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1985-3 Snoopy Is A Punk Rocker

VO: Welcome to Unpacking Peanuts, the podcast where three cartoonists take an in-depth look at the greatest comic strip of all time, Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz

Jimmy: Hey, everybody.

Jimmy: Welcome back to the show.

Jimmy: This is Unpacking Peanuts, and today we are continuing our look at 1985.

Jimmy: I will be your host for the proceedings.

Jimmy: My name is Jimmy Gownley.

Jimmy: I'm a cartoonist too.

Jimmy: I did things like Amelia Rules, Seven Good Reasons Not to Grow Up, and The Dumbest Idea Ever.

Jimmy: Joining me as always are my pals, co-host and fellow cartoonists.

Jimmy: He's a playwright and a composer, both for the band Complicated People, as well as for this very podcast.

Jimmy: 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.

Jimmy: It's Michael Cohen.

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.

Jimmy: It's Harold Buchholz.

Harold: Hello.

Jimmy: All right, guys.

Jimmy: Well, we are here.

Jimmy: It is episode three of 1985.

Jimmy: And I say we just get right into the strips because we got a ton of stuff to get to.

Michael: Okay, jump into the fire.

Jimmy: August 7th.

Jimmy: We are following a little sequence here where Marcie and Peppermint Patty are at the mall.

Jimmy: Marcie says to Peppermint Patty, he's following me, sir.

Jimmy: Who is?

Jimmy: Marcie is looking over her shoulder.

Jimmy: She says this.

Jimmy: She continues to gaze over her shoulder.

Jimmy: She says, a punker.

Jimmy: And Peppermint Patty says, ignore him.

Jimmy: But this is a public shopping mall.

Jimmy: So if he's bothering you, reach up and punch him in the nose.

Jimmy: And then the last panel, we see the punker that has been following Marcie.

Jimmy: And it is Snoopy with the faux hawk.

Jimmy: And Marcie says, how about reach down a faux hawk and some gold chains?

Michael: Hey, how do you know that's Snoopy?

Jimmy: No, really.

Michael: Seriously, there's some punk dog, some punk beagle.

Michael: Must get some downloading.

Jimmy: I am pretty sure.

Jimmy: Good old Snoopy.

Harold: Good old Snoopy.

Harold: It's interesting to know the proper procedure in a public shopping mall is if someone's bothering you, you reach up and punch him in the nose.

Jimmy: Well, that's right.

Jimmy: And I love the fact that she says, this is a public shopping mall.

Jimmy: So this is standard etiquette in a public shopping mall if someone's bothering you.

Harold: Yeah.

Harold: It dawned on me.

Harold: The reason he did that is because we don't know where they are otherwise than if they were isolated.

Harold: I guess, you know, there might be a different set of rules.

Jimmy: Right, right, right.

Jimmy: Yeah, it's a strange thing that does happen when you start doing these longer sequences in a comic strip, when people are reading it one day at a time, you have to reestablish some stuff that you wouldn't have to do if it was just a comic book or a short story or whatever.

Harold: And I don't think Charles Schulz has any way to establish that somebody is in a public shopping mall in a daily strip.

Jimmy: Can't be done.

Jimmy: Can't be done.

Harold: Except that you say you are in the public shopping mall.

Jimmy: Only possible solution to that.

Jimmy: Yeah, I love Snoopy with the faux hawk.

Jimmy: I think it's cute.

Jimmy: It's technically not a real mohawk, right?

Jimmy: Because he would have to have the rest of his head shaved.

Jimmy: So I think he's just gelled up the middle there.

Michael: I think he's five years too late though, isn't he?

Jimmy: Well, no.

Jimmy: I mean, yes, but no, I would say, yeah.

Jimmy: Because in real culture, like the Sex Pistols have broken up by eight years ago at this point, and the Ramones are sort of past their prime.

Jimmy: In mall culture, by the time it got out to the suburbs, the suburbs, yes, the suburbs and stuff, I think it was about on time.

Jimmy: You know, yeah, because you would be getting things like Adamant and the new wave and the new romantics that was chasing the punkers.

Michael: I don't see punkers hanging out at the mall.

Jimmy: No, yeah, fake punkers.

Jimmy: That's why it's a faux hawk, I guess.

Michael: Uh-huh, all right.

Jimmy: September 1st, it's a Sunday page, and we start off with a very odd symbolic panel, a chocolate chip cookie in bed thinking about Snoopy.

Jimmy: We're saying something actually about Snoopy.

Jimmy: And then the next panel we see Snoopy atop his dog house at the middle of the night, but he's not sleeping.

Jimmy: Something has woken him up, so he hops down off the dog house, goes to the back door or front door, whichever it is.

Jimmy: I assume it's the back door, kicks it with his feet to knock on it, wakes up Charlie Brown and Charlie Brown says, just a minute, I'll go see.

Jimmy: Then he goes into the kitchen and looks at the cookie jar and then comes back out to Snoopy and says, no, the chocolate chip cookies weren't calling you.

Jimmy: In fact, they were all sound asleep.

Jimmy: So Snoopy walks out to his dog house, gets back on it and says, I wonder what cookies dream about.

Harold: Well, I guess we know now.

Michael: So this is one of those circular things.

Michael: Then you go back to the first.

Jimmy: Right.

Jimmy: Yes.

Harold: You can just keep circling back all the way.

Harold: Well, see, this appears to me to be a chocolate chip cookie resting in its bed with the nice little poster bed on the top.

Harold: But he's not dreaming because it's not a thought.

Jimmy: Yeah, no, he's speaking.

Harold: He's actually calling to Snoopy from his bed.

Harold: You know, Charlie Brown is not maybe correct here.

Harold: Snoopy is actually hearing a call from a chocolate chip cookie from it's tucked into his little bed.

Jimmy: Or we're seeing what the chocolate chip cookie is dreaming about, which is dreaming about being tucked in bed.

Jimmy: It's a whole inception thing.

Michael: Yeah, yeah, but it does have a little Finnegan's wake to it.

Jimmy: It does too.

Jimmy: Yes, it's possible we've been looking at these things for too long.

Jimmy: I also think it looks like it's a very heavy chocolate chip cookie because it feels like that bed is sagging.

Harold: Yeah, that's not a chips away now.

Jimmy: Although I will have no slander of a chip away, I love a good chip away.

Jimmy: Oh, dunked on a on a on a snowy day, dunked in tea.

Jimmy: Oh, that's good stuff.

Harold: And I do like the cookie jar in the peanuts.

Harold: Charlie Brown's household.

Harold: It looks like it's left over from the 70s, the flowers on it.

Jimmy: It's definitely left over from the 70s.

Jimmy: And Charlie Brown is dressed in his Sergeant Pepper outfit.

Jimmy: Like that's a that's a pretty strange.

Harold: Yeah.

Harold: What exactly is that?

Harold: It looks like he's he's like tied himself into his top.

Harold: He's a the drama top.

Harold: What is that?

Jimmy: It's a really we want to look.

Harold: I guess he's not a stomach sleeper.

Jimmy: I guess not.

Jimmy: Yeah, you would be feeling all those buttons.

Jimmy: September 4th.

Jimmy: OK, so this is a little sequence of Sally getting ready to go back to school and ride the school bus.

Jimmy: So it's Charlie Brown and Sally, and they're standing on the street corner waiting for the bus and Sally yells, I've changed my mind.

Jimmy: I don't want to ride on the school bus.

Jimmy: I'll get claustrophobia.

Jimmy: I can't do it.

Jimmy: I can't.

Jimmy: And Charlie Brown says to her, well, let's just walk then.

Jimmy: We have plenty of time.

Jimmy: And so they start walking off to school and Sally says, thank you for being so understanding, big brother.

Jimmy: And Charlie Brown says, I don't want to ride on the bus either.

Michael: This is a good strip.

Michael: I mean, it builds on the relationship.

Michael: It explains kind of that Sally is kind of neurotic of it.

Michael: Yeah, she definitely has fear issues, but they really come out.

Michael: She's never named them before.

Michael: She has claustrophobia and then, yeah, the kids don't like change.

Michael: They like routine.

Michael: So school bus is scary because you don't know what's going to happen on it.

Michael: I've never written in the school bus.

Michael: It sounds terrifying to me.

Jimmy: It's not great.

Jimmy: The very first day, my daughters, twin daughters, rode the school bus in kindergarten.

Jimmy: They're very nervous and we were like, no, no, it's okay.

Jimmy: They'll drop you right off, right out in front of our house.

Jimmy: It'll be fine.

Jimmy: Don't worry.

Jimmy: It's absolutely fine.

Jimmy: First day goes by.

Jimmy: They're five minutes late.

Jimmy: They're 10 minutes late.

Jimmy: They're 20 minutes late.

Jimmy: It took 40 minutes for the school bus company to find them because the school bus driver didn't get the memo of all the stops he was supposed to make.

Jimmy: So they had driven and we were trying to find them, but no one could find them.

Jimmy: Finally, they arrived back at the stop where they put all the school buses in, and finally they found them sitting in the back of the school bus.

Jimmy: It was really bad.

Jimmy: I promise you, nothing bad will happen on the school bus.

Jimmy: Well, except for the fact that you might not ever get home.

Jimmy: September 6th.

Jimmy: This continues Charlie Brown's at the principal's office and he says, Yes, sir, Mr.

Jimmy: Principal, I was told to come see you.

Jimmy: Yes, I'm in school today and continues, the computer said I was on the bus and I never got off.

Jimmy: My sister and I walked, sir.

Jimmy: It was a nice morning, so we walked.

Jimmy: The computer said we were on the bus.

Jimmy: Then Charlie Brown says to the principal, No, sir, I'm not a troublemaker.

Michael: Well, yes, just the computers are always right.

Michael: I think this is the first mention of a computer in Peanuts.

Jimmy: Yeah.

Jimmy: Was there, I mean, yes, certainly the first mention of a personal computer.

Jimmy: I wonder if there was a, you know, it feels like there might have been like a Univac joke a million years ago, but I could be wrong.

Jimmy: Yeah.

Jimmy: Unignorable at this point, 1985.

Jimmy: And I just love the fact that the first thing the computer does is wrong.

Jimmy: It couldn't account for Charlie Brown just walking to school.

Michael: But maybe Schulz is just becoming aware of them and having difficulty dealing with it.

Jimmy: Oh, it could absolutely be.

Jimmy: You know, you get a call from the syndicate saying, hey, everything is going to be super smooth.

Jimmy: We've converted it all to computers.

Harold: It says you're missing the last six weeks of strips.

Jimmy: What are you, a troublemaker?

Jimmy: Yeah, very funny and very strange to see again.

Jimmy: I mean, this thing started before everyone in America, before many people rather in America had a television set.

Jimmy: And now we're talking, you know, it's a year after the first Macintosh computer.

Jimmy: September 8th, Sally is watching some television and the TV says to her, this may be your last chance, Sally says to the TV at what?

Jimmy: The TV continues because this is one of those Sundays, so it has to restart on tier two TV says, don't miss it.

Jimmy: Be there.

Jimmy: Sally says to the TV, wait, come back.

Jimmy: I can't be there.

Jimmy: I can't.

Jimmy: Now Charlie Brown enters and Sally's freaking out.

Jimmy: She yells to Charlie Brown.

Jimmy: He said to be there.

Jimmy: How can I be there?

Jimmy: I don't even know what's going on.

Jimmy: I can't just go anywhere.

Jimmy: What does he expect?

Jimmy: I don't even know where I'm supposed to go.

Jimmy: Charlie Brown, over the voice of reason, says to her, look, you don't have to do everything they tell you on TV.

Jimmy: You don't have to believe all the things they say.

Jimmy: And we have three panels of Sally contemplating this.

Jimmy: And then she turns and says to Charlie Brown, who's off panel now, you're kidding.

Michael: Sally really comes on strong this year.

Michael: This is definitely her best year.

Harold: Yeah, I really like this.

Michael: Yeah.

Michael: And they're really hitting.

Michael: It's not like she's just somebody melding lines.

Michael: This is her personality really comes out.

Harold: Definitely.

Jimmy: Yes, that's very true.

Michael: And this is, yeah, she's she's like panicking all the time.

Michael: Doesn't understand the world.

Harold: Do you know what Schulz is referencing here?

Michael: No.

Harold: This be there thing.

Harold: This is a penis obscurity.

Harold: Whoa.

Harold: So in 1983, NBC was making a comeback after some really dire years of.

Jimmy: Manimal.

Harold: On time television.

Harold: Super train and they had this campaign that started in 1983 where you would have all the promotions for the shows and prime time and you had the announcer going, be there.

Harold: And then that turned into let's all be there and it ran from like 83 to 86.

Harold: It was so successful.

Harold: I did it for three years.

Harold: Nell Carter from give me a break.

Harold: Oh yeah.

Harold: She sang the theme song.

Harold: Alvin the Chipmunks had a version of it.

Harold: And it was a thing during this resurgence of NBC.

Harold: And so it was all over television and you'd always have some announcer telling you what show was on and then be there.

Harold: Well there you go.

Jimmy: Interesting.

Jimmy: And Sally is not going to be there.

Jimmy: I think we need to, we could just cross out TV and say on the computer and, you know, re-circulate this to our various relatives.

Michael: Yeah, this seems pretty, it's never wrong.

Michael: Pretty topical.

Jimmy: Here's the problem.

Jimmy: I know it's not problem.

Jimmy: Here's the question I have.

Michael: This is true.

Jimmy: You don't have to believe everything you see on TV or the internet, but no one ever tells you there's no solution to that.

Jimmy: I mean, Sally's just a kid with anxiety.

Jimmy: It's like, well, you don't have to believe everything, but they don't tell you that.

Jimmy: I mean, there's no guide saying, well, how do I know what I should believe, what I shouldn't believe?

Jimmy: I mean, there's no, I don't have an answer to this or it's not a funny observation.

Michael: Well, when you get old enough, I mean, I'm not for ads, you know, bombarding you every second because I know I'm not going to buy anything.

Michael: It doesn't matter what they show me, I'm not going to buy it.

Jimmy: September 17th, Sally is giving a presentation in the front of her classroom and she begins by saying, my report today is on human behavior in our society.

Jimmy: We shall discuss the importance of marriagement.

Jimmy: Apparently, the teacher interrupts because Sally looks over and says, ma'am.

Jimmy: And in the last panel, she rolls her eye and says, whatever.

Michael: When did that phrase come in?

SPEAKER_1: Must have been 1985.

Michael: Must have been 1985.

Harold: September 17th.

Michael: It's everywhere now.

Michael: I mean, it's just part of American English.

SPEAKER_1: Yeah.

Harold: Yeah.

Michael: And Schulz must have thought it was very funny because it is.

Jimmy: It is good.

Jimmy: It's so wild to see the trends of slang as you get older and you, you know, that was just how people talked when I was a kid.

Jimmy: I didn't notice it as 80s speak or something new, but you know, now it sounds that way.

Jimmy: And I think that Jim Z has more slang and catchphrases than anybody since the Baby Boomers.

Jimmy: I don't think Gen X doesn't have very much millennials.

Jimmy: I don't think to Gen Z.

Jimmy: It's like a completely different language.

Harold: Well, they're going to publish a book of that, too.

Jimmy: Well, have you actually ever heard that story about, of course, if it's a book, that's obviously for a boomer.

Jimmy: Yeah, I guess there's a great story about the New York Times.

Jimmy: When grunge got really big, they called the the Office of Sub Pop Records and said, Hey, what's like the lingo the grunge uses?

Jimmy: There's got to be.

Jimmy: So they're like, Oh, don't worry, we'll send you a list.

Jimmy: And they just made up ridiculous stuff like catch you on the flippity flop.

Jimmy: Times published it.

Harold: Fit to print.

Jimmy: Fit to.

Jimmy: Don't believe everything you see.

Jimmy: So now we've summed it up.

Jimmy: Don't believe everything on TV, on the Internet, or I guess newspapers.

Jimmy: No, the best mistake ever I've seen in a newspaper was when I finally I moved to the big city, the capital city of Pennsylvania here, Harrisburg, PA.

Jimmy: And there was a serial killer who had finally been arrested.

Jimmy: And the caption underneath it on the front page of the paper said, Hey, squid boy, caption goes here.

SPEAKER_1: Here.

Michael: Poor Squid Boy.

Jimmy: Someone's last day at the paper.

Harold: Because Squid Boy was working at McDonald's.

Jimmy: Well, technically, it wasn't Squid Boy's fault.

Harold: Captain goes there.

Jimmy: Yeah, you're right.

Jimmy: It was Squid Boy's fault.

Jimmy: September 22nd.

Jimmy: It's a symbolic panel of Woodstock wearing full-size shoulder pads from American football.

Jimmy: His tiny little head poking out of the middle.

Jimmy: And then Snoopy starts, we'll pretend it's the kickoff, okay?

Jimmy: I'll come running down the field and you try to tackle me.

Jimmy: Woodstock sighs at the very thought of this.

Jimmy: And then we see Snoopy trying to do just this.

Jimmy: And Woodstock jumps on him, attempting to tackle him.

Jimmy: He's just hanging on to Snoopy's leg as Snoopy runs down field and then yells, touchdown.

Jimmy: And even as he celebrates, Woodstock is still just clutching to Snoopy's foot.

Jimmy: Then a shaken up Woodstock is on the ground in the next panel.

Jimmy: As Snoopy says, I guess I was wrong.

Jimmy: You're too small to play football.

Jimmy: Maybe we can find a place for you in the band.

Jimmy: In the last panel, we see Woodstock with his place in the band, which is unfortunately for him playing tuba.

Harold: A soul tuba in the band.

Jimmy: Giant.

Jimmy: Good looking tuba.

SPEAKER_1: I think it's a sousaphone.

Jimmy: It's a sousaphone for God's sake.

Jimmy: I don't know.

Jimmy: Anyway, the point is it's way too big for Woodstock.

Harold: Yeah, these ones never get old with Woodstock in some way too big situation.

Jimmy: October 2nd.

Jimmy: Oh, Peppermint Patty is in her classroom and she is taking a test, a good old true false test.

Jimmy: So she is doing it in her inimitable style.

Jimmy: Relatively true.

Jimmy: Marginally false.

Jimmy: Apparently true.

Jimmy: Reasonably false.

Jimmy: Borderingly true.

Jimmy: And fortunately for all of us, false.

Jimmy: And she shows the paper to Marcie who says, You're weird, sir.

SPEAKER_1: That's fuzzy logic.

Michael: That's fuzzy logic.

SPEAKER_1: All that relatively true logic.

Michael: Oh yeah, yeah, of course it is fuzzy logic.

Michael: But anyway, this is Schulz using his new format of first panel funny, second panel funny, third panel funny, fourth panel reaction to funny.

Jimmy: That really blew my mind when you pointed it out last episode or the episode before.

Jimmy: And that is a really unique way of I know there's not degrees of uniqueness.

Jimmy: That is a unique way of creating a comic strip.

Jimmy: I can't think of too many people who would try something like that.

Harold: It's fuzzy uniqueness.

Jimmy: Now, how about since we have to try some new stuff since we have this new format, so we've got to find new places for stuff.

Jimmy: So how about this random spot we put in the anger and happiness index?

SPEAKER_1: So we are shivers.

Jimmy: We are already up to October, so we should have a really good feel as to what it is.

Jimmy: But Harold, why don't you tell us where we were and we'll make our guesses.

Harold: Okay, so in 83 it was 48 angry strips, 108 strips with characters showing happiness.

Harold: And then in 84, the anger jumped up to 81, it looks like, and the happiness climbed in here to 112.

Harold: So did this feel more happy than angry?

Harold: Then let's start with that this year, because that seems to be the trend.

Jimmy: I don't, I don't think it feels any more happy.

Jimmy: I think actually it feels like an anxious year more than happier.

Michael: Yeah, anxiety dominates.

Harold: Yeah.

Michael: Yeah.

Michael: I don't see a whole lot of anger here.

Jimmy: If I'm going to make a guess, I'm going to say it's slightly down a little bit in anger and I'm going to say it's neutral and happiness or not neutral, but the same.

Harold: Yeah.

Harold: Any thoughts, Michael?

Michael: Sounds about right.

Harold: Yeah.

Harold: And that's about what it is.

Harold: It's a went from 81 to 70 angry strips.

Harold: So less than 20% of the strips show any character showing anger.

Harold: That's pretty low.

Harold: And then we're going from 112 to 108 happy strips.

Harold: So it's it's mellow mellower this year, I think.

Harold: But I think, yeah, maybe it's true that anxiety kind of is the thing that's increased in these strips.

Jimmy: Well, what's definitely been wild for me to see is just the fact that we have chosen so many Sally strips.

Harold: Yeah.

Harold: And they established Sally's age again this year.

Harold: So what was it?

Harold: She's seven.

Michael: No, I thought everyone stayed five forever.

SPEAKER_1: Just like you.

Jimmy: I always feel like at this point Charlie Brown's nine, right?

Michael: No, that's like Amelia's age.

Michael: Can you see him hanging out with Amelia?

Michael: I can't.

Harold: That's an interesting thought.

Harold: I would.

Jimmy: Well, can I?

Jimmy: I sure can.

Jimmy: Hey, Peanuts Worldwide.

SPEAKER_1: Picture of the week.

Jimmy: A little collab, a little collab-o.

Jimmy: All right.

Jimmy: Well, so we're we're we're about in.

Jimmy: We're in another mellow 80s year.

Jimmy: Let's just let's just continue it from there.

Jimmy: October 26th.

Jimmy: Charlie Brown and Linus are outside.

Jimmy: They're looking at something off in the distance.

Jimmy: And Charlie Brown says, there goes your little brother riding on the back of your mom's bicycle.

Jimmy: And then he says, I see he's finally wearing a helmet.

Jimmy: And Linus responds as they walk away in the next panel.

Jimmy: But I'm not sure he likes it.

Jimmy: And then we see Rerun on the back of the bike wearing a hockey helmet.

Jimmy: And he says, people confuse me with Wayne Gretzky.

Jimmy: So I actually got thrown off reading that one because I think it's sort of weird that Linus answers with but in panel three.

Jimmy: You know what I mean?

Jimmy: Charlie Brown says, he's finally wearing a helmet.

Jimmy: And then Linus says, but I'm not sure he likes it.

Jimmy: Like there was no yes or yeah, but.

Michael: Yeah.

Michael: Now, is this a hockey helmet?

Michael: I mean, he looks like a knight in chains.

Jimmy: It is a hockey helmet, but he really looks just like a knight.

Michael: Yes.

Jimmy: Is it?

Michael: Do they have visors like that?

Jimmy: What is that?

Jimmy: I assumed it was a hockey helmet because you wouldn't.

Jimmy: What is that visor thing, though?

Michael: This looks like a Dungeons and Dragons kind of helmet.

Jimmy: But he's got the earflap things that a hockey helmet would have.

Jimmy: So my question for this, the reason I wanted to include this is, do you think he got complaints from people saying he should show Rerun wearing a helmet?

Jimmy: Probably.

Michael: Coming up, he brings back some characters that have dropped out completely for short appearances.

Michael: I wonder if he just needed...

Michael: He goes, oh, that's right.

Michael: He has a brother.

Jimmy: Yeah, could be.

Jimmy: October 31st.

Jimmy: It's Halloween and Sally is out trick-or-treating in a little witch costume, which is really adorable.

Jimmy: And she seems to have quite a big sack of candy.

Jimmy: She goes up to a door, she rings the bell, and then she waits for someone to answer.

Jimmy: And she looks out at us and says, I forgot the words.

Michael: See you at six or eight or whatever.

Michael: This is the rare occasion where all three of us pick this strip.

Harold: Oh, nice.

Jimmy: I forgot the words is a great punchline.

Jimmy: Like you say, it ties back to her personality because she already has forgotten the words and her anxiety.

Harold: And that look on her face is...

Jimmy: Yeah, that is a real...

Jimmy: I didn't actually really even notice, but that one eye is half closed.

Jimmy: And her other eye is so close to her nose, you barely can even see it as an identifiable thing.

Harold: I'm not exactly sure what he's going for there.

Harold: When I first read it, I didn't really see that line that goes past the nose into the eye, which would be kind of classic.

Harold: In the 80s, it seemed like there were a lot of characters with half open eyes.

Harold: I first just seen it without that line where she just has this big, wide-eyed look.

Jimmy: That's what it really looks like the intention would be.

Jimmy: I wonder if that's just a stray line.

Harold: It seems very odd for Schulz to have a stray line.

Jimmy: But the reason why I think so is that, or when that thinks so, but the reason I could speculate that it could be is what if it was a pencil line and we're in the age of photocopiers and less sophisticated, but easier ways to reproduce things and it just got amplified and no one noticed because it's so tiny.

Harold: Well, that's an original I would like to take a look at.

Jimmy: Hey, Benjamin Clark, what's going on there in panel four with Sally's eye?

Michael: Well, if you want to get picky, let's do it.

Michael: The perspective, okay, look at panel two.

Michael: You're looking straight on at the steps.

Michael: There's no perspective.

Michael: But in panel four, it looks like it's in perspective.

Harold: That's true.

Michael: That's weird.

Harold: And I love her little tongue sticking out, you know, when you're concentrating on ringing the doorbell.

Harold: Maybe that's the problem.

Harold: She concentrated so hard on ringing that doorbell that she forgot.

Michael: Oh, is that a tongue or is that a smile?

Harold: I think that's a little tongue.

Jimmy: Yeah, it's a little tongue.

Michael: Yeah, yeah.

Jimmy: Well, all right.

Jimmy: While Sally's out getting some snacks, how about we get some snacks, take a break here, because I think we're going to have a lot of mail to answer.

Jimmy: So we'll do that and then finish up 1985, get the old strip of the year, MVP, all that stuff in.

Jimmy: Sound good?

Jimmy: Yes.

SPEAKER_1: Sure.

Jimmy: All right.

Jimmy: We'll catch you on the other side.

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SPEAKER_1: And now let's hear what some of you have to say.

Jimmy: And we're back.

Jimmy: Hey, Liz, I'm hanging out in the mailbox.

Jimmy: Do we got anything?

SPEAKER_1: We do.

SPEAKER_1: We have a couple.

SPEAKER_1: We got a lot of love for Spike over the last week or so.

Jimmy: Oh, right.

SPEAKER_1: We got a wonderful story from Susie Metzler about her mother and how Spike was her mother's favorite character.

SPEAKER_1: And I put that in social media on Mother's Day.

SPEAKER_1: So if you haven't read that, go and check out our social media and read Susie Metzler's mother's story about Spike.

Jimmy: All right.

SPEAKER_1: We also got an update from Shayna Hickey, who we mentioned in a previous episode.

SPEAKER_1: And I think Harold asked, but is Spike her favorite character?

SPEAKER_1: And I said she didn't go that far.

SPEAKER_1: And so she writes us to update it.

SPEAKER_1: And she says, in regards to your inquiry on Spike, I've always liked Spike due to the fact that he always seems to be really comfortable with his lot in life.

SPEAKER_1: Though his home may seem meager by most standards, it's just perfect for him.

SPEAKER_1: And he's happy where he is with life in general.

SPEAKER_1: There's something to be said for that.

Jimmy: Well, there absolutely is.

Harold: Yeah, I'm glad to hear these other perspectives on Spike.

Michael: Yeah, me and Harold get very depressed because I hate the desert.

Michael: And I assume Harold does too.

Jimmy: And I, of course, love Spike.

Jimmy: I think he's the greatest character of all time.

Michael: No.

SPEAKER_1: But Shannon does not go as far as saying that he is her favorite character.

Michael: That's okay.

Harold: You don't have to put him in a corner there.

Harold: That's all right.

Harold: You like Spike, you like Spike.

Harold: That's good.

Harold: Well, yeah.

SPEAKER_1: We also got a message from a super listener, Dr.

SPEAKER_1: Sarah Wilson, who was our fluorons expert, if you recall.

Harold: Of course.

SPEAKER_1: She says, a topic request.

SPEAKER_1: A while back, my 18 year old son, who's been trained up on peanuts from his earliest days, and I decided to watch a peanuts cartoon over dinner.

SPEAKER_1: We looked over our collection.

SPEAKER_1: I said, not a boy named Charlie Brown.

SPEAKER_1: That is the single most depressing cartoon ever made.

SPEAKER_1: He said, no, Snoopy Come Home is the single most depressing cartoon ever made.

SPEAKER_1: So we decided to watch one we'd never seen before.

SPEAKER_1: You're in love, Charlie Brown.

SPEAKER_1: And afterwards concluded that it was the single most depressing cartoon ever made.

SPEAKER_1: They actually recorded a song marking Charlie Brown.

SPEAKER_1: Didn't they realize kids would start singing it and using it against other kids?

SPEAKER_1: Maybe this is why the Christmas and Halloween specials are all well remembered, but so many others have deservedly faded into the background.

SPEAKER_1: One person's opinion.

SPEAKER_1: Anyway, I'd like to hear you discuss why these cartoons are so bloody depressing.

Harold: I want to ask, are you saying that because they're depressing that they're not good or are there elements of the strip and the specials in the movies that actually take you to a place that's a little deeper and ultimately, obviously there are great moments of happiness as well.

Harold: It sounds like you're saying the overall experience of those three special films are negative experiences because of how depressing they are.

Harold: Obviously, it's a place that Schulz owned in the comics, I think, as well as in these specials.

Harold: I have not seen Snoopy Come Home in a long long time.

Harold: I may have seen A Boy named Charlie Brown when I was very, very young.

Harold: I'd have to revisit some of these.

Harold: I don't know if I've ever seen A Year in Love, so I can't speak to this.

Harold: Jimmy, you might be able to.

Harold: But it just feels like, yeah, he was going to places that other people weren't.

Harold: And the fact that they wrote a song where Charlie Brown is being ridiculed, I guess there are songs where that happens.

Harold: But in Charlie Brown's case, he's a character that is put upon.

Jimmy: Well, you know, I think the thing about it is I think there's a lot of elements to it.

Jimmy: One is that it's just not all Schultz, right?

Jimmy: It's the music.

Jimmy: It's the way it's animated.

Jimmy: It's the kids performances.

Jimmy: Yeah, you know, we're controlling all of that stuff when you're reading the comic strip by yourself.

Jimmy: And when it's adapted, you know, all those things are chosen for you.

Jimmy: And it might it might clash with the tone in your head.

Jimmy: And that might be what's causing the sadness or the or the feeling of disconnect.

Jimmy: I mean, there are things I love that I would not I love in general terms.

Jimmy: Well, no, let me put it this way.

Jimmy: Okay, this is this is actually an interesting topic.

Jimmy: And if no one minds, I'm going to take it in a slightly different way.

Jimmy: I'm really, really into this podcast now called Newcomers.

Jimmy: It's by Nicole Byer and Lauren Lapkus who are two comedians.

Jimmy: They're really funny.

Jimmy: And what they're doing is they are watching things that are a huge part of the cultural zeitgeist, but which they have not ever paid attention to.

Jimmy: So they did the Marvel movies and they did Tyler Perry movies.

Jimmy: They're doing Martin Scorsese movies right now.

Jimmy: They also did the Lord of the Rings.

Jimmy: They did Star Wars.

Jimmy: Lord of the Rings, they watched the Ralph Bakshi movie.

Jimmy: They watched the Peter Jackson movies.

Jimmy: They watched the Rankin and Bass specials.

Jimmy: They discussed the memes.

Jimmy: They did fan fiction.

Jimmy: They did the radio adaptation.

Jimmy: They did everything but read the Lord of the Rings.

Jimmy: And that's the one out of all of the things.

Jimmy: That's the one they found the least interesting.

Jimmy: And it's also the one that they experienced the most indirectly.

Jimmy: Like the Marvel movies are their own thing.

Jimmy: They're their genre.

Jimmy: You don't need to have read those terrible Iron Man comics to fully appreciate the movie.

Jimmy: Whereas something like the Lord of the Rings, the real thing is the thing that Tolkien wrote and everything else is adjacent to it.

Jimmy: There might be some part of that that's going on with these movies, too.

Jimmy: I haven't seen them since those ones that were mentioned since they came out, like in the 70s.

Jimmy: So I don't remember specifically, but I think there could be some element of that.

Jimmy: Like it's just like Michael says, why he doesn't want to watch them at all is it's just not the real thing.

Michael: Yeah, it's fanfic.

Harold: Right.

Harold: But doesn't it count that the creator is involved?

Jimmy: In Peanuts, it certainly does.

Jimmy: Yeah.

Harold: I mean, and when I'm looking, I actually went in and I was looking at IMDB and I said, well, you know, what's the rating on the overall reviews?

Harold: Is it a, are these movies like Goodman, Charlie Brown and Snoopy Come Home, which I guess are the two first features, right, that were in movie theaters from 69 and 72?

Harold: And what was interesting to me in the Snoopy Come Home one was the reviews are all over the map.

Harold: There are people saying, well, this is delightful, happy.

Harold: The other people say it's, it's depressing and dark, but even the people who went to see the movie walked away with a different feeling from the film.

Harold: Cause I know it's got great moments of sadness and that Snoopy Come Home in particular, I'm thinking it's got great sadness.

Harold: But it also has some really joyous moments as well.

Harold: There's reunion, you know, and reunion is one of the biggest things to me in, in all of storytelling.

Harold: When I see characters who've been kept apart, reuniting that to me is one of the most powerful things in literature and in storytelling for me personally.

Harold: So it's interesting.

Harold: I wonder what it is that is unique about all of us that those things are there.

Harold: But the thing that we leave when we walk out of that theater or we turn the TV off, what we leave with is very different.

Harold: And often we're leaving with something we didn't want to have.

Harold: And in this case, it sounds like depression is the thing that kind of hangs over these for certain certain viewers.

Michael: But OK, Jimmy and I are huge Beatle fans.

Michael: We're fanatics.

Michael: Jimmy, would you ever recommend people to go watch Yellow Submarine?

Jimmy: Oh, God, no.

Michael: Yeah, me neither.

Jimmy: It would never even occur to me that it's part of the Beatles thing.

Harold: That's so weird.

Harold: Yeah.

Harold: And my wife, you know, is an animator and loves the Beatles, loves the Yellow Submarine.

Harold: Yeah, we've got little Jeremy dolls and we've got those versions of those characters.

Jimmy: I actually remember a conversation with Harold a long time ago.

Jimmy: We were sitting in my in the Amelia verse in the studio.

Jimmy: What is now my studio?

Jimmy: And we're talking about hot or not hot.

Jimmy: We're talking about things that are warm and cold in like media, you know.

Jimmy: And you said to me, well, what do you do you consider Yellow Submarine like warm or cold?

Jimmy: And I said, I don't think about Yellow Submarine ever.

Jimmy: And I remember the look on your face like, that's weird.

Jimmy: We're surrounded by 1800 Beatles.

Harold: Yeah, yeah, I was surprised because I do remember the reason I asked, because I find that it's about love, right?

Harold: But it feels very cold to me as a film.

Michael: Well, yeah, and the Beatles.

Michael: Well, that's another podcast.

Jimmy: Another podcast.

Jimmy: But yes, no, that's a very interesting point, though, Michael, right?

Jimmy: Yeah, it wouldn't occur to me to recommend it.

Jimmy: We're hardcore.

Jimmy: Okay, so we got any other any any other letters in the mailbox?

SPEAKER_1: Nope, that's it for this week.

Jimmy: All right.

Jimmy: Well, I got three things in the in the hotline.

Jimmy: First of all, we heard from listener Derek, who asked.

Jimmy: He's in favor of us doing a Bloom County episode as a special edition.

Jimmy: And I do.

Jimmy: I we've we've talked about, you know, some special episodes talking about other people other than Schultz.

Jimmy: I would not say no to do in a Bloom County little little spotlight.

Michael: Yeah, I mean, that's probably my second favorite strip.

Harold: The Opus Snoopy Smackdown.

Jimmy: Yeah, there you go.

Jimmy: We also heard from super listener Shaly and she said, Hey, this is Shaly.

Jimmy: You are asking if Snoopy's parents were ever seen in the Peanuts comics.

Jimmy: And I found some information on that.

Jimmy: Snoopy's mom made her debut in a special Snoopy's reunion in a flashback where she's taking care of the pups and knowing that they'll be given away.

Jimmy: Oh boy, talking about disappointing or depressing rather.

Jimmy: In the comics, she is seen at a table wearing a big brown hat.

Jimmy: Snoopy's dad appeared in a Father's Day comic in 1989 reading a letter from his kids.

Jimmy: That's the one Michael must have been mentioning.

Jimmy: He has a big mustache, a blue cap and glasses.

Jimmy: Be of good cheer, Shaly.

Jimmy: Now, Shaly also includes Snoopy's mom's mother's name.

Jimmy: Do you guys have any guesses what that is?

Harold: Snoopy?

Harold: Patricia?

SPEAKER_1: Violet?

Jimmy: Missy?

Harold: Missy.

Jimmy: So there you go.

Harold: Well, thank you for that research.

Jimmy: And we got an actual voicemail on the hotline.

Jimmy: Jason, aka Caller 518, called.

Jimmy: And this is what he had to say.

SPEAKER_6: Hey, guys.

SPEAKER_6: I listened back to the 1963 episode and was somewhat disappointed that you mentioned this strip in passing, but you didn't do a deep dive on it.

SPEAKER_6: Well, allow me to do something like that if I may, folks.

SPEAKER_6: You may want to add the background music beforehand.

SPEAKER_6: April 21st, 1963.

SPEAKER_6: There's the front panel with Snoopy at night, keeping watch like he was one of the guards outside Buckingham Palace.

SPEAKER_6: And the second panel, Linus is packing his suitcase.

SPEAKER_6: For why, we'll find out in the next episode.

SPEAKER_6: So, next panel, rather.

SPEAKER_6: Lucy asked him, Where in the world are you going?

SPEAKER_6: To which Linus replies, I'm going to spend the night at Charlie Brown's house.

SPEAKER_6: Then Linus and Charlie Brown are in bed.

SPEAKER_6: Linus says, Do you ever have prowlers around here, Charlie Brown?

SPEAKER_6: To which Charlie replies, Why, are you scared?

SPEAKER_6: Then Linus and Charlie get up and Linus says, Oh, I'm always sort of worried about prowlers.

SPEAKER_6: Charlie Brown replies, You forget that we have a watchdog here.

SPEAKER_6: Then Linus and Charlie Brown go up to the window.

SPEAKER_6: Linus says, You mean Snoopy?

SPEAKER_6: Is he a good watchdog?

SPEAKER_6: Charlie Brown says, I don't think there's a better one.

SPEAKER_6: Well, the second to last panel, Linus and Charlie Brown are back in bed, content, heads on the pillow, with peace of mind.

SPEAKER_6: Linus says, You're right.

SPEAKER_6: Seeing I'm out there on guard makes me feel a lot better.

SPEAKER_6: Then in the last panel, we have Snoopy on top of his doghouse with a machine gun ready to repel all borders.

SPEAKER_6: Well, I hope you enjoyed that.

SPEAKER_6: Thanks for providing all the entertainment and as always, be of good cheer.

Jimmy: Well, I think you did a great job reading that strip.

Jimmy: So, I quit.

Jimmy: Insecure person.

Michael: Fire Jimmy, but I don't have to if he quit.

Jimmy: I guarantee, I don't know Jason, but I guarantee he'll be easier to deal with than it is to deal with me.

Jimmy: So, good luck.

Jimmy: Thank you, Jason.

Jimmy: Please don't go.

Jimmy: All right.

Jimmy: Where would I go?

Jimmy: Where would I go?

Jimmy: To hang out with my other friends?

Jimmy: Come on.

Jimmy: Thank you for calling, Jason.

Jimmy: So, what do you think?

Jimmy: Other people, if we miss a strip that you love, you can always call in and give it a try.

Jimmy: We'd love to hear from you.

Jimmy: And that number is?

VO: 717-219-4162.

Jimmy: And if you want to get in touch with us, we love to hear from you.

Jimmy: So you can shoot us off an email.

Jimmy: We're Unpacking Peanuts at

Jimmy: Or if you want to follow us on the old social media, we're at Unpack Peanuts on Instagram and threads and at Unpacking Peanuts on Facebook, Blue Sky, and YouTube.

Jimmy: And we would absolutely love to hear from you.

Jimmy: It's one of the best parts of doing this podcast is the community that's developed around it.

Jimmy: So fun.

Jimmy: So let's get back to the strips.

Jimmy: November 17th, the Beagle Scouts are out on a hike.

Jimmy: They're walking along a beautiful branch of the fallen tree.

Michael: Tribute to Alex Raymond.

Michael: Yes or no?

Jimmy: In what sense?

Michael: Flesh Gordon in 1930s.

Michael: There is a long sequence.

Michael: We're in this gigantic forest and all the pathways are along these huge branches like that.

Jimmy: Interesting.

Jimmy: He's definitely using a different brush technique to get that bark.

Jimmy: He's doing little like dashed inclines.

Jimmy: Very cool.

Jimmy: OK, so anyway, it's a Sunday and in the first two panels, the Beagle Scouts are out wandering around in the woods.

Jimmy: And then Snoopy says, OK, troops, I think we've hiked far enough.

Jimmy: It's a long way back.

Jimmy: We'll be lucky if we get home by dark.

Jimmy: They're all looking back in the direction from which they've come.

Jimmy: Snoopy continues, we have to go over those hills, down through that valley, across that stream and through that forest.

Jimmy: And then he says to the Beagle Scouts, are there any questions?

Jimmy: One of them does chirp up.

Jimmy: Snoopy lets us know what the question was, which was, why don't we just fly home?

Jimmy: And the three Beagle Scouts do, leaving Snoopy behind, yelling, cheaters, cheaters!

Michael: I've often wondered why they're climbing mountains on their women's legs.

Jimmy: Very cute.

Jimmy: That really made me laugh.

Jimmy: What do you think about that?

Jimmy: Okay, so yeah, tribute to Alex Raymond.

Jimmy: That's a weird first drawing, but I really like the inking on the branch, but it feels like maybe it's to the wrong scale.

Jimmy: No?

Michael: Well, I mean, if he was thinking about that, then the tree would be a lot bigger.

Jimmy: It would be a huge tree, right?

Michael: But definitely that's not his inking style, but it's definitely more of a realistic inking style.

Michael: Yeah.

Harold: It's really, really nice, evocative.

Harold: You feel the light coming from the top.

Harold: Recently, he's been doing some shading on things like Peppermint Patty's book in school, and the swatches are so bold, and I don't know, they almost draw attention to themselves, to me.

Harold: They distract me because I'm seeing pen lines instead of seeing the object that I'm supposed to be seeing.

Harold: And that's been a problem for me.

Harold: Some of Joe Kubert's work, when he was doing kind of a wonderful artist who worked for years and years in the comic industry, but some of the stuff that he was like his own passion project stuff, he would ink with these big chunks of brush, and you could just see the big chunks of brush to the point where I couldn't even see what the big chunks of brush were supposed to add up to.

Harold: I just got, my eyes got bombarded by seeing the lines of the art itself.

Harold: I know some artists actually love other artists who do that.

Michael: Well, like that's the Alex Toth, just plaster on the black as much as possible.

Jimmy: I mean, I like being able to, I mean, I think I always sort of see them as drawings.

Jimmy: Like I don't, like I'm always sort of looking at the ink line, but I do know what you're talking about.

Jimmy: Like if you're going to, the Qbert stuff, like you really, really have to be a master to be able to make everything clear in those, that kind of Kuroskiro inking style.

Jimmy: But I think even if you are a master, you're just going to lose a certain amount of people who don't vibe with that style.

Harold: Yeah, I guess you just can't control what people see and don't see when it comes to those bold moves.

Harold: You know, some people are going to be with you completely and other people.

Michael: Well, I recall Calvin and Hobbes from this period.

Michael: He was fairly cartoony style.

Michael: He was cartoony as Schulz.

Michael: But every now and then he'll do kind of a tribute to old comics.

Michael: Doing like dinosaurs and stuff in a totally different style.

Michael: Is that right?

Michael: Yeah.

Michael: And so I wonder if Schulz was becoming aware of that.

Michael: The fact that you can do it, you know, just occasionally for an effect, but it's not really part of the look.

Harold: Given how much Schulz read, we know he was an avid, voracious reader and in a lot of different areas.

Harold: I wouldn't be at all surprised if he was going back and looking at some, you know, an old Flash Gordon book.

Michael: Well, he grew up, I'm sure he grew up with that stuff.

Harold: But to go back and look at something and say, hey, let me try that in my own strip, I certainly wouldn't put that past me, such as the kind of guy who would constantly be looking at himself.

Jimmy: Yeah, I wouldn't put it past him either.

Jimmy: And I think we were at the end of last season, we were looking at those comic strips from that Sunday section and we were commenting on, you know, some of them looking old fashioned and stuff like that.

Jimmy: But it's really you have to be aware of the fact that you're not going to be the number one strip just by resting on your laurels, right?

Jimmy: He's going to be trying stuff because it still matters to him on that level.

Jimmy: You know, I very competitive.

Jimmy: Yeah.

Jimmy: Yeah, I don't think he would want to see or to feel like, Oh, the only reason peanuts is in these papers is just, you know, it's just because it's always been there.

Jimmy: You know, he wants to earn that spot.

Harold: Yeah, there's no question that that's a big, big part of him that benefited the strip greatly was that competitive, almost sportsman like approach to to his art.

Jimmy: You know, the other thing that would be interesting to do, talking about, will we ever do like a Bloom County episode or whatever, it would be really interesting to look at a story strip from around the time Peanuts debuted like a Heart of Juliet Jones or Mary Perkins on stage, something like that, just to just to give context of this entire other world of cartooning that was going on at the same time.

Jimmy: That was actually kind of in some ways the preeminent school.

Jimmy: Rip Kirby was the biggest launch King Feature Syndicate ever had.

Jimmy: And that's just like a detective strip.

Jimmy: So that's other also stuff Schulz would have been at least early in his career thinking, oh, that's real competition.

Harold: Right.

Harold: And I really feel badly for the story strip people because they lost out before the humor artists did the shrinking strip, just killed them.

Harold: There was no way.

Jimmy: By the end, I remember reading, like trying to read a couple like Buzzsaw or whatever in the, in the newspaper and it was so small and they'd have three panels.

Jimmy: Really only one of those three panels could advance the story.

Jimmy: The first panel told you what was yesterday.

Jimmy: Then that last panel teased tomorrow and we got one panel to advance the story.

Jimmy: It's that's rough.

Jimmy: Yeah.

Jimmy: November 20th, Charlie Brown's out selling some Christmas wreaths and he comes up to the door.

Jimmy: And is that good old Patty that answers?

Michael: Yes, it is.

Michael: All right, Patty.

Jimmy: So Patty answers the door and Charlie Brown says, Would you like to buy a Christmas wreath?

Jimmy: And Patty says, It isn't even Thanksgiving yet.

Jimmy: Then they both pause for a moment and Charlie Brown says, Would you like to buy a Thanksgiving wreath?

Michael: So this is part of a three day sequence.

Michael: And I just picked one to introduce it.

Michael: But this uses the exact same setup of Charlie Brown going door to door with this wreath.

Michael: But the first one is Patty, who we haven't seen hardly at all.

Michael: The second one is Franklin, who this is only appearance this year, I think.

Michael: And the third one is Frida, who we haven't seen in years.

Harold: Yeah, well, there was also, Violet was the first one he speaks to.

Michael: OK, so then there's four.

Michael: OK, and then Violet.

Michael: So, yeah, he's just ticking off the boxes here.

Michael: And I got to have a Frida Strip to keep the copyright or something.

Harold: Do you get the impression that Patty might be a little more well-to-do than the rest of them, just by the outside of the house and the fancy little light?

Jimmy: Well, she does have a brick house as opposed to everyone else has siding, right?

Harold: Kind of a slightly ornate.

Jimmy: Oh, yeah, she does have the fancy carriage light in panel three.

Michael: It's got a new hairdo, too.

Jimmy: It's a little shorter, Bob.

Jimmy: Now, if you see these lines blown up, you're really starting to see.

Jimmy: That's the first time.

Jimmy: Look at panel two there.

Jimmy: It's the first time we've seen him, or not panel two, rather, let's look at panel one.

Jimmy: First time he's drawn Patty in a very long time.

Jimmy: Now compare her face to Charlie Brown's face.

Jimmy: And you can see there is a lot more shake on the Patty face.

Harold: Yeah.

Harold: Yeah, that's definitely true.

Jimmy: Still looks great.

Jimmy: I like you.

Jimmy: I really also like the I love that carriage light, which I didn't even notice till you pointed it out, but that's great looking and I like the brick house.

Jimmy: December 3rd, Sally is writing a letter to Santa Claus and Snoopy is watching her.

Jimmy: She writes, Dear Santa Claus, I saw a recent picture of you in a magazine.

Jimmy: You look fatter than ever.

Jimmy: She continues to write, I know how you usually fly through the air with your reindeer and sleigh.

Jimmy: I'll be surprised this year if you even get off the ground.

Jimmy: Now, Harold, this one rubbed you the wrong way last time we discussed it.

Harold: And I didn't realize it was part of a sequence and it starts to make a little more sense.

Harold: The edge is slightly off even though Snoopy's big smile at the end is a little bit of a twist of the knife still.

Harold: But this is a sequence where Sally is very concerned for Santa Claus and she's going to try to intervene to get him to be more healthy.

Harold: And she actually goes and waits in line to see Santa Claus and confront him about this.

Harold: So she's not just sending him snarky notes.

Harold: She's actually going to go up there and try to get Santa to do better.

Harold: So again, this is really Sally's year.

Harold: You're right.

Harold: She's got this sequence that is pretty arresting to me.

Harold: She's worried about the creases in his earlobes.

Harold: Maybe that's going to mess up.

Harold: It's a hint that he might have issues in his coronary vessels.

Jimmy: It's like, wow.

Jimmy: You see, yeah, here we are.

Jimmy: December 14th.

Jimmy: This sequence continues.

Jimmy: Sally comes up to Charlie Brown, who's watching TV in his beanbag chair.

Jimmy: She says, what's going on?

Jimmy: And then Charlie Brown says, I'm watching the news.

Jimmy: A department store Santa Claus had a heart attack.

Jimmy: Sally is very upset by this.

Jimmy: And Charlie Brown says they took him to the hospital and he had triple bypass surgery.

Jimmy: And then in the last panel, we see Sally looking very upset.

Jimmy: As Charlie Brown concludes, they said that just before his heart attack, there was some kind of disturbance by a little girl at the store.

Michael: This is totally different than Schulz would ever have done before.

Michael: Because the only, there's no joke in that last panel, except you know what's going on in her head.

Harold: Yeah, and it's not even a joke.

Harold: I mean, it's deeply disturbing, right?

Jimmy: You know what it reminds me of?

Jimmy: The Junior Mint from Seinfeld.

Jimmy: Right?

Jimmy: Where they are secretly responsible for something happening and they don't say anything about it or whatever.

Jimmy: And that seems to be Sally's reaction like, oh.

Harold: Because what's happened the day before is, at first she's basically asking him about his cholesterol levels and whether he has a crease in his earlobes.

Harold: And Santa's not like that.

Harold: She's reaching out to check out his earlobes.

Harold: And so she's apparently pushing her away and she's like, you know, you can't throw me out.

Harold: I was trying to help you.

Harold: You're too fat and you have a crease in your earlobe.

Harold: So she's yelling at Santa.

Harold: And that's apparently, we assume that is what has happened.

Harold: That led to this last.

Jimmy: This is dark, right?

Harold: I mean, it sounds like he might be OK, but for his his triple.

Harold: And the fact that we know that Schulz has gone through this as well, it just it's it's it's such an interesting mixture of all these things that Schulz is processing at this point in his life that, you know, we've mentioned this before.

Harold: Schulz is incredibly active.

Harold: He's incredible.

Harold: He's an incredible sportsman.

Harold: He has an ice rink.

Harold: He's constantly going out to the ice rink that he helped build for his community.

Harold: He hangs out there and loves to be around this sports complex that he and his wife had built together.

Harold: And then he's, you know, he's playing, he's playing hockey there.

Harold: He's doing all sorts of things.

Harold: And then he gets the why me thing.

Harold: Like, why did I have this heart trouble?

Harold: I'm fit.

Harold: I've been, I've been doing what I think I'm supposed to be doing.

Harold: Maybe not with the food side of things.

Harold: I don't know.

Harold: But in terms of activity, I'm sure this was maybe scratching his head and saying, why, why would this happen to me?

Jimmy: Yeah, I think there's, there's real truth to that.

Jimmy: You know, the other thing I want point I want to make about it is a while back, it was indicated that Snoopy had bypass surgery.

Harold: Yes.

Jimmy: And, you know, I was thinking, I really see that as Schultz making Snoopy his avatar in the strip and and giving him those things.

Jimmy: And one of the things you can see it actually on the Schultz timeline for the museum.

Jimmy: And it indicates the area indicates there's a picture of him having drawn a Snoopy on the wall of his hospital room in the cardiac ward and Snoopy is blowing the it's a test you have to do keep your lungs clear after surgery like that where you blow into a tube raises a ball and he has Snoopy a series like an actual strip worth of Snoopy drawing drawings of Snoopy doing that and then when the hospital was revamped and that wall came down he actually came back and redrew it on the wall.

Jimmy: So it was important for him and I mean clearly it's however many three and a half years later four years later and he it's still kicking around the back of his mind.

Harold: Well remember when he had that when he had that issue with his foot and Snoopy who wound up with the cast on his leg all those years ago.

Harold: So yes Snoopy is a good avatar to have.

Jimmy: Absolutely.

Harold: People have used Snoopy as an avatar one place or another in their lives.

Jimmy: Yes, absolutely.

Jimmy: Schulz was definitely aware of his characters of being avatars not just for himself but for other people.

Jimmy: He wrote this in the book, You Don't Look 35, Charlie Brown.

Jimmy: A friend of mine told me once how her young son had come home from school one day, burst through the door, hurled his jacket down on the couch and moaned, Mom, I feel just like Charlie Brown.

Jimmy: He didn't have to say anything more.

Jimmy: She knew exactly what he meant.

Jimmy: And when someone says she's a real Lucy, you know who they're talking about.

Jimmy: I suppose this is one of the things that cartoon characters can do for us to define feelings that we can't necessarily express ourselves.

Jimmy: And I think his certainly do that.

Michael: You're a real Nancy, you know that?

Jimmy: That's the meanest thing you've ever said.

Jimmy: I don't know.

Jimmy: I mean, that is 100% true.

Jimmy: You're a real earnest.

Jimmy: It's not happening with other other comics.

Jimmy: I don't think maybe things like Garfield, right?

Jimmy: He's a lady like Garfield.

Harold: Strong, identifiable characters.

Harold: You have that in Beetle Bailey.

Harold: You've got Plato and Sarge.

Harold: But it isn't something you hear somebody say.

Harold: I'm trying to think of something like in the world of comics that would have been just something someone could say to someone else and they'd know exactly what they were.

Michael: Well, all you have to do is mention spinach.

Michael: If they have a pizza with spinach on it, suddenly it's a Popeye.

SPEAKER_1: They called it what was said.

Michael: Arm of iron.

Harold: Dagwood Sandwiches was a gigantic sandwich.

Harold: At least an attribute.

Harold: But in terms of a personality, I'm trying to think of someone easily using that in culture.

Michael: Yeah, I mean, it's not a comic, but you're really an Eeyore is.

Harold: Yes.

Michael: Definitely a personality type.

Harold: Oh bother.

Jimmy: It's really hard to do to be able to create a character that's so indelible in people's minds.

Jimmy: They know so well that it's like this moment is best summed up by me referencing that character.

Jimmy: That's amazing.

Harold: They're both unique and they represent everybody.

Harold: How does that work?

Michael: Yeah.

Michael: Out of curiosity, is Winnie the Pooh ever a comic strip?

Michael: They seem to recall.

Harold: I believe yes.

Michael: Yeah.

Harold: Yes.

Harold: I think there was a comic strip, at least a Sunday Winnie the Pooh, maybe a daily as well.

Harold: And there were comic books.

Michael: I think they could have worked in the comic.

Harold: I'd like to throw this out to the listeners.

Harold: What are we missing?

Harold: What have you heard in the culture or have you thought you can say this, the other person would get what you're talking about if you're just identifying somebody by using the name of a character.

Harold: Who else is there?

Harold: Who's in that?

Harold: I don't know, that echelon of well-known, super well-defined character.

Jimmy: You got your orders, people.

Michael: That's your homework.

Jimmy: December 23rd, Linus is in the house playing with a hockey stick and Lucy comes up with some with a stack of coloring books and she says, See these coloring books?

Jimmy: Pay attention.

Jimmy: And then she says to Linus, I don't have time to color every picture myself.

Jimmy: Understand what I want you to do is go through each book and color all the skies blue.

Jimmy: Then I won't have to do it.

Jimmy: In the last panel, we see Linus alone with his crayons coloring in the skies.

Jimmy: And he says, Just what I've always wanted to be a coloring book assistant.

Michael: All right, this is Schulz comment on people who have assistance, right?

Harold: Right.

Jimmy: It seems to me.

Harold: Well, he does have a coloring book assistant in a way on his Sundays.

Harold: He has to mark up the colors that he wants, but someone else has to actually go in and create the color that you're going to see in the comics.

Harold: It's the one thing he doesn't get to do.

Jimmy: Yeah, but he would.

Jimmy: Yeah, but I don't think he would consider it that way because he's showing lioness coloring with a crayon.

Jimmy: And I mean, Schultz literally colored his roughs with a colored pencil.

Jimmy: I think, you know, I think a cartoonist at that point would have to say that's the most I could do.

Jimmy: Although Robert Crumb would do his his own color separations for his covers.

Jimmy: I mean, it's possible.

Jimmy: I don't think anyone in the history of the world has done it as a daily strip though.

Harold: No, they were all people, I think, living in Buffalo, New York, where they would prepare these things.

Harold: I don't know all the details on it, but I think there's a book coming out about that, which I would love to see.

Harold: It's a whole world of how comics became comics, the hidden jobs and how...

Jimmy: Yeah, I mean, being a color separator on a comic, it was difficult because you would have to cut out adhesive pieces of film representing cyan, magenta and yellow in various percentages, usually 25, what, 50 and 100.

Harold: Yeah, it's like a cell painter in animation.

Michael: Yeah, it's hard for me to comprehend because that's so work intensive, it sounds like, putting the color in.

Michael: The profit margin on a comic book was like a penny.

Jimmy: Right.

Harold: Yeah, well, they probably paid two pennies to the people doing it.

Harold: Yeah, it was not a high paying job.

Jimmy: Yeah, great effect though, great aesthetic effect to the point that Roy Lichtenstein made a fortune just copying it.

Harold: Yeah, I have a question.

Harold: I'm looking at the Phantagraphics book and what on earth, I don't know if you're seeing this from the version that you guys are looking at, but what on earth is going on in the lower left panel, the first panel of the strip?

Harold: It looks like a little three-year-old is colored in underneath Lucy's dress.

Harold: I can't make heads or tails out of what I'm seeing.

Michael: Is it a shoe?

Jimmy: Yeah, that's her shoe.

Jimmy: No, what you're seeing is, okay.

Jimmy: So the copyright notice is what's screwing it up.

Jimmy: The C is actually interfering with the bend of her knee.

Jimmy: So that line that you see kind of stop right before the copyright notice is the bend of her knee.

Jimmy: And then that scribble underneath her dress is her shoe, as if she's walking and that's kicking back.

Harold: Well, with the copyright notice missing in the fanographic book, it looks absolutely bizarre.

Harold: It looks, I mean, the shoe does not look, I can't see an angle that would make that shoe a shoe.

Harold: And the bend of the knee, I don't think, well, somebody maybe drew something in because it was missing and they didn't know what to do and they just added a bizarre line or something.

Harold: Can you even see the front leg?

Jimmy: Yeah, like a tiny little, like an eighth of an inch coming from the bottom of her skirt that stops about an eighth of an inch above the one in the copyright notice.

Harold: Okay, so that's got to be as in depth as we've ever looked at somebody has somebody has not completed a line that they should have and probably added one that well, the poor guy who had to white out like 7000 copyright notices.

Jimmy: Well, not 17000 of them.

Michael: Yeah, every strip.