There was something that everybody looked a little bit like a dirt bag in the 70s. Couldn't avoid it.


Harold: There's something about the 70s that just loosened everything up. It's got kind of that weird Frank and Earnest Ziggy vibe where there's, like, dust falling off of Frank and Earnest when they're just sitting, without PigPen. We still have these disheveled characters.


Jimmy: Well, I'll tell you what. If you want to see the influence of Schulz on the 70s, take a look at the first panel of the third tier. Ow, ow, ow, ow. And then look at Interjection by Schoolhouse Rock. That could be a storyboard from that animation.


Harold: Yeah, that style just that was so popular at the time, where you had these lumpy kind of characters. and it was a thing.


Jimmy: It was oh, you know what? I should point out here to all our listeners. We are going to do what we did in 1972, and we're going to look at one of these storylines in its totality, the Mr. Sack sequence. And the reason we're going to do that is because this was the one that Schulz himself said was his favorite storyline. So I think that'll deserve its own little, special episode. But anyway, as far as us right here in the now, as they say, we're on,


September 1. Hey, it's the good old psychiatric help booth. Charlie Brown is the patient today, and he says to Lucy, “I'm worried about my dad. He doesn't watch TV anymore. He sits in the kitchen every night and reads his collection of old Big Little books.” Lucy says to Charlie Brown, “how does he act? Does he seem happy or sad?” Charlie Brown says, “I don't know. He just sighs a lot.” Lucy says, “Leave him alone. $0.05, please.”


Michael: I really wonder if anybody in the 70s, except fanatics like us, who were, like, haunting the bookstores looking for comics, would know what a Big Little Book was.


Jimmy: My dad, when he was a kid, that was what he collected even more than comics, was Big Little Books.


Harold: So when was your dad born?


Jimmy: He was born in 1926.


Harold: Because there was that little, weird golden period of Big Little Books. It was like 1932 to when the first comic books came out, which was, like, five, six years. And then the comic books just pummeled the Big Little books. Because really, all the Big Little books were for those who are listening along and scratching their heads.


Jimmy: This is definitely an obscurity.


Harold: Yeah. The big little book was this brick of a book. They usually sold it for about a dime, and it could be up to 400 pages on this pulpy paper like you might find in a coloring book today. And it would have usually on one side of the spread as you opened the book text. And on the right hand side, you would have a drawing, usually in a little square, similar to a comic book panel, a comic strip panel. And often it was a comic strip panel where they had taken the dialogue out of it, which is one of the fun things to look at. Big Little books to the hack artists who had ten minutes to fill in the blanks, were where he'd wide it out the dialogue and tried to extend, the chair and the drapes that the artist had drawn. But the problem with those things were was that instead of just putting a comic strip in their panel by panel, I think they felt obligated that it would have text. This is, you know, and so the text is also written based usually on a comic book, or a comic strip, I should say. And and so it's written by someone basically explaining the comic strip that someone else had written, and you're seeing the images from it was a weird design. There's no literary masterpiece Big Little book that I know of, but as an object, they're the most collectible. They're the Funko Pops of 1930s because they're gorgeous little brick and with amazing spines, where usually like, an inch thick or more. And you could just stick them in this little row, and they'd all stand up. And they're actually hardcovers. Initially, most of them were, and the hardcovers were made by folding what was essentially a paperback cover, like, two and three times over in these weird configurations. It's really clever what they did, and they were able to sell them for a dime. They're black and white on the inside, but the covers and they're just very collectible. And they have gorgeous full color Mickey Mouses and Dick Tracy's. It was a thing for a while, and they just stumbled along as soon as the comic book came around. And they had some resurrections, like in the had a couple when I was a kid, but it was kind of over.


Jimmy: Yeah, I have a late 60s Fantastic Four.


Harold: And one of the things they added at the end was, since they were so thick, this was a cool idea. And I think it was intriguing to me. And one of the probably the reason I owned a couple of them is they put a little flip book of an animation in the corner because it's so thick, you could actually flip through quite a bit of character moving or dancing or whatever. And that was kind of a cool way to make the most of a really thick, thick, multi page volume.


Jimmy: We were simple people back in the 20th century.


Harold: Yeah, but it's so funny. I mean, it makes me wonder, because we were asking this before Schulz, he had a library of comics. He was the librarian of comics and Big Little books when he was in St. Paul. And the kid, he would lend them out to kids, and it doesn't seem like the thing you would throw away, and he didn't. It's possible. Maybe stuff got tossed when I'm guessing that some of this did survive in his life. It'd be interesting to know if he actually did have his own box full of or shelf full of big little books, and he himself was doing this very thing.


Jimmy: Although he did have the fire, and you never know, his parents might not have, I think, generations previous to gen x, their parents just threw stuff out.


Harold: Well, this is a really sad thing to say, but right when he was leaving, his mom passed away. She was probably not out and about cleaning out the garage of the attic or his room.

Jimmy: No, but I could see his dad then.


Harold: Yeah, possibly.


Jimmy: I mean, this is complete conjecture. We're just writing fan fiction about Schulz's family life. You don't need to listen to me on this, people.


Harold: I don't know, but I could see or maybe he recreated some of that collection over time. Nostalgia, who knows?


Jimmy: Michael, did you ever bother to collect those when you were in your golden age?


Michael: I was such a snob for comics that even though I was working in a bookstore that had a billion golden age comics and a million Big Little books, I never deigned to even open one and look at it. It was just so beneath my interest.


Jimmy: So you’ve changed a lot over the years


Michael: I’ve never opened a Big Little book, Nor will I ever.


Harold: You've not cracked the cover?


Michael: No I have no idea what these things look like. I just went like this is so wrong. I can't believe it.


Harold: From the guy who made the first comic book price guide.


Michael: It was wrong. It was just an abomination.


Harold: He’s a purist.


Jimmy: But why?


Michael: Because it wasn’t a comic.


Harold: interloper.


Jimmy: Why did I even ask?


Harold: How about pulp? Did you ever crack a pulp magazine?


Michael: Yeah, well, I had some early thirties sci fi pulps.


Harold: Okay. And there was some cool art in those, right?


Michael: Well, it's mainly the smell.


Harold: Yeah, I described it as chocolate once at a meeting with Jim, and everyone looked at me like I was insane. These rotting comics are sitting on a table and all these investors are like Chocolate?


Michael: I’m allergic to the smell of old comics. I can't even open up the old ones I've got.

Harold: Yeah, I think it's a mixture of mulch and mold. I don't know.


September 11, Linus and Charlie Brown are sitting in class together. Linus raises his hand and says, “Miss Othmar, if I were to bring a TV dinner to school tomorrow, would I be allowed to use one of the ovens in the cafeteria to heat it up?” “I see,” he says, in panel three. And in panel four, Linus leans back and surreptitiously whispers to Charlie Brown, “have you ever noticed how a certain kind of question tends to upset her?”


Michael: Isn't he still-- isn't he--


Harold: Miss Othmar?


Jimmy: I picked this. that's why yeah,


Michael:I know. Isn't he still in love with her? It looks like he sees trying to bug her here.


Jimmy: Oh, no, I think he just legitimately wants I think he'd really like to heat that up.


Harold: He's got an in with her.


Jimmy: Exactly.


Harold: Maybe she'd give him he thinks outside the box, she appreciates--


Michael: so Mr. Hagemeyer and her split up.


Jimmy: I guess so. Or well, maybe she decided to go back to her maiden name because it's the 70s.


Harold: Yeah. It's very unceremoniously. But I guess, again, it's that world of the animation and the world of the comic strip. And you're reading the comic strip. This would be a big deal just in the world of a comic strip that he's got Miss Othmar. Again that's a huge deal, because it was a huge deal when she left. But in the world of the animation, because they were recreating some of those old strips in the animation, maybe Miss Othmar never left, and so he's got this bizarre double universe.


Jimmy: It is that's really an interesting way to put it. And I think it gets at what I was trying to say last episode, where there is it's almost like he's trying to build an iconic version of Peanuts, where it's just the combined weight of what these characters represent and he moves them through. And that's the sort of the animation world. And then there's the classic Peanuts world, where he is adding things in, and it's a little more organic to the characters. But there definitely does feel like there is a bifurcation in Peanuts at this point, which is wild, because he's only one person doing it. He could have chosen to completely ignore the animation and never thought about it if he wanted to.


Harold: Right. But yeah, it's interesting. It seems like this mixture of he's the purist toward the strip. He knows he can't do the animation, he makes friends with Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez and becomes loyal to them. He seemed like a very loyal guy in that way, and so he's mixed all those pieces together. It's not like he hadn't had that experience before when he was working with Sasseville on the It's Only A Game strip, and they were kind of working on it in tandem. So it wasn't like he was against that idea and backed off on it. He was always willing to try something different. But this is a strange mix where you can't control the animation, but you can control what they can adapt story. And that they were willing to let him piecemeal his strips in the way that he did in so many of these specials, where it has completely different vibe, a completely different pacing to it than anything else, because it's done in these little blackout vignette kind of things. There's nothing else like it. And that he came about that with Bill Melendez and Lee Mendelson. It's pretty amazing. And that the people just accepted it and nobody tried to duplicate it. I mean, it's weird. Laugh in was probably


Jimmy: Right Yeah.


Harold: The live action version of a Peanuts special, because you just get these little three four panels


Jimmy: Think that becomes -- That version of Peanuts becomes the animated specials, rather becomes more prominent the later it goes on.


Harold: Yes, you're right. Although it is there from the very first special the Christmas special.

Jimmy: no question. Absolutely. And if you guys want to hear what we think about that very first special, A Charlie Brown Christmas, hey, so what? It's the middle of summer. Perfect time for Christmas in July or possibly August, whenever this is coming out, you could go back onto the podcast feed and listen to that episode. It's a real good one. Hey, this is as good a point as any to just let's take a quick break and we'll get a little drink or something. And then we'll come right back and we'll continue with the strips.


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. You can also support the show on Patreon or buy us a mud pie. Check out the store link on unpackingpeanuts.com.


Jimmy: And we're back. That makes me so happy. And speaking of happiness, hey, Harold, have you charted the anger and happiness of good old 1973?


Harold: I did. So, as usual, I'm going to ask you guys, for those of you listening, for the first time or second time, what I'm doing every year have been doing since probably the early mid 50s. I've been tracking the amount of strips that have a character who shows anger in at least one strip. Is there an incidence of anger in the character in a strip or happiness in a strip? And I've been tracking that to kind of see is there a through line? Does it go up and down? Throughout Schulz's career, the number of strips that show somebody angry or happy in those 365 or 366 strips? So, Michael and Jimmy, what do you think? Do you think that we have more anger? I think in 72, we had only 76 incidences of anger, which was an all time low. And then we had 86 of happiness. So pretty mellow year. 21 and 24% of the strips showing characters with those traits. What do you think happened in 73? Is it up? Is it down?

Michael: Is didn’t see a whole lot of anger outside of Snoopy hating the human race and wanting to kill everybody.


Harold: Making up for it


Jimmy: Yeah, he really does make up for it.


Michael: I would say they're both down.


Jimmy: I'm going to say they're both up.


Michael: Oh, yeah.


Jimmy: But just ever so slightly. Well, why not? I have no system to this. I just do it randomly.

Harold: Well, yeah, it's 73. So we had 76 angry strips in 72. We have a new all time low, but just by hair. 73 in 1973. And then for happiness, it's just a hair higher. 92


Jimmy: you would think. Just guessing I would eventually get it right


Harold: I think you did last year. I think you got it maybe twice.


Michael: You should be right 50% of the time.


Harold: True True. False. False.


Jimmy: That one is really false. That one's really angry. All right. There you go.


Harold: Yeah. Schulz is just in this place that is this is unique. This is a new a new place for Schulz to be in the in this comic.


Michael: I think he's going for something different.


Harold: Yeah, I think so. You're right.


Michael: He's not trying to explore his feelings about the world as much. I think he's setting up kind of sitcomy situations and let them play out.


Jimmy: Right. And I think he feels free to do that because he spent so long exploring the characters. Maybe this doesn't work. Your mileage may vary, but I think from his point of view, he can do that, and it will automatically have extra depth and resonance because the sitcom plot is happening to Charlie Brown as opposed to just happening.


Harold: I think it does. Yeah. There's no question you got a much deeper reaction to the characters than you would say, Frank and Ernest or whatever. It's because we've gotten to know them, and that's amazing. And that's what we're unpacking. We're trying to understand how to get here.


Jimmy: Yeah. And it's also an interesting just exercise in looking at how do you sustain just a creative life. Forget, like, whether you're competing with your past work or you're competing with other people. Just the physical work of sustaining this thing is massive, and it really is fascinating to just know that. All right. If the tank is empty for him in a specific or in a certain aspect of his life, he has two choices, which is to pack it in or find another source of fuel for this stuff.


Harold: Yeah, he's 8000 plus strips in crazy that's a lot of comic strips.


September 17, Linus and Charlie Brown are at the old thinking wall, and Linus says, “life is rarely all one way. Charlie Brown, you win a few and you lose a few.” Charlie Brown says, “really?” Then with a big grin on his face and his head in his hands, he says, “gee, that'd be neat.”


Michael: I like this one a lot. But in a way, it kind of illustrates what we were just talking about about these characters. We know the characters real well, but if this was the first strip Peanuts strip somebody read, here's two of the main characters and just deciphering this. Not knowing who these characters are, you go, okay, this kid on the left is sort of philosophical, and the kid on the right, obviously, is a loser. And just the thought of winning a few makes him totally happy, but it's a little vanilla, you know what I mean? Linus could be really sharp, but he's not really sharp here philosophically. And Charlie Brown, this is what makes him smile. The chance that you might win someday.


Harold: Michael, do you think that Charles Schulz would have drawn Charlie Brown that way, let's say, ten years ago with that exact same set up in line?


Michael: I don't know if he would have had the same setup. I mean, it's really good at illustrating the characters, but it's really not very deep.


Harold: To me. Who knows? I'm obviously again, more conjecture, but we keep talking about 70s. How does Schulz look so seventies in the seventies? I don't know. But that looks like a really 70s Charlie Brown in that last panel with the big smile, and he's got the little wishy washy line for the smile. But it's strange. He's the loser, but he's also more confident or more centered than he has been before. I would think he would have looked depressed, maybe, in a ten year ago version of this, where he'd be just the idea of it would be depressing to him. Now he's got kind of got a little hope to think about.


Michael: Would you count this in your happy index?


Harold: Oh, yeah, absolutely.


Michael: Is fantasizing that someday you might not lose everything.


Jimmy: Charlie Brown. In that instance. Yeah.


Harold: This is some of the more unequivocal happy. I deal with a lot of gray area happys and angries, but this is not one of them for me.


Jimmy: Yeah. No, I definitely agree with that.


September 23. One of them there symbolic drawings. Linus, being terrorized by a giant cat toy, which is just a crumpled up piece of paper and string.Panel two. We see him knocking at someone's door, and he has a box of crumpled up paper. Violet answers the door, and Linus lays on the sales pitch. He says, “Good morning, miss. I'm selling a new item for kittens. And I--” Violet interrupts saying “for what?” Linus continues, “for kittens. This is a new toy I have developed.” He's holding the box so Violet can look at it. “A kitten can entertain himself for hours with this toy.” Now he picks up a crumpled piece of paper to show to Violet. “The toy is simplicity itself. I have taken several pieces of scrap paper, and I have crumpled them up.” Now Linus is demonstrating how a kitten might play with this. “A kitten will play for hours with a piece of crumpled paper. He'll bat it, and he'll jump at it. And if you hang it from a string, he'll hit it and box with it and everything.” Linus is really getting into his demonstration as he continues. “It's really fun to watch a kitten bounce around.” Then he holds up a piece of crumpled paper to Violet and says, “would you like to buy one? They're only $0.05 apiece.” Violet says, “why should I buy one? Why can't I just crumple a piece of paper myself?” And Linus thinks about this for two panels. Then he walks away looking dejected, and says,” all along, I've been afraid there was something wrong with this idea.”


Michael: This is interesting. Linus is not used a lot this year. And this is one of his big starring roles here. He was always a genius who was kind of stupid. And here's an example of that. It's a brilliant idea, except he ignored the fact. Anyway, it's a slightly different look at...


Jimmy: He's a genius who's somehow stupid. That's a great way to describe it. Right. Because he also falls for all of the Lucy stuff when he's little, even though he is advanced in so many ways.


Harold: Well, I think in a single statement Violet has just wiped out the entire frozen food section in your local supermarket. Why don't I just make it myself, fresh?


Jimmy: Panel three. The first panel, tier two. That little the face coming out of the building, the side of the building. I mean, Schulz invented that as a way of someone answering the door. Right. And it is amazing.


Harold: It is. And they're always a little taller because they step up to go into the house so they have a little authority. It's always a bit daunting to be talking to somebody inside their house. They're standing above you. But, uh yeah, to be frank, if I had a choice between $0.05 for Lucy's advice or $0.05 for Linus's crumpled paper, I think I'd take the crumpled paper.

Jimmy: You got to budget your $0.05 in the Peanuts world.


October 18. Charlie Brown is watching TV, and Sally is fretting. She says, “I'm doomed. I have to write a report on Rivers and it's due next week. And I just know I'll get a failing grade.” Charlie Brown tries to bolster his sister's confidence and he says, “Why don't you work real hard and turn in the best report that you can possibly write?” Sally says, “that never occurred to me.”


Jimmy: That's great. No, you know what I feel, Sally, in those instances I've had that moment many, many times. Oh, you know what? We didn't pick this, but I sort of want to just we didn't pick on pick the strip where she says how neat it is walking around with gloves on your feet in the winter. Do you know that strip from this year? No?


Michael: I read it yesterday. How can I be expected to remember


Jimmy: Yeah, it's really good. Anyway, that's your bonus strip.


Harold: If you're out there, she would have loved Crocs.


Jimmy: Absolutely.


October 22. Snoopy's atop his doghouse and he says, “this is Veterans Day.” Then he hops down and he thinks to himself, “on Veterans Day, I always put on my Ike jacket.” And now we see him doing just that, including wearing his little, army hat. And he thinks to himself, “then I go over to Bill Mauldin's house and quaff a few root beers.” Then we see Snoopy completely decked out in his hat and Ike jacket. And he thinks to himself, “Bill was always jealous because I made T five before he did.”


Michael: Boy, could this be obscure to a lot of people, like, what's a root beer.


Jimmy: All right, let's go through it.


VO: Peanuts Obscurities Explained.


Jimmy: Well, first off, if you're not from America, Veterans Day is a day in late fall that we honor our veterans. Obviously. Ike jacket. Ike was Dwight Eisenhower, president of these United States after world war II, but leader of the allied forces during world war II.


Harold: What else?


Jimmy: You want to take Bill Mauldin. We've talked about bill a little bit, but Michael, go ahead.


Michael: Yeah, we refer to him because there's been a few panels here and there where it looks to me like Schulz is imitating Mauldin's cartooning style, basically. Mauldin was serving with the US. Army during the war. He was working for, I think, Stars and Stripes, which is the army newspaper. And he was great one of the all time great cartoonists, and would do single panel gags about kind of the disheveled, slobby american soldiers, Willie and Joe, who are just going through the war. They're just regular guys. And Schulz was great friends with him.


Jimmy: Yeah. And really idolized him when he was a GI, as all GIs seem to.


Jimmy: I think there’s only--I could be wrong about this, but I think there are only two other cartoonists whose characters appear in Peanuts. One is Bill Mauldin. Willie and Joe appear in a 90s strip where he literally samples them. And the other one is, I believe, the little dog from Patrick McDonald's Mutts.


Michael: We get one this year.


Harold: one this year as well. We're going to talk about it later.


Jimmy: Which one am I thinking of, what am I missing?


Michael: Well, near the end, we'll get to it.


Liz: What's T five?


Harold: T five was technician grade five. It was for people who were kind of specialized in a certain way. You could be a musician, maybe a cartoonist, I don't know. or you could be a cook. And it's essentially a corporal level where you didn't go through, I guess, formal training. Maybe our audience knows more about these things than I do, but, I'm wondering because Schulz got stuff published, right? I certainly sent it home and got published in the St. Paul newspaper while he was away. But, Mauldin I'm guessing, was they were letting him draw these comics as a pretty big part of his army life.


Jimmy: Yeah, there's a very famous little unit right. That contained it was Stan Lee was there, Eisner. Who else was in there? Oh, Dr. Seuss. I know there's at least one or two more really important people in the field of, you know, cartooning and whatnot that that all were in the same unit in world war II, and.


Michael: They won the war.


Jimmy: That's how it happened, baby.


Harold: But I think it's pretty cool that a cook could become a corporal.


Jimmy: Yeah, well, you don't want a bad cook, you know what I mean?


Harold: Yeah, well, he takes it out on you. He doesn't have the right stripes.


October 23, Charlie Brown and Linus are walking in the rain. Great looking panel of Charlie Brown and Linus walking in the rain. Actually, in panel two, Charlie Brown says, “the rain falls on the just and the unjust.” Linus looks around, contemplates this, and then the last panel says, “that's a good system.”


Michael: What's the quote from?


Harold: It's a biblical quote, but again, it's not Linus quoting it. That's interesting. He's the one responding to Charlie Brown saying it. So there seems to be some shifts in these characters based on I mean, Charlie Brown is really getting a groundedness to him, I feel, and a maturity that we haven't seen before. Yeah, there's a maturity. And it's like, maybe the other kids don't necessarily look up to him, but Peppermint Patty's asking him questions all the time. What do you think about this? She doesn't like what he says, but she's asking him, it seems like, yeah. Charlie Brown's, he's in his own place. It's almost like Charles Schulz is asking us to identify with him apart from the other characters. And this is not unusual for Schulz to do that right where he wants you to think about the character and maybe admire something in the character when in his surroundings, it's not being admired. That's a wonderful thing that Schulz does over and over and over again with the characters. And I think that's one of the reasons why we fall in love with them is we love them each individually, more than anybody in the strip seems to, in a real way.


Jimmy: We got to speak with Ivan Brunetti recently, and he talked about how much he loves looking at Schulz's drawing of characters in the rain. It really is such a confident thing. If you see me in Amelia doing rain, what I would do is draw it on a separate piece of paper and then overlay it so that if things went horribly wrong, I could.


Harold: Aw-ry. If things went aw-ry. That was my misreading of awry when I was a little kid.


Jimmy: I see I'm slow. Yeah. So things went awry I could back it off then. But he's just scribbling right on the page.


Harold: Yeah. And he's even got the lines going into the balloons on the fourth panel. He's like, I don't care.


Jimmy: Yeah, it's funny that he's talking about Willie and Joe. And like Michael said, there was a real kind of ramshackle quality to the line. It's beautiful, but it's definitely brush messier line that allows for a little well, they're war strips.


Harold: Yeah. Schulz is definitely giving himself more leeway than ever with looseness in the strip, and I think that's part of that 70s feel.


Jimmy: Absolutely.


October 29, Linus and Marcie are hanging out at the Thinking Wall, and Linus says, “this is what happens on Halloween night, Marcie.” he continues, “the Great Pumpkin rises out of the pumpkin patch and flies through the air and brings toys to all the children in the world.” Then a sublime wordless panel of a very confident and happy Linus and a completely blank Marcie before, in panel four, she says, “I've heard about you.”


Michael: Okay, Marcie's definitely got a personality, but what is it? We did the shermometer. What are the qualities of Marcie?


Jimmy: Well, is she neurodivergent? Let's say I would say there could be a case to be made that she's neurodivergent.


Harold: Well, it doesn't help Marcie's case as drawn in the fact that we'd never see her pupils. We see her glasses. It's like Little Orphan Annie style, or Beetle Bailey. There's so many famous characters where you don't see the eyes, and that seems like an incredible burden on the character. Right. Because expression is something that you can't get. Now. I say that that's also part of the design. That's a choice that Schulz made, and that does play into who Marcie is. We don't easily see where she's coming from until she decides to articulate it for us, like she did with the, was it Thibault? And that makes her a really funny character because she is a blank slate until she opens her mouth sometimes.


Jimmy: Yeah, she seems smart, but she also has the quality, like, she doesn't understand Peppermint Patty does not want to be called sir. Or maybe she does. Maybe she's even more of a master of sarcasm and just continues to go with it. Right.


Michael: But also, even though a lot of people did not play sports, she does not know anything about baseball. Absolutely zero.


Harold: Which makes me relate to Marcie.


Jimmy: Yeah. No, absolutely. But you know what? But, on the other side, she'll still get in the game if Peppermint Patty really needs her to, but only to a point. I think, the other characters endure stuff longer than her. I mean, she puts up with Thibault or whatever for two, three days at tops. At the end of it, she's like, I don't like baseball. I'm not playing anymore. And she just goes does her thing.


Michael: She's definitely in her own world, but we don't see what her world is. Her fantasy world. She's, like, just marginally there.


Harold: Well, I always get the feeling that there's still waters run deep. There's a lot going on with Marcie, and again, talking about Charlie Brown being more centered and grounded or whatever, you, get that sense. Marcie brings that to the strip, as well. She really does come across as somebody who has a sense of who she is, and she's okay with it, and she's sensitive, but she knows how to kind of hide some of those aspects of herself, maybe for safety. I don't know.


Jimmy: Just zooming in on that. Panel three of Linus and her at the wall. That might be my favorite panel of the year. I just really like everything about that. It just speaks volumes.

Harold: There's a bit of smugness, in Linus there. Yes. I have just passed on some of one of the great wisdoms of the ages.


Jimmy: and her complete blankness. Amazing. Stole the pajama man glasses idea from Marcie.


Harold: I see that. Yeah. Worked great.


November 4. Linus is in classic thumb and blanket position. These two characters, Snoopy and Woodstock, are stalking him. In panel three, Snoopy zip, steals it right out of Linus's grasp and runs away. Great little grin on Snoopy's face. And then we see them both swaddled up in the blanket on a bench with little pennants. They're obviously watching some sort of football game. Linus is not having it. He is outraged as he walks towards them. And then in the next to last panel, he zip steals the blanket back, sending them both spinning like tops. And then the last panel, we see them disheveled, lying about on the bleacher. And Snoopy thinks “things like that could ruin spectator sports.”


Harold: Look how disheveled Snoopy is.


Michael: Talk about 70s drawings.


Harold: Oh, my gosh, I love this strip. I totally grew up with this strip. I believe it was actually a blanket that had them in the blanket with the little rah rah, pennants. and I remember that drawing so well. It was a part of my life for years. And I just think it's hilarious, these visual jokes that Schulz is so amazing at, we haven't seen a ton of. But when you when he does throw it into, a strip in 1973, it's I don't know, it's I think it's delightful. I think it's really funny.

Michael: I like that panel. But is Woodstock have a little rah?


Harold: Yeah, a little lowercase rah. Snoopy has an uppercase rah. little smiling on the.


Jimmy: I know that drawing was used on the cover of a book or something somewhere.


Harold: I also like it that Snoopy is grinning as he runs away, having stolen the blanket. But we've got the kind of Marcie style stoic. Woodstock running behind him as he goes away from Linus. But then we get to see the big smile on Woodstock as, he's all tucked in with Snoopy on the bench watching the game.


Jimmy: It looks like Schulz is drawing grass differently in the last tier. If you look at, say, the second panel on the first tier, that's like classic Peanuts grass. It's more like M shape, you know what I'm saying? He's making like loops and super fast. It's not individual strokes because he's not lifting the pen.


Harold: Yeah, and look at his bush in the upper right of the top tier. I mean, it's love to do these--


Jimmy: Harold that’s really inappropriate for a family podcast. I cannot believe and of all people, I thought better of him.


Harold: You can't even talk about an innocent bush these days.


Jimmy: You can’t. Not with me around.


Harold: But talk about 70s. That bush is 1970s. Right there.


Jimmy: There's the quote of the episode. Okay.


November 15. Peppermint Patty is outside the principal's office. She's holding a piece of paper. It's a test she received a score to recently in the office. She says to the principal “yes, sir. I'd like to protest a grade that my teacher gave me on our last test.” She holds it up to the principal and says, “look, a Z minus. That's not a grade. That's sarcasm.”


Jimmy: That, I think, is a great punchline.


Harold: Yeah. And it's nice to see Schulz pull out the Hunt Speedball B five for the principal's office door.


Jimmy: And he uses it again on the word sarcasm, I guess.


Harold: Right?


Jimmy: He already had it out.


Harold: Look at that. Or is that a D?


November 23, Charlie Brown and Lucy are hanging out at the old thinking wall. And Lucy says, “do you think that life has its peaks and valleys?” Charlie Brown says “yes, I'm sure that it has.” Lucy continues, “Then that means that there must be one day, above all others in each life that is the happiest, right?” Charlie Brown says “yes, I guess that's probably true.” Lucy says, “what if you've already had it?”


Michael: It was a couple of strips back, where he said--


Jimmy: That was it. He said the absolute thought that he might win a game at some point. I think that's a classic Peanuts strip. I think that's a classic Lucy joke. And I think that will keep Charlie Brown up at night for quite some time.


Harold: It's interesting. Again, I'm trying to think of would Schulz have done this with the characters differently, like a decade ago, would it have been Lucy and Charlie Brown? Or if it were Lucy and Charlie Brown, would Charlie or Brown possibly have opened with that question?


Jimmy: You could do it as Charlie Brown and Lucy at the psychiatric booth and reverse it.

Harold: Yeah. So it's interesting to see that this is Lucy introducing a deeper thought or a deeper question, which she's done before.


Jimmy: But and yet it still seems like it's a Zing, ultimately, to Charlie Brown. She doesn't think I don't think she's had it already. I'm sure she still thinks she's on the upward swing.

Harold: Right? Yeah. This one does feel like this would not have been his choice in the past. And I don't know. It's interesting. The characters are shifting sometimes in their roles.


December 9, We see a snow globe with a little house in. It looks very familiar to classic film buffs. Oh, by the way, there will be a spoiler for Citizen Kane in this strip.


Harold: Please skip. If you have not seen Citizen Kane and intend to do so, please skip over this for the next couple of minutes or two. Yeah, he ruined it for me, I'll tell you that up front.

Jimmy: Oh, yeah, this is how I found out, too, obviously.


So Linus is watching TV, and Lucy comes in and she says, “what are you watching? Linus says, Citizen Kane. Lucy says, “I've seen it about ten times.” Linus says, “this is the first time I've ever seen it.” Then Lucy, walking away very casually, says, “Rosebud was his sled.” Then Linus freaks out in the last panel.


Jimmy: Now, if you're watching Citizen Kane for that the reveal, it's going to disappoint you anyway. Citizen Kane has many other virtues.


Harold: I won't even know if I missed out or not, because I knew from the beginning. I'll never know what that feeling.


Jimmy: I guess that is true. Yeah, right. I knew long before I saw it.


Harold: I've heard some people say it just blew them away when they saw it. I knew. That's the one thing I knew of.


Jimmy: Yeah, me, too. Actually, it never even occurred to me that I guess it could be a good reveal.


Harold: Yeah, but I think Charles Schulz is following the 30 year rule. If you haven't seen the movie in 30 years, he's got the right to give away. But still, that's pretty brutal. Lucy. Come on. Lucy's casual cruelty is at as an all time peak.


Jimmy: She just can't wait to do something like that. Just like, oh, that's great. And she does it with so matter of factly.


Harold: Yeah, right. That look of Linus on his face when she tells him. It's like, oh, poor guy.


December 24. Now, we're towards the end of a sequence here where Sally has decided she does not want to get anything for Christmas. And here we are on December 24, Christmas Eve. Charlie Brown looks like he's putting some presents under the tree. And Sally comes running up yelling, “I can't go through with it.” Now she's grabbing Charlie Brown by the lapels and saying, “I have to get Christmas presents. I want all I can get, and I want it now before it's too late.” Now she's ranting screaming to the sky.” I want all I can get before I'm too old and everything is gone. And the sun has dimmed, and the stars have fallen, and the birds are silent, and the wheat is eaten.” The last panel, Charlie Brown is alone. He looks out at us and says, “the wheat is eaten?”


Michael: What does she know?


Harold: She knows there's no tomorrow.


Jimmy: No tomorrow.


Michael: Wow. That's hip.


Harold: Wow. I've seen this in action before.


Michael: 50 years ago, she knew there was no future.


Harold: Wow. I've seen this happen. You have the idealist child. They see that this is maybe not the way everything should be, and then they want to hold out, and then they have second thoughts at the last minute. It's like, wait a second. There's another side to this that I wasn't thinking about.


Jimmy: Absolutely. Well, guys, that brings us to the end of 1973. I think what we got to do now, though, is talk about that good old tier list. Michael


Michael: oh, dear.


Jimmy: Do we have any hope of sorting this thing out?


Michael: No, it's kind of a mess. We might have to break it down and put it all back together again


Jimmy: well, that's what we're here for. Let's do it.


Michael: Okay, well, we've got a tier list.


Jimmy: There is a tier list.


Harold: It.


Jimmy: Is a list of tiers?


Michael: Yes, it's 96 tiers.


Jimmy: Check out my top tier list of tier lists on twitter.


Michael: okay. We've had five categories, and I think the boundaries are breaking down. Let's go from the bottom. Bottom was E, formerly with. I don't think this works anymore because Schulz has been introducing a whole bunch of characters. A lot of them are not named in this year. There's that whole sequence with Charlie Brown going to camp, and there's not a single named character in there outside of Charlie Brown.


Jimmy: That's what we're going to be discussing next week out there, people.


Michael: Yeah. So there's no way to categorize those people. Are they coming back? Who knows? A couple of characters. It's kind of hard to make the call, when they're gone, because they may come back. I don't know. But Pig Pen seems to be gone. it looks like Patty with one appearance is on the way out. Roy five. I don't know. I'd rather just put this into two, possibly three categories. All right, so last year we had top billing with Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy, Woodstock, Peppermint Patty, and Sally. I think Sally's got to go down into the co-star. She's got a lot to do this year. But I don't know. I don't think she's at the same level they are. So I think getting into the second level is almost all the other characters who show up when they need to. Schroeder Marcie, Franklin, Violet. Oh, there's Frieda, who is also in category c, and she seems to be gone. She has not shown up for a couple of years. And then we have Rerun, and Rerun is making his debut. So I think it was just it'd be the top billing people and the rest.


Harold: Gilligan’s island tier list.


Michael: I mean, there's clearly three or four in your costarring. I could see Schroeder Sally, Rerun, assuming I know he's going to be more active. And Marcy and Franklin. All right, so that'd be five. And then there'd be a category of some of the older characters who occasionally will appear, like Violet and Patty. And then there's just a bunch of other kids who show up, like, even Thibault or however who's second time he's showing up, but I don't think he's legitimate.


Jimmy: This is the last time he ever appears. Marcie cleans his clock, and he goes home.

Michael: Okay, so I put it down to three categories top billing, co starring, and also featuring and whoever else comes in and out.


Jimmy: All right, well, if you guys want to check out how that shakes down graphically, you can go to our good old website, which is unpackingpeanuts.com, and you could check it out while you're there. You can do all kinds of things. You can sign up for the Great Peanuts Reread, where you'll start getting a monthly email from Mr. Harold Buchholz that'll give you a heads up on what strips we're covering each episode. You could buy us a mud pie or buy yourself a t shirt or one of our books, and you could send us an email. We would love to hear from you. What are your thoughts about these strips? What are you looking forward to going forward? Do you like 70s peanuts? Do you like 60s Peanuts better? What do you want to hear? You can also follow us on social media for that on twitter and instagram. We're at unpackpeanuts. On Facebook we're unpackingpeanuts. So that's us.


Next week, we are going to be covering the famous Mr. Sack sequence. The sequence Charles Schulz himself said was the best he ever did. But until then, what I'm just going to need from my pals here are their picks for MVP and strip of the year. Michael, you first.

Michael: Okay. going way back to the beginning of the year, the second strip we talked about, this is by far my favorite, and it's where Snoopy has achieved alpha state by lying on top of his doghouse. And it's just a beautiful little four panel poem with very few words.

Jimmy: It's a good one. And how about for your MVP?


Michael: This is always tough. I mean, my two favorite characters are underperforming this year, I think Linus and Sally. And I'm going to go with Marcie.


Jimmy: that's interesting.


Michael: I mean, she's done very little, but, the couple of times she's actually stepped out in front, she nails it. And I look forward to learning more about her.


Jimmy: All right, there you go. Harold, how about you?


Harold: Well, like Michael, I have to go back to the beginning of the year, and choose Cyril Fox and the beaker people. (I’m kidding) I would pick July 22, there's no tomorrow with Sally and the three sitting on top of the dog house at the end and the lights are coming first. That's such a classic. And I think for the year, I've got to give it to Charlie Brown. He's such a stalwart part of the strip, but he has matured into a character who's an anchor and that he actually outpulls Snoopy when Snoopy is still such a strong character, I think is pretty amazing.


Jimmy: Well, you can never go wrong with picking Charlie Brown. I'm going to go for MVP. I'm actually going to agree with Michael. I really enjoyed Marcie this year. I thought all of she had a variety of different sides to her personality. They're all intriguing. She felt very real to me. And with that in mind, I'm going to go with October 29. Linus trying to explain the Great Pumpkin to her and her having none of it. So that's it. We would love to hear what your favorite is. So, you can find us on social media at our website. All that good stuff. Come back next week, where we're going to talk about the Mr. Sack storyline. Charles Schulz's personal favorite. Until then, from Michael and Harold, I'm Jimmy. 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 and edited by Liz Sumner. Music by Michael Cohen. Additional Voiceover by Aziza Shukralla Clark. For more from the show, follow UnpackPeanuts on Instagram and Twitter. Unpackingpeanuts on Facebook and YouTube. For more about Jimmy, Michael and Harold, visit unpackingpeanuts.com. Have a wonderful day and thanks for listening.


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