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1982 Part 1- Woodstock Versus the Ugly Giant!

Jimmy: Hey, everybody. Welcome back to the show. It's Unpacking Peanuts I'm your host for the proceedings. My name is Jimmy Gownley I'm also a cartoonist. I did comic books like the Dumbest Idea Ever, the Amelia Rules series, Seven Good Reasons Not to Grow Up. 

Joining me, as always, are my pals, co hosts, and fellow cartoonists. He's a playwright and a composer, both for the band Complicated People, as well as for this very podcast. He's the co creator of the original comic book Price Guide, the original editor of Amelia Rules, 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's 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. It's Harold Buchholz. 

Harold: Hello. 

Jimmy: All right, guys, I don't want to start on a serious note, but I feel like I have to, and I want to ask you guys a personal question.

Michael: Oh, dear.

Jimmy: And if this is violating any HIPA regulations, you don't have to tell me, but we're talking about 1982, and, an epidemic was sweeping the nation. I just need to know if either of you guys came down with Pacman Fever in 1982.

Michael: no. To this very day, I've never played Pacman. But what I found really amusing is to stand in a video room and watch a friend play asteroids. I do that for hours. I never played myself, but it was just, like, very exciting to watch.

Jimmy: I could not stand watching video games. People do that all the time now on YouTube. But, yeah, I wanted to play. What about you, Harold?

Harold: Oh, a little bit. You went to the pizza parlor? I'd play.

Michael: Yeah.

Jimmy: Nice.

Harold: I think there were some Pac man trading cards. I bought a couple packs of that. It was kind of fun to scratch off the dots. See how you.

Jimmy: Yeah. Boy, that's a

Harold: Didn't watch the animated series. Never seen that.

Jimmy: No, I, remember those cards. I totally forgot about that. I'll tell you, I think Ms. Pacman is a superior game.

Michael: Well, she is cuter.

Harold: Well, that was the one that was everywhere. Pacman. And for, like, 30 plus years, those things were. If there was only one video game playing somewhere, it was Ms. Pacman.

Jimmy: Ms. Pacman.

Harold: It's crazy.

Jimmy: Yeah, well, I was ten, so I was heavily into all of that stuff. And I had my little Atari 2600. I even had the Atari version, which came out, I guess, the next year of Pacman, which is like, notoriously one of the worst video game adaptations of all time.

Harold: How do they get that wrong?

Jimmy: It's really strange. Like, for one thing, instead of a black screen, it's a light blue screen. The maze is Brown. The pac man doesn't turn, so you don't eat the ghosts. Like, if you're going up, it'll just hit them with the top of your head. It doesn't change direction. The ghosts didn't have different colors. The dots weren't right. They got it wrong in every conceivable way. They even put the, like, you know how you could go through a tunnel from one side of the screen to the other?

Harold: Yeah.

Jimmy: they even got that wrong. They put it on the wrong side to the screen.

Harold: Well, what can you do with four k of memory?

Jimmy: Yeah, you didn't have a lot to work with. I feel for those guys. But, yeah, this is the stuff I really remember reading regularly in the newspaper for some reason. I remember very clearly reading the newspaper before, like little league practice or little league games. I don't know why that sticks in my mind more than anything else, but, Harold, did you have any kind of relationship with these strips? I mean, we know Michael hasn't been reading them for years at this point in real time, but what about you?

Harold: So I turned 16 this year, in March. So I was not reading them. This was all pretty much new to me. I don't remember any strips from this year. So this is fresh Peanuts

Jimmy: Oh, okay. Really great.

Harold: Well, what's your general, fresh roasted Peanuts

Jimmy: What's your general, impressions at this point?

Harold: Having just read one, I think in the back of my mind, and just seeing these strips, knowing that story of Schulz having the heart surgery the previous year, that is now, just now showing up in the strips, I think was heavy in my mind, because I do see it in those strips. I don't know those who are listening along, if you're reading along as well, if reading them just one after another in succession, if you notice things, but I definitely notice things. I'm sure it'll come up in our conversations. But one of the things that Schulz was so uniquely good at in his own way was as a letterer and lettering, we know what an a is supposed to look so, and how they flow together. Schulz was always just effortlessly good at that and sometimes a little freewheeling with it as, know, you'd have these lopsided panels, not Windsor McKay little nemo lopsided, where the letters went down the side of the balloon because he didn't leave enough space.

Jimmy: Right.

Harold: But Schulz would, you know, sometimes not like he wouldn't do the rules that people say. He was so good, he kind of broke the rules and we accepted it. But the lettering is a huge part of the strip, and I'm seeing him really struggling with those things because you can't question an a or a t or a g in terms of what it should look like. We have a sense of it, and he set his own rules for it, and we can go back and look at it. And there are definitely strips where I'm like, wow, he is struggling. And, I think he gets through it throughout the year and he comes to terms with what his limitations are. But this is a really unusual time to be reading the strip. And sometimes it's a little, I wouldn't say painful to read it, but it's like, oh, man, he's having a hard time, and I feel that. But on the other side of it, I think he is probably drawing faster and looser in some ways because of the tremor in his hand. And so what I'm seeing is he's playing with new expressions, particularly in Snoopy, where he's having fun with the looseness that he's now getting with his line. That's kind of forced on him. And I think some of the humor goes along with that. There's a little bit of freewheeling humor in it that I really enjoyed.

Jimmy: Yeah, I do, too. having read it, I think at the time, I don't see it that drastically as I'm kind of looking through our scripts we're going to talk about while I was listening to you. I can see it now, and I can definitely see it kind of through your eyes. But at the time, I don't know that anyone would have necessarily noticed it, but he certainly would have felt it, and that's just going to change the way you work. I think one of the things you'll notice is he's actually going for some detailed drawings in some places, like m putting more detail in, I think, in part to mask the shakiness of the line. Like, if you put some cross hatching in, you're going to be able to hide it, rather than if it's just like a clean line delineating Snoopy's.

Harold: Yeah, quick lines. Rough lines.

Jimmy: Yes.

Harold: You definitely see the quick and the rough lines. That he's kind of building in a little grunginess to how he's drawing. That matches what he's having to do. Even with the characters. Sometimes there is a little bit more of that moving line because of his moving hand while he's drawing.

Jimmy: And Michael what do you think? Do you notice a big difference in a shift in the art from the now or. No.

Michael: there were a couple of jarring panels which definitely looked way cartoonier. But all through the. Was noticing those every now and then. It's just like, this is like a whole different look. Uh-huh uh-huh no. Some ways I was sort of surprised that we're here. We are in 1982, and it's still looking like late 60s, early seventy s more than when it doesn't. Generally, it's like, okay, Linus doesn't seem to have changed. Lucy doesn't seem to have changed. Snoopy seems to be the one who's morphing the most.

Jimmy: Yeah, I think we're moving in. If we were, into middle, aged Snoopy a few years ago, we're moving into late middle aged Snoopy, I think, as we enter this period, which I'm here for, which is great. So, listen, if you guys want to follow along with us, there's a couple of things you can do. Once a month, we send out a little newsletter. And if you go to our website, unpackingpeanuts.com, you can sign up for something called the great Peanuts reread. And that means that we will send you that email once a month with our little newsletter. And it'll give you a heads up what strips we are going to be discussing. And there's a bunch of different ways you can read those strips. If you, have a little cash in your pocket, you want to spend some dough, you want to support the arts, for God's sake. you could buy a book from the fanographics collections that, go year by year and reprint, the entire thing. Or you could just go to gocomics.com and type in the date and the word Peanuts and it'll take you right to it. And you could read all of the peanut strips from 1950 all the way up to the end in 2000 for free on that site and follow along with us there. So, we're at 1982. we're going to get started. let's just, start right now.

Harold: Yeah, sure.

January 14. Okay. This is the middle of a sequence where, Peppermint Patty is desperate to be, on the school crossing guard, unit or whatever you call it. Marcie was picked to be crossing guard in her place. And, so this is Peppermint patty at the principal's office, or I guess, her teacher's office, her teacher's desk, explaining that she wants to be crossing guard. And she is dressed in her entire, military outfit, helmet, coat, arm patch, saying she was an mp. And she says, what do you think, ma'am? She continues, this is the uniform my grandpa wore when he was an MP in World War II. Just thought I'd show you how this kind of duty sort of runs in our family. Then panel four, she concludes, doesn't do much for you, ma'am. I like this sequence of Peppermint patty wanting to be the crossing guard, but I really like the drawing of her in the army outfit. I think that just looks great. No feet. The coat just going directly to the floor.

Michael: Well, I mean, it should be a.

Jimmy: Lot, bigger, dragging on the floor.

Michael: Yeah, that's good. No, I thought this whole sequence was good because it does flesh out her character, because she wouldn't think of her as a jealous person.

Jimmy: Right.

Michael: But, she's really upset that her best friend got this cool gig.

Harold: Did you guys ever want to do that? Was that ever something that you looked at and said, oh, I don't know if they had kids versions.

Jimmy: We didn't. Yeah, we had adult. An adult.

Harold: We had the weirdest thing in junior high. It was kind of run a little bit militarily, looking back on it. But we were built based on essentially a large triangle in the hallways. And we had these corners that you would have to turn in, and they would literally have students stand in the middle of the hallway where the corners met. And you had to walk to the right of the person standing there. It was a physical human being that you were walking around so that we didn't run into each other when we were turning the corners. I don't know how desirable that job was, but there were kids that filled it. It just seems weird looking back on us. Why didn't they put a post? Or why a human being?

Michael: I got to, push the button that rang the school bell once. Oh, that's like, the proudest moment of my life, because the teacher actually acknowledged I exist when she.

Jimmy: My uncle Charlie was the caretaker, at the parish, the catholic church I went to when I was a kid, and he let me ring the church bells once. And he was right before they went to electronic ones, and it lifted me off the ground.

Harold: Wow.

Jimmy: And it was terrifying. Because it's very strange to make a sound. You're ten years old, and you're pulling this open. It's making a sound that's being heard for, like, a half a mile. It makes you very self aware of what you're doing.

Harold: So what Peppermint Patty is experiencing here, obviously, a lot of people have experienced. And Peppermint Patty seems to be the kind of character who likes to do something that's tactile, that's outdoors. It does seem like the right thing for her to do, that she can do in school. And then here's Marcie doing it. Who's this interior character more than she is. So, yeah, I can totally buy Peppermint patty saying, I want to do that. I want to be the one.

Jimmy: And it would give her a role in school that, would elevate her as opposed to just being the d minus student. Yeah, it might have been a good idea to give her that gig instead of, Marcie. Although she does get to do it then.

 January 25. Snoopy and Woodstock are atop the dog house. And Snoopy has possibly, a cup of coffee or a mug of milk or something and a big donut. And he says to Woodstock, I love dunking donuts. You know how a basketball player eats a donut, he says. And then in panel three, slam dunk. And he dunks the donut ferociously into the coffee cup. And then in panel four, they're both completely covered in liquid. And Snoopy says, why do I do things like that? And the look on Woodstock's face is just complete annoyance.

Jimmy: It's such a great drawing.

Harold: This is such a good example of what I was talking about, where Schulz, the first panel is, I'm sure, has been used in a million mugs and t shirts. And who knows what, of Snoopy holding a doughnut out in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other with his little tongue sticking out and little happy closed eyes face that's just classic, merchandise Peanuts But that panel three, when he does the slam dunk, looks like, in my mind, like somebody else drew it. Because it's an unusual pose, and it's got a looseness to it with the line that I think he's working really fast. And I'm sure he probably did it off of one of those crazy, sketches he had on his, legal notepad, where he was sketching funny stuff to maybe get to.

Michael: I'll buy the posts in panel three. But he's got four eyes.

Jimmy: That's what I was going to say, it really looks like four eyes.

Michael: Why didn't he exaggerate?

Harold: Really? I never thought of that.

Michael: Just a little. Curve him a little.

Jimmy: If you zoom in, it looks like a complete. Even if you zoom in till that's just the screen, you could not even recognize that as a Snoopy drawing.

Harold: It's AI Snoopy. And again, I think this has to do with, when I'm looking at the line, it's not as nuanced as what we'd seen before. Using his pen. And I guess, again, that's him. I think he's working really fast to try to catch the energy, maybe, of what he did in that really quick, fast, rough sketch. That, again, just theory. But that he's trying to get that energy. And in doing so, with some of these limitations he's now gotten from having the tremor, this is what we get. And it does feel a little grungier. And I love the last panel, which looks really rough all around, with them soaking in coffee. Anyway, I found this a really enjoyable strip that Schulz I don't think would have done prior to his operation. And it gets him to a fresh place.

Jimmy: Yeah, I love that last drawing. That last drawing is just great. 

January 27. Snoopy's out in a snowy field, and he appears to be fishing. Linus comes up to him and says, I'm hoping that you'll invite me over for dinner. Then he says, can you believe that? I've never tasted grilled snowfish? Snoopy says, I can believe it. Then he pulls the line out of the snow and says, I've never caught one. 

Jimmy: I used to go fishing when I was a kid, and I never caught a fish.

Harold: Never.

Jimmy: Never. No, never. Eventually, my dad took me to a fishing hatchery where you basically, I think there's people under the water just putting the fishes on the hook. But I really like Snoopy fishing. I think Snoopy fishing could be a whole strip. It doesn't necessarily have to be in the snow, but I just think.

Harold: So is this now old man?

Jimmy: Yeah. Right. I think we're getting to old man Snoopy. Right. Exactly.

Harold: He just keeps fishing along.

February 7, one of them, they're symbolic panels. One of the stranger ones. Snoopy is dressed as a circus, ringmaster. And Charlie Brown is atop one of the circus, podiums that look like a seal would sit on. And he is, sitting as if he is a seal or a lion. And, panel two, nothing happens. Charlie Brown and Snoopy are walking. Then the strip really starts in the next tier. Snoopy is walking ahead of Charlie Brown. And Charlie Brown says, heel. And Snoopy says, heel. And he points his foot out towards Charlie Brown and said, here's a heel. This is the one I figured Harold had to have picked. So he goes, here's a heel. Then he points his toes towards Charlie Brown, says, here's some toes. These are my paws and this is my nose. It's turning into a little song here. Now Snoopy's dancing around saying, heels, toes, paws, nose. Here's a heel and here's some toes. These are my paws and this is my nose. Snoopy's continuing to sing and dance. And Charlie Brown just says, I'll bet I could get an even trade for a nice hamster. Heels, toes, paws, nose. Oh, yes. Oh, yeah. Oh,

Jimmy:  I think you get two hamsters at least for a dog.

Harold: Like this is. I definitely, definitely love this strip. I love Snoopy's little cockiness with Charlie Brown and the cheesy grins. And I love the thing where he says, and this is my nose. And Charlie Brown is kind of taken aback, literally. His arms are back. Snoopy's just looking at him with his nose. And again, it's like if Charlie Brown didn't know what Snoopy was thinking, he wouldn't be that taken. It's like, but Snoopy is just doing this goofiness that you have to assume that Charlie Brown is actually hearing Snoopy's thoughts. At least that's the way I see this. And it is one of those joyous little Snoopy happy things that reminds me of that one with Linus when they get into the knee bone. Yeah, very much to the hip bone. But I was so happy to see one, a strip like this, this year, I totally enjoyed this one. It was very fun, very sweet, very funny.

February 22. Lucy and Linus are out in the backyard gardening. And Lucy says, as soon as this ground is spaded, I'm going to organize my garden. I'm going to plant potatoes and beans and radishes and peas. And Linus says to her, why are you telling me all this? And then the last panel we see, Linus has been handed Lucy's, shovel. spade, I guess you'd call it. And he is being set to work, and he says, oh.

Michael: This is February 22. This was actually the first one I picked. And I wasn't really enjoying this year. And I was starting to feel like I better pick something. But anyway, this one actually reminded me of something that happened to me. So I basically picked it. I went, oh, yeah, I remember that.

Liz: And that was, 

Jimmy:  are you going To share with us?

Michael: Well, it's a long, complicated story, so we don't have,.

Jimmy: we're here for it. Yes.

Michael: Well, the story is this. I, was living in a little medieval village in the hills of France, 

Jimmy: as one does. 

Michael: As one does when I was, like, 20. And of course, I'd never done any work in my life. And this couple owned the entire village.

Harold: And, oh, wow.

Michael: The man was german, the woman was american. They bought a ruined french village and basically was restoring it and renting out rooms real cheap. But anyway, Jean, who was, I guess, in her 30s at the time, but it seemed like the mother figure of the whole town. one day she knocked on my door and said, like, I'm going to show you my garden. Basically, she was kind of the boss, so it was kind of surprising she came by, so she trotted me out and she took me to her garden and showed me, here's the tomatoes, and this is lettuce, and that and this and that. And then. So I looked at it and pretended I was interested and then went home. the next morning, I got up, opened the door, and there's a head of lettuce sitting in front of the door on the ground. And I went like, oh, God. she wants me to help her in the garden. Kind of like just totally ignored it.

Michael: I might have learned a few things if I did it, but I didn't.

Harold: You never took her up on it?

Michael: No, because to me it was like, yeah, really? I'm going to get up early and work.

Jimmy: My grandmother was a world class gardener. she always had corn and strawberries and a raspberry bush and potato, all kinds of stuff. I remember one time she lived on the side of a mountain. Like, there were three houses. They called them patches where I grew up, this little patch of houses, and standing by the strawberries one day and she goes, oh, hey, why don't you walk outside the gate? And I'm like, okay. So I walked outside the gate, and next thing you know, she's picking up a spade just like Linus has, and she is beating something unmercifully in the strawberries. And, it was a rattlesnake. Oh, she chopped its head off with the spade.

Harold: Wow.

Liz: in Pennsylvania?

Michael: He's grandma.

Jimmy: Oh, there's ratlesnakes in -- Or actually, now that I think about it, though, it may have been a copperhead, but yeah.

Harold: Yikes. Wow. Well, this is a nice looking strip. I think that drawing of Lucy in the second panel is gorgeous. Interesting that we don't have the little half circles around her eyes in the first panel when it's kind of a long shot of them.

Michael: This strip looks like it could have been any time  in sixtys, seventys. These characters haven't changed at all.

Jimmy: But I will say, I think that the first panel, that kind of drawing of all the extra details, is a little bit compensating, I think, for the shaky line because he could put some rough details in, and it gives it.

Harold: A little bit more finish, makes it look a little more intentional for what's rough in the actual characters. Although he's not really very rough in this particular strip with the characters. It's really pretty clean.

Jimmy: Yeah. I will say, when I think of 80s Peanuts Lucy gardening is a big part of it. I feel like the gardening thing comes back quite a bit in the 80s.

Michael: It's a good springboard for visual gags.

Jimmy: Such as 

February 25. There's a great, drawing of Linus. He has the spade planted firmly in the ground, and he is atop, as if he's doing some sort of strange pole dance. He is desperately trying in panel two to somehow use it as it's intended, as a shovel. But he just slides down it till he hits the bottom of the pole that's holding up the spade and says, I think I hate gardening. that's when you really got to see, very funny drawings, particularly of two and three of Linus. I don't even know how to describe it. against all known laws of physics, hanging onto, this handle of this spade.

Harold: Yeah, he must have a good, strong core, for sure.

Jimmy: And we really see some brushstrokes now on the ground as well, which gives. Also, we were talking about Jeff McNelli, the shoe artist.

Harold: Yes.

Jimmy: I was just thinking very much that. Also, I googled him after we were talking about him. I thought, oh, he must have been pretty old when he passed away. He was like, 54. I don't like that. I don't like those numbers. Those aren't good numbers. No. 

March 2. Lucy has now, roped Snoopy into this, and he is out gardening. And he has a fantastic. I don't even know, a gardening hat. just a huge brimmed hat that he's wearing. He looks great. He's shoveling away, tilling up the dirt, and he says, I've never worked so hard in all my life. I wonder if it's all right to rest on this job. As he takes a little seat up against the side of the spade. Lucy, of course, comes in screaming, no resting. And Snoopy, quite rightly, thinks to himself, I wonder why I wondered, as he goes back to work. 

Jimmy: Yeah, come on, Snoopy.

Harold: I love every drawing of Snoopy in this. It's so beautifully cartoony. This is a gorgeous looking strip to really, really, really like what Schulz is doing here. And again, my theory is he's working faster and looser than he ever has before. He's probably getting to some really cool looking images, and he's trying to, capture those in the final art. I think he does a beautiful job.

Jimmy: If anyone knows the musician, and producer Pharrell, that's the kind of hat he's wearing. Snoopy's wearing a hat. Yeah.

Harold: Yeah. From there you go.

Jimmy: I think everybody should have a signature. So that's. Snoopy has a couple of them, I.

Harold: Think, at this point. Yeah. Well, I don't know if I mentioned this before, but, I've been out selling a lot. I've been going to the Metropolitan museum, where they let you set up for free if you're a first amendment vendor doing something of personal expression, which is amazing. And I've been going out, and one of the things I'm always looking at, like, what can I do to get people to want to come up and say hello or whatever? How do you dress? How do you set up your booth? And a running joke with, my wife, Diane Cook. We're basically talking about, I was saying maybe I should wear an approachable hat.

Jimmy: Yeah. You tried to pitch me.

Harold: What's an approachable hat? I don't know what an approachable hat is. Anyway, every time we see somebody in some crazy things, there's an approachable hat.

Jimmy: Yeah, you tried to get my input on this. Remember? I said, well, you're asking what kind of hat would. Yeah, what did I say to get the rubes to part with a finsky?

Harold: Well, that's a little cynical, but, yeah, I wore a santa hat. I wore a santa hat one day. And what was fascinating to me was, like, not one family, stopped.

Jimmy: I think the parents were like.

Harold: Okay, maybe I won't wear the santa hat.

Jimmy: This was april, but, yeah, maybe a feral stock.

Harold: Is it pharrell?

Jimmy: Pharrell? Yeah, I think so. Yes. Pharrell. 

March 5. Snoopy and Linus are now working diligently planting something in rose in lucy's garden. Charlie Brown comes up and says, what are you guys doing? Linus says, we're helping lucy plant her garden. First we spaded it. Now we're planting it. Actually, we just do what we told. He says. As he and Snoopy continue to work, Charlie Brown says, well, it looks very nice. What are you planting? And panel four. Linus says, french fries. And we can see tiny little french fries sticking up out of the ground.

Michael: That's, a good callback to the, famous french fry joke.

Jimmy: Famous french fries in a rubber band. Yep.

Michael: Liz's favorite 

Harold: french fries are funny.

Jimmy: Now we know where they come from. Yeah, that's right. I like it. All right, so I'll tell you what. We're going to take a little break here, get ourselves a snack or something, and then we'll come back in a few, and we'll continue with the strips. See you on the other side.

BREAK

VO: Hi, everyone. Have you seen the latest anger and happiness index? Have you admired the photo of Jimmy as Luke Skywalker? Or read the details of how Michael co created the first comic book price guide? Just about every little known subject we mention is referenced on the Unpacking Peanuts website. Peanut's obscurities are explained further, and other stories are expanded more than you ever wanted to know, from Albert Paisinterhune to zipotone, Annette Funicello to Zorba the Greek. Check it all out@unpackingpeanuts.com/Obscurities.

Jimmy: And we're back. 1982 is what we're discussing today. Can't, wait to get back to the strips. But before we do, Liz, do we got anything in the old mailbox?

Liz: We do. We got a couple. So, Otto writes, dear friend of friends, I'm a lifelong Peanuts fan and amateur historian, and I just discovered your wonderful podcast starting with 1981, part one.

Harold: Oh, thank you.

Liz: Regarding your observation of the dark shading at the top of the panels on the January 28 and 30 strips, I have a theory that Schulz was instead trying to give a sense of background depth to show that the room is deeper than the two dimensions of the panel. Rather than use hash marks or some other way to show light fading to dark, he simply made the transition, either hard or puffy, looking like a tree canopy. Is it a nod to McNellian's shoe? Perhaps. But I think instead he was looking for different ways to convey the depth of a room without drawing the other walls and backgrounds in perspective. Kind of like how a movie set outdoors is really indoors on a studio set and drops off into shadow. Be of good cheer.

Harold: Yes. It's interesting that, to my knowledge, he didn't go back and do this much more. Again, I don't think it achieves that effect. In that first panel, when Charlie Brennan, Snoopy, are watching tv inside the house, it doesn't suggest a flat wall. It's got that weird roughness to it. Now, the third panel is just Snoopy, walking with some stockings in the night and the totally black sky with a moon. That works beautifully. And I think he continues to use that. But, yeah. kudos to him for trying something different and new, and it does seem to be appropriate to where his style is going.

Jimmy: Yeah. And I don't think of it being a nod to McNelly, like, he's doing it in obvious tribute. I think it's looking at another artist's work.

Harold: And, hey, could I use know, could.

Jimmy: I use know if you, That's where you get your techniques. One of the weird things about Amelia graphically is that when they're yelling, the word balloons are squares instead of the jagged explosion things, because I just never liked the jagged explosion balloons. That always looked weird to me. And the square ones just come from Sarah was wholesale. Right. But I'm drawing them. It's in a completely different context. Without me saying this, I don't think anyone even. No one's ever certainly overtly made the connection to me anyway, so that's just how you do know. You see something go, is there something I could put in my bag?

Harold: Well, you could always go back and change who you said your influence was. 

Jimmy: Do we got anything else? Sure.

Liz: And regular contributor Anne writes, Andy Capp was in the Washington Post during the 80s when I was reading Peanuts there. And, yep, I was oblivious to the pun that is the title. Shoe was also on the post comics page at that time. Peanuts was and is to this day, the first strip on the printed page. The online version lists the strips in alphabetical order by title, but those three strips are still.

Harold: That's great. Yeah, it's hard to get kicked out of a newspaper, but you can't get moved up.

Jimmy: she also wrote and let us know that we actually made an error.

Harold: Oops.

Jimmy: This came, through the Peanuts hotline. we've stated that Peppermint Patty and Marcie were both caddying in the series of strips where, Marcie yells at the kids, says, women's golf is on the upswing. We, forgot that was actually in the middle of a sequence, and Marcie was caddying for Peppermint patty.

Harold: Did we even read one where it said, hit it at a mile, sir.

Jimmy: Well, we even talked about it in that. Yeah, but in my defense, I said I blank on these golf strips. I am not a golf strip fan.

Harold: Wow. So you just wipe it from your memory before we even get to talk about it.

Michael: Exactly.

Harold: Well, apologies for that error.

Michael: I have to confess a humiliating error I made on the show. I think it was last week.

Jimmy: Oh, no.

Harold: I'm so embarrassed.

Michael: I haven't been able to sleep.

Harold: That's not good.

Michael: 111 is not a prime number.

Jimmy: I'm sorry, Michael you let us down.

Michael: It seemed prime to me. 

Harold: What's it divisible by?

Michael: it radiated primeness? 

Liz: 37. 

Michael Well, and three. Yeah, so that's the last time I.

Harold: Just pull four prime numbers out of the hat.

Michael: I apologize, to all, you prime numbers out there.

Jimmy: And I told Harold he needed to take St. John's wart for his memory, but I forgot that that's actually for depression. And I think I meant ginkgo biloba, perhaps.

Harold: I have to switch now. What are we going to do with that bottle?

Michael: So we're airing all our dirty underwear here.

Liz: I messed up the connection for the microphone for last week's episode so that the audio was really awful.

Harold: Wow.

Jimmy: I killed my neighbor.

Michael: All right, folks, we're mortals, we're human.

Harold: No duh. They're saying, oh, boy, you got it. That's true. That's why we did it.

Jimmy: And, this will lead right into our anger index because we have listener five one eight. I'm going to call this person listener five one eight because they texted the hotline, but they did not leave their name. But they are from the five one eight area code. So, if you're out there listening in Albany or Schenectady, that area, this one's for you. They want to weigh in on the anger happiness cool index. They're saying happiness 60, anger 80.

Harold: Whoa.

Jimmy: And we all put our guesses in last week.

Michael: Maybe it wasn't a guess. Maybe they went and counted them.

Harold: That you could do that.

Jimmy: Oh, that's true. They may have. Yeah, that's legit. All right, well, Harold, do we have any info on that? Have we caught up? Do we have the anger index?

Harold: We do have the anger index back. So for those of you who are just hearing this for the first time, we have been doing for years, through the peanut strips, the anger and happiness index. I'm just counting up the strips as I see it in terms of whether there is a character showing anger or a character showing happiness in the strips. I count up all the strips for that year, and then we look at what those numbers are and if they've changed over time, which, if you go on and look at Liz's amazing chart that she's made of all of this under obscurities@unpackingpeanuts.com. You can see that Schulz really did shift in those two particular emotions in this strip over the years. Late 50s, mid late 50s, super angry, lots of angry characters. And we were noting that in recent times, that's really mellowed out. And that was certainly the feeling I had of where Peanuts was around this time. So, 1980, we had said, and I had not had time to count up 1981. So we decided to have to have a little bit of a fun with this and invite people to take a crack, just like we are guessing. And I had to guess. I was always asking Michael and Jimmy after I had figured out what the numbers were. So this time, I had to make the guess and see how I do in trying to nail what this year felt like. So with all of that said, in 1980, there were 64 strips with angry characters in them. And we asked ourselves, did it feel like it had gone up or down in 1981? And this is what I remember the answers being. So let's see. So we had 64. 64 angry strips. And, Jimmy, you and I guessed it was slightly down to 60, which would have been an all time record. All right.

Jimmy: And listener five one eight is agreeing with us.

Harold: He said anger was up to 80, and Michael said somewhere in between 71. Well, guess what, five one eight, you hit it dead on. It was exactly 80.

Michael: I detect fraud.

Jimmy: Because you'd have to also count and somehow be able to count in the vein of Harold.

Harold: Right.

Liz: maybe Harold was calling in from area code 518.

Jimmy: in my travels, driving to the one.

Harold: My getaway.

Jimmy: That still works.

Harold: Wow. So that's pretty impressive. So reveal yourself. You have nailed it. 80 for anger. So, happiness way higher in these 80 strips. we had 117, happy strips in 1980. And in 1981, the guess was, Jimmy, you said it was down to 97. I said it was slightly down to 112. Michael said 111. And five one eight said 60. So one of us nailed it. Also got it absolutely right. We've never done that before, where both were. Both were predicted exactly. But it was not five one eight, it was me. I said 112, and Michael is off by one. So come on, that's pretty insane. Slightly, up in anger and slightly down in happiness.

Jimmy: In 1981, well, five one eight, let us know who you are. And, you'll get a no prize. All right, so let's get back to the strips. 

April 17. Charlie Brown and Linus are, watching something through a chain link fence. And actually, it's Snoopy in a mixed doubles tournament with Molly Volley. And, whatever's happening is shocking because Linus's hair is standing straight up. And Charlie Brown says, I can't believe it. Molly volley hit bad call Benny in the mouth. And then in panel two, we see Molly volley screaming at bad call Benny, who is indeed, lying on the ground holding his mouth, in pain with his John McEnroe headband on. And Molly volley screams, nobody calls me fat legs, kids. And then in panel three, we see one of the other players, in this instance, crybaby booby. And she's yelling, you hit my partner in the mouth. And Molly volley says to her, shut up, cry baby. Then in panel four, we see Snoopy, who's thinking to himself as he rolls his eyes. Oh, to be at Wimbledon now that spring is here. 

Jimmy: Okay, so the reason I chose this, I think this is peak. Unnecessary, quotation marks. Three panels have unnecessary quotation marks. I love it.

Harold: Wow. Bad call, fat legs and crybaby. Wow. Now, this is something that shows up this year. In this strip, we see characters getting fat. We have two characters who get fat in just the first half of this year. And apparently, according to the Schulz museum timeline, Schulz has taken up jogging after he's had this brush with the heart bypass surgery. And so issues of health, I'm sure, are high on his list. He was never a heavy guy. He was very active pretty much his whole life in sports. We, mentioned this before, more so than probably most other cartoonists. and that's something that isn't often spoken about, regarding Peanuts and how that might affect what he's creating in the strip. But, yeah, it was interesting that he had these two characters gain a lot of weight, and that's part of his storyline. And it's a little bit od, but there it is.

Jimmy: It's very rarely done in comics, animated cartoon. You have a character, obviously, Love and Rockets.

Michael: Yeah, I was going to say you should read.. .

Jimmy: other than. But outside of that, 

Michael: Jimmy Olsen I think, got really fat once.

Jimmy: He turned into a turtle once, too.

Harold: Well, and then you've got Linus. It's not the first time he's done it. Linus, was getting a little bit of heat from Lucy for having gained weight back in the 60s. So, yeah, it's not the first time he's dealt with this, but certainly to have, like, overnight you see a character looking one way, and then the next thing, they look way different. A lot of animated cartoons. Of course, there were cartoons about characters eating a lot and getting big, but in a comic strip. Yeah, it's kind of rare, isn't it? Very rare.

May 9. So Sunday. Oh, it's the father's day strip. Mother's day strip. This is a good one. Peppermint Patty is, at a desk, and she's writing something, and she says, happy any day. Then in panel two, we see, her and Marcie at, card display and probably what looks like a pharmacy or something. She's over here, Marcie. And she said, yes, ma'am, I'd like to buy a mother's day card, but I don't have a mother, Pepper. And Patty continues talking to the woman at the counter. What I need is a mother's day card for my father, who has also been a mother to me. You don't have any cards like that. Marcie, trying to be helpful, looks around a bit and says, how about a graduation card, sir? Like he's graduated from being a father to being a father and a mother. Nice try, Peppermint Patty says, I don't think so, Marcie. Then Marcie picks one out and says to Peppermint Patty, how about a get well card, sir? Doesn't he have tennis elbow? Maybe, but I don't think so, Marcie says, Peppermint Patty. Marcie's not giving up, though. She looks at another one and says, how about a Mother's Day card? But you write on it, do not open till Father's Day. Peppermint Patty says, I don't think so, Marcie. Then, thoughtfully, Peppermint Patty says, I think I'll just go home and give him a hug. Then Marcie, as they're leaving the store, says to Peppermint Patty, good thinking, sir. This will be the best Mother's Day a father can have. 

Jimmy: I love this.

Michael: This pulls the old heartstrings. And it worked because this was the second time all three of us picked this. Wow. Because generally, I don't like this sentimental stuff.

Jimmy: Yeah, but this works.

Michael: It's well done. Yeah. And it also calls back something about Peppermint Patty that hasn't been mentioned in a long time.

Jimmy: Right, right.

Harold: Yeah. And I'm sure the executives at Hallmark were like, no, again. But look, this selection of cards, though, I think that she would have had a hard time. Anyway, this is, in May, and I see what looks like a pine tree on the front of one of these cards? I don't know. They probably don't switch them out as often as they do at other stores, but, yeah, it is pretty crazy. People that make greeting cards have to have this ultimate mix to match everybody's sentiment. And I see a little three years old. How many three year old cards are you buying? But there's one in a drugstore. That's a lot of real estate in a drugstore just to cover different years. One day in one person's life, and that somehow makes financial sense to everybody. Blows my mind, but, wow. Yeah, this is a good one. I'm glad all three of us selected it.

Jimmy: Yeah. this is not the kind of thing that was in comic strips. Much in the, it certainly wasn't. It probably isn't the kind of thing that's really dealt with a lot today. And I think when people, I'm sure, I don't know this for a fact, but I am sure there were little girls and little boys out there in a similar situation to Peppermint Patty, who read this comic strip and loved it, and some fathers out there. It's a great one. 

May 14. Okay, so Snoopy is, sitting down at the base of his dog house, and he's approached by Woodstock, who is in a full suit of armor and carrying a spear. And this is in the middle of a sequence of these. And Snoopy says to Woodstock, you're going to attack this castle. Well, I don't think you should, because you know who lives here. And then in the third panel, Snoopy stands up and shouts, an ugly giant as he bears his teeth. And then he climbs atop his doghouse, smiles and says to himself, that was fun. I just had to pick one of the strips of Woodstock as a knife just because that's the best.

Michael: I'd like to know who made that armor. Yeah. There must be an industry in town that makes tiny little things.

Harold: And I have a question. Is that a feather on the back of his helmet? Whose feather?

Michael: Ooh. Ooh.

Jimmy: I didn't think about, oh. Oh, gosh, he looks so love, I love Woodstock now.

Harold: Okay. Are you going to pitch a whole series with Woodstock the knight now?

Jimmy: Oh, you could absolutely do it, but no, here's how you do it. It doesn't even matter. It's the scouts, the Beagle scouts. But they would just go from one adventure. you could have the whole them as a whole troop of knights. Then the next episode, they could be in the foreign legion or whatever. Then the next episode, they could be on the moon as astronauts. Little tiny weightless woodstocks and spacesuits. My agent is Judy Hansen. Give her a call. I'm telling you, we will print money.

Liz: Those are good.

Jimmy: Those are good, right? 

May 18th. Charlie Brown and Lucy are out at the thinking wall, something we haven't seen for a while. Charlie Brown says, I'll bet if I left, no one would even miss me. Lucy says, you should try it and see panel two. Charlie Brown does just this. He walks away. But Lucy continues, it would be an interesting experiment. I think you should try it, Charlie Brown. I mean, if it's something you always worried about, perhaps you should just really try it. By this point, Charlie Brown is way on the other side of the wall. We can't even see Lucy as she continues to talk. But she continues panel four, saying, sometimes we just have to go ahead and try something to find out how others feel. And, well, if no one noticed you had left, then at least you'd know for sure how everyone felt. But Charlie Brown, all alone at the other side of the wall, just sighs.

Harold: The highest ratio of text to art in the history of Peanuts probably.

Jimmy: Yeah, probably. This feels like, a bit of a throwback. And this is like a best of Lucy. This is a really good Charlie Brown and Lucy strip, I think. 

May 23. Charlie Brown is, holding semaphore signs up for some reason. And then in flags up, rather panel two, because he's a manager and this is going to be all about giving signs. Two outs already. I can't stand it. So as a manager, Charlie Brown is next to Lucy on the bench, and he's giving her some, tips. Before she comes, he says, okay, Lucy, we need a run. Here's what I want you to do. If you get on first, watch for my signal to steal second. I'll tug my ear like this. Now, if you get to second, and I want you to steal again, I'll clap my hands like this. If you get to third, and I want you to stay there, I'll tug my other ear like this. But if I want you to try to steal home, I'll rub the front of my shirt. Lucy is just taking this all in silently. Then, with kind of a look of concern, she walks off the bat. And then in three straight pitches. Strike one. Strike two. Strike three. She doesn't even swing. Then she walks back to the bench and says, that was easier than trying to remember all those signals. 

Jimmy: This is one I always remembered. I always thought it was really funny. I love Lucy, the terrible baseball player. And I also like seeing Lucy in, her more modern clothes playing baseball. I bet it's a lot more comfortable than in her dress.

Harold: Yeah. Sweatshirt and striped pants.

Jimmy: Yeah. Now, do you think those are stripes or are those supposed to be, like, corduroys?

Harold: That's a good question. I don't know.

Liz: I hope she's not a Yankee.

Jimmy: Probably not. 

May 30, it's a Sunday. And the, the Beagle scouts are out marching, through the sandy dunes. Because they're, being the foreign legion at the moment. And Snoopy, as their commander is saying, straighten up there. I'll make you regret the soft life in Paris, my friends. I promise you. March, march, march. Then, panel three, the strip starts up for real and says, he says, here's the world famous sergeant major of the Legione Etrangere. Leading his troops across the desert. There it is, men. We found it. Fort Zinderneuf. To the ramparts. Keep a sharp lookout. As he's saying this, we see the little birds dressed in their legionnaire outfits scaling his doghouse. Now they're posed behind the doghouse as if they're peering above the roof. And he says, here we must stay until the relief column arrives from Tokotu. We now cut to Sally, who's inside looking out of the window. And then she walks over to Charlie Brown, who's fixing Snoopy's dog food. And she says, I think your dog is finally cracked up. Charlie Brown says, maybe, but I'm in no position to say. Then Charlie Brown walks out with the food, saying, I'm the relief column from Tokotu. 

Jimmy: I think panel two is real interesting here because we never see a view like that. Like a three quarter front marching view of five characters in faked perspective. That looks cool.

Michael: Reminds me of Dune.

Harold: All I can think of is the wizard of Oz, and Toko too. But visually, it's interesting. You mentioned that's really interesting angle of Snoopy and the little birds. There's an interesting perspective on that, which we don't see. What do you think about in that middle panel in the strip where we actually see the normal background of Snoopy's doghouse with the bushes and the grass? and then we cut back to the fantasy world. Why do you think he does that?

Michael: Well, he's been doing that. I mean, seeing french villages and stuff.

Harold: But he'll go from the neighborhood back one to the other in one particular panel.

Michael: Yeah, it didn't bother me at all.

Jimmy: I like it I think it's real interesting. I was thinking as I was reading it is, you're cutting to a lot of different locations. You're coming out of the desert, then you're into, the doghouse, but then it's the blend panel. Then you're cutting to Sally. That's a lot in a Sunday, but I think it works really well. I particularly love that last panel on the second tier where you're seeing the dog house in the sand of the endless. Yeah, that's real cool.

Liz: The four little scouts next to Snoopy.  That just makes me crazy.

Jimmy: They're great.

Harold: Yeah. Peeking their heads over the top of the dog house from the back. That's great. He also does something that is pretty unusual. In the second to last panel, he actually overlaps the word balloon into the final panel from, the second to last panel. And he could do that based on how these strips were broken up. We've mentioned that he has to use a grid that can be moved around so that the strip can be printed vertically, as well as, in this three tier panel as he drew it. And so he could get away with that, because these two panels are in that same tier, no matter how it runs in the paper. But, yeah, I was wondering, why did he choose to do that? He could have certainly. Maybe he just drew the characters and then he did the lettering later, and he was like, oh, I just need some more space. Or if he really wanted to do that because it somehow was visually pleasing to him.

Jimmy: Yeah, it's a good looking comic strip, though. All right, so I think that is, enough for one episode. How about we stop here and then we come back next week and we finished good old 1982. What do you guys say about that?

Harold: Sure.

Jimmy: So if you characters want to follow along and, keep the conversation going, you could follow us on good old, social media, on Blue Sky, Facebook and YouTube, we're Unpacking Peanuts And on threads and Instagram, we're at unpack Peanuts and you can follow us there. You can also just email us through our website, unpackingpeanuts@gmail.com. we would love to hear from you. If you have any comments, questions, we would desperately love for you to give us a, nice review, especially if you're on Apple Podcasts, because that's the one I see, and I like to see good reviews there. So if you want to give me a little dopamine hit in the morning, give us a five star review there. Sign up for the great Peanut three rate at the website, and I think that's about it. Other than that, we would love to see you back here next week where we finish up 1982. So until then, from Michael Harold, and Liz, this is Jimmy saying, be of good cheer.

MH&L: 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 unpack Peanuts on Instagram and threads. Unpacking Peanuts on Facebook, blue sky, and YouTube. For more about Jimmy, Michael and Harold, visit unpackingpeanuts.com. Have a wonderful day, and thanks for listening.

Jimmy: Ginkgo biloba perhaps.

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