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Valentine's Day 1966-1980

Jimmy: Hey, everybody. Welcome back to the show. It's that time of year. Love is in the air again. Maybe it's unrequited. I hope not for you, though. If nothing else, I love you. Welcome back to the show here. My name is Jimmy Gownley. I'm going to be your host for these Valentine's Day proceedings. I'm also a cartoonist. I did Amelia Rules. Seven good reasons not to grow up, and the Dumbest Idea ever. Joining me, as always, are my pals, co hosts, and fellow cartoonists. 


He's a playwright, he's a composer, both, for the band Complicated People, as well as for this very podcast. He's the original editor of Amelia Rules, the co creator of the original Comic Book Price Guide, and the creator of such great strips as Strange Attractors, A Gathering of Spells, and Tangled River. It's Michael Cohen.


Michael: Say hey.


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


Harold: Hello.


Jimmy: All right, it's been a year since Valentine's day, so producer Liz has put together a bunch of Valentine's Day strips since we left off in 1965. We're not going to look at all of them. We're going to look at a big representative sampling, partly because it's always fun to look at Peanuts. It's great to see it, shift over the years and, to give you guys a little Valentine's Day present that, isn't high in calories and sugar, which is important to us here at unpacking Peanuts these days. 


So, to start things off, guys, I want to talk about holidays and Peanuts. One thing that's really funny, it struck me, reading all these Valentine's Day strips. Michael's like, it makes no sense that we didn't see the mother make a ham sandwich. However, we have had 15 Valentine's days, and no one's aged a year. It's a really weird art form where you are. I mean, is there another art form like this, where you are cycling through the year the same as everybody else, but you're not changing the characters in real time the way you would in, like, a soap opera, just that you can't avoid if there's an actor. But every year there's going to be Christmas. Every year there's going to be the pulling away, the football, Valentine's day, Great Pumpkin. You start seeing these things that fill up, like the Peanuts calendar.


Michael: Yeah.


Jimmy: what do you think about that? Because it's like a rock star that has a lot of hits and they go on tour and they can't play them all. That sort of is where he's at, I feel.


Michael: Yeah. Well, I mean, there have been strips where the characters age, but very few.


Jimmy: Yeah.


Michael: And, it looks like Peanuts characters are aging. At least we know that he recently referred to himself as being eight. And I think, previously they were saying five.


Jimmy: Yeah. But there's not 50 Valentine's days between the time you're five years old and time you're eight.


Michael: And styles change. And Snoopy has aged, more than the others. Yeah. I mean, it's a weird thing that you either accept it or you-- I mean, it seems to work better in Peanuts in comic strips than it does in comic books.


Jimmy: Yeah.


Michael: Because you start going back and you have to go, well, Batman had to have, like, three adventures a day.


Jimmy: Right? well, now Batman has had, like, three or four Robins. He goes through them one a week or something.


Harold: That's horrifying. Yeah. The mind and the hand behind the strips moves forward a year. Characters don't. That's fascinating. As you were saying, it's cool to see the art styles change in one year increments. I really enjoy that when we do these. And for those of you who are following along at home, I hope you will dive into gocomics.com or pull out your books and look at some of these. It's fun to see it jump in style year to year, but also the tone of it, which we can not really see shifting in time quite as much when we're just reading a year now, you jump from one year to the next. And where is Charles Schulz, in these years? And do you see a different tone?


Michael: Yeah, I don't think you could tell from the Valentine strips because they probably tend to be pretty morose.


Jimmy: Well, yeah, that's an interesting point, too, because once the Peanuts year starts filling up, because we started with four little characters and no traditions, no supporting cast, no world, nothing, but it keeps building and growing, which he has to do to expand as an artist. But there's still only 365 strips a year, and now there's so many of these things that people are expecting. What effect does that have on the strip as we end up seeing it? Do you think, do you think that's a pressure he felt? Do you think it's a net negative. A net positive.


Michael: Well, he's gotta stretch to come up with more and more gags, right? Yeah. And Valentine's day, it's very specific what has to happen. Sort of like football. There's rules here which he could break if he wanted to, but apparently he doesn't want to.


Jimmy: And if he did, it would be like a one off. That would be the excitement of it, that he broke the rule. Right?


Harold: Yeah. The calendar can be a blessing and a curse, and you feel like you've got to do the football strip whether you want to or not. But also, you're trying to find out something fresh every day. And the topicality of that calendar year helps probably jump start. You say, oh, okay, I can do a love related strip this week because there are .


Michael: Like he could not have a mailbox full of Valentine's 


Jimmy: for Charlie Brown. 


Michael: Yeah, Charlie Brown.


Jimmy: Well, you know, this goes back possibly to his fandom with, you know, it's funny because I'm certain there's a lot of people, by the way, to all our new listeners, hello. We got a lot of you over the last few weeks. Welcome. It is so exciting to have you. So Schulz was a Krazy Kat fan as a kid and as a young adult, and that is nothing but milking one setup for a million different resolutions and punchlines. So maybe that's a challenge he sort of enjoys because he was a fan of it, obviously.


Harold: I think so you'd have to be if you're doing this sort of a thing. Right? For those of you who may not be familiar with Krazy Kat, it was a strip that was popular from the teens through the forties. Not ever hugely popular, but it was about a little cat, anthropomorphic cat, and a little mouse. And, there's a strange relationship talking about unrequited love. And that strip is loaded with it where you got the cat who loves the mouse, but the mouse throws a brick at the cat every day ritual. Yeah, it's quite a strip. If you have never seen it, look up Krazy Kat, both with two k's in the front and check it out, because it's quite an amazing strip.


Jimmy: When we think about it, or we talk about it rather, and I think, well, there might be people-- I'm sure there are people here who are only fans of Peanuts and not don't have a background on comic strips. I imagine they picture something adjacent to Heathcliff and Garfield. And when we say Krazy Kat, and that is not what this is, it's completely different.

Harold: Yeah, Krazy Kat sounds pretty like, whoa. And it's not really that. It's got a lot of the same kind of that ennui.


Jimmy: Yeah, you're not going to be guffawing at Krazy Kat.


Harold: On quite a deep strip.


Michael: It's very poetic for a comic strip rather than going for the laughs.


Harold: Yes, it's a really good kind of.


Michael: It’s going for the weird dialogue.


Jimmy: Right. Yeah. That's another thing. You will be reading strange dialects. Peanuts really came along at the exact right time to be successful. Still today, it's just as television is happening, it's post war. It does feel like the things before World War II are much more distant to us than the things after.


Michael: Well, it's very suburban. Starting in the kids strips, before most of them were city strips, the poor kids in the tenements.


Harold: Right. Or country strips


Michael: it was..  reflect the times and as you know, lots of pop references.


Jimmy: Right.


Michael: So he was definitely aware, because he had so many kids, he was definitely aware of what was going on in the world.


Jimmy: Absolutely, absolutely. Well, I think if you guys haven't listened to our first Valentine's Day episode, you can go back and listen to that and that'll get you up to speed another way, if you're brand new to this podcast, that you can find out exactly what strips we're going to be covering on a given episode, you could go over there to unpackingpeanuts.com, you sign up for the great Peanuts Reread. And what that'll do is it'll give you one, email a month from my pal Harold Buchholz there, who will tell you what strips we're going to be covering that month on the episodes of the show. Because we're here once a week talking about Peanuts, usually reading every single year of the strips starting in 1950, going all the way to 2000. But for special, occasions like this, we take a break, we do something different, and, yeah., 


So today we are going to do the Valentine's Day strips, post 65. So one way you can follow along then and read these strips, along with us is you could go over to the website gocomics.com, then you could type in Peanuts and click, on it. And that will give you access to every Peanuts strip ever published. Or if you're a bougie type, you got a little extra cash laying around, burning a hole in your pocket. Well, first thing you could do is you could go over to our website and buy one of our books or send us a mud pie or contribute to Patreon. But after you do that, you could buy a Fantagraphics edition, which are absolutely beautiful, collections of all the Peanuts strips, in a series called the Complete Peanuts. And if you want to hear more about that, we just interviewed Gary Groth, last week, who was the publisher of that. So what do you think, guys? Should we just, go for it?


Michael: Yep


Harold: Here we go.


February 12, 1967. We start off. It's a Sunday, so we start off with that top tier, which is a takeaway. A lot of editors can cut that out if they wanted to. So panel one is Charlie Brown in a heart. Charlie Brown is drawn on a little valentine. In panel two, we see Charlie Brown is very excited as he races past Snoopy, saying, “the mailman came.” Then the strip really starts on the next tier. And Charlie Brown is opening up the mailbox on this Valentine's day, or just before Valentine's day. And in the next panel, you won't believe it, but all these valentines come pouring out. Charlie Brown is so surprised and happy Valentine's. Wow. He's literally standing in them up to his waist as if they're a big pile of leaves. Snoopy is there looking at them, too. So in the next panel, Charlie Brown starts to sort through them. He says, “here you are, Snoopy. There's even one for you. How about that? Well, here's another one for you. This is your lucky day.” The next panel, we see where this is going. “And one more for you. And one more. And one more. And one more. And one more.” And in the last panel, Snoopy is walking away with a huge stack of Valentines all for him. And Charlie Brown has none. And he stands by the empty mailbox saying, ”I can't stand it. I just can't stand it.” 


Harold: With his hands in his pockets and a forlorn look on his face..


Jimmy: Michael, speaking of , though, there you go. That is. That is getting us up to speed with, the Valentine's Day Charlie Brown .


Michael: Well, yeah, it's got to happen. He's not going to get any. Or maybe he gets one sometime. I don't know. But also, that punchline at the end is used quite often in this period when basically something happens that is fairly predictable, but it really makes him unhappy. Charlie Brown, unhappy. He can't stand it. Actually, a lot of people say that. He's not the only one.


Jimmy: Yeah, I say it on a regular basis.


Harold: Do you add the I just can't stand it?


Jimmy: It, depends on if I'm being ironic or if I really can't stand it. If I really can't stand it. No, I'm not going to add the extra one.


Harold: That little picture of Snoopy with his eyes closed, this kind of haughty look on his face as he walks off with a gigantic stack, his little legs floating over the grass as he walks away is great.


Jimmy: Absolutely. Let's go on to 


February 11, 1968. That's the same one. No, it's not. That's so weird. Wait a second.


Michael: Yeah, it's weird, all right.


Jimmy: Right.


Michael: Well, Sundays, it's not, always going to be on a Sunday, but twice in a row it is.

Jimmy: And the first panel is so weird. It's the exact same Idea. 


Charlie Brown's head in a Valentine's heart. But this time, he's smiling sheepishly. Last week's, he was looking a bit so. Okay, so we start that way, and then we cut to Charlie Brown, who is walking and holding a valentine in his hand and saying to no one in particular, “happy Valentine's Day.” This continues. It's Charlie Brown all by himself, holding this Valentine. Now, he has a ridiculous smile on his face, and he says, “here, little red haired girl, this is for you. It's a Valentine.” The next panel, “this is a Valentine I made especially for you.” Another attempt. Eyes confidently closed, with a big smile on his face and his hand over his heart. “Here, little red haired girl, this is a valentine I want you to have.” Now, with a jaunty, friendly wink, he hands it to his imaginary friend and says, “here, little red haired girl, this is a valentine to show how much I like you.” Now, with a cheesy grin, he says, “here, this Valentine is for you. Sweet little red haired girl.” Now a Han Solo-ish scoundrel face. “Here, you little doll, you. This valentine is for you.” He continues, “here, little red haired girl. This Valentine is for you. And I hope you like it as much as I like you.” And in the next panel, he just sort of realizes the futility of all this, and he sighs to himself, then walks to a mailbox and puts the Valentine in. After this, Linus walks up and says to Charlie Brown, “hi, Charlie Brown. Did you give that little red haired girl your Valentine?” Charlie Brown, a look of defeat on his face, walks away and says, “I couldn't do it. I mailed it anonymously.” And then in the last panel, Linus looks after him, a sympathetic look of sadness on his face. And then he says, “good old Charlie Brown. He's the Charlie Browniest.”


Michael: Which is one of the classic punchlines.


Jimmy: One of the classic punchlines. Getting a call back for the third time once in the strip once in the animated Christmas special. And here we are again. At least those three that I can recall.


Harold: Yeah. And given that it looks like it's a sheet of paper and has no stamp on it, 


Jimmy: I thought the same thing.


Harold: That won’t do too well, either. It's got a nice big heart on it, though.


Jimmy: Now, if you are coming, to Peanuts from the animation from the world of merchandising from the musical again, welcome. We love having everybody here, but here's what you're really going to get to enjoy if you stick around and go through these strips one by one with us, that level of cartooning craft of all the various versions of Charlie Brown handing the valentine, imagining to hand the Valentine to the little red haired girl is just know he's working with essentially a smiley face and one line for hair or whatever. And it's the same basic emotion which is a pleasant, smiling, friendly approach to giving someone a gift. But he does. 123456 7 different facial expressions, body languages. it's great. It's just great cartooning. And that all comes from Schulz.


Michael: Especially though, second tier, last panel, which is an expression you've never seen on Charlie Brown because that's not him, it’s cocky and arrogant.


Harold: And like the, if you into old Hollywood, I feel like it's like Ronald Coleman or of, this kind of accent with too, as he's saying, it's here, little red haired girl. This Valentine is for you and I hope you like it as much as I like you. And even it looks like his little tuft of hair has been slicked back against his head. It's great.


Jimmy: What's great is, like Michael said, this is not a Charlie Brown expression. We've never seen this because of course he's putting this persona on. So it's the first time that Schulz has drawn it this way. But we instantly know exactly the vibe he's going for. And that's just a master.


Harold: It's great.


Jimmy: Oh, a daily strip, 


February 12, 1968. Three identical panels of Charlie Brown just sitting under the mailbox with his head leaned up against the post. And then in the last one, he looks out at us with a grin in his face and says, “waiting for Valentine's.” 


Jimmy: Well, there's a couple, with this, but just that first one that says everything you kind of need to know about Charlie Brown's personality, we know that he's not getting.

Michael: I mean, we've seen a lot of this breaking the fourth wall business, but it's generally not usually looking at the reader and thinking something that you're supposed to hear, but Charles Brown rarely does this. But this is so clear-- he's, there's no reason for him to say this.


Harold: It does look to me, to my perspective, it looks like he's looking slightly off camera. So you can read it either way if you want.


Michael: Oh, like looking for the mailman or something.


Jimmy: Yeah, he is looking off camera for sure, but it does read. Okay, this is an insane level to get into, but why not? We have nothing else to do. Right? He chose to draw those little comma eyes that indicate that he's looking off panel, but he's also clearly breaking the fourth wall, like Michael says. Do you think that is Schulz consciously hedging his bets?


Harold: Yes.


Jimmy: That's wild, that level of thought, right? Crazy. And we're talking about how much space did those comma shaped eyes take up in a newspaper.


Harold: He's such, he's such a genius of it. And what I found in cartooning, one of the most important things you can do, and when someone's not good at it, it just jumps out at me, is the direction of the eyes. If you set the direction of the eyes of where they're looking off from where it should be, it changes the dynamic and the efficacy of the strip in a huge way. Now, some people know how to take care of that with no uncertainty, like Nancy, when they have the dotted line going from her eye to the thing she's looking, Her eyes are a little rounder. So I guess he needs a little help, for directing. Schulz will make an oval and direct it a little bit more than what I think Ernie Bushmiller could have done with Nancy. But, yeah, I think this is a hedging of bets because he absolutely could nail that dead on. We would be looking straight into Charlie Brown's eyes and we're not.


Jimmy: Right. That's very interesting, talking about those eyeline things. I never understood or thought about that as a cartoonist, growing up or anything. But I remember in the 90s, and I may have the artist wrong. But I think it was an interview about the early days of Sandman. Is it Mike Dringenberg or something? I think the artist was. And they showed his penciled pages in the interview, and he had little lines, drawn between the characters eyes to make sure that when they were, like, having conversations with each other, they were actually meeting each other's eyelines. I thought, oh, that's so simple and such a great Idea.


Michael: Yeah. But going back to Krazy Kat, the dotted line was pretty prevalent in Krazy Kat, as I recall. Yeah, that's it was a little exclamation point floating in the air.


Harold: Yeah. Well, and the other thing in this strip, which we've seen over and over again in Schulz, when you look at the consistency of what he's able to do now, I don't know if he had a light box here. This absolutely looks like he had a light box where he drew this. And he re inked it every time. But it was off of an original drawing. But regardless, the consistency of those first three panels of Charlie Brown doing exactly the same thing is pretty stunning.

Jimmy: Absolutely. And, yeah, he definitely inked it. If you look at just the, right hand side of the mailbox, you can see how it dents in a little bit on the first one. And you see it's less in the next one than not at all in the third. Mean, I would not want to task myself with if. Again, if I had this Idea and I had to draw the same essentially thing four times and it was a mailbox like, no way. I just wouldn't do it.


Harold: Right. And I think about how hard Charlie Brown is to draw with, these curved lines. And because he's so simple, the simpler you make a character, the more off one single dot or you draw something slightly different, it changes the character because there are only, like, four or five lines.


Michael: Well, I wouldn't know how to draw this pose at all because he's resting 1foot on his knee. But he doesn't have a knee.


Jimmy: I was just going to talk about that. I was drawing a kid-- drawing something for a book I'm working on. And I was trying to basically do that kind of pose, like under the feet crossed, essentially. Yeah. And when I did it, it looked just like a shoe is resting on top of the kid's leg. But it just looks completely disembodied for whatever reason. You just glide right through this and only a lunatic who's staring at it like we do notices these. But thankfully, there's at least three lunatics and one lunatic adjacent person that I can go through this with.


Harold: And if you were a normal person, the top of your back would be touching the post of the mailbox. But the way the character is drawn, the head is so big, it's the back of his head, and his back is like a foot away from the mailbox. But you accept it.


Jimmy: Yeah. Oh, you completely accept it. And I envy this type of cartooning, the way he understands how to do what he needs to do every time, we know he would be, doodling on his legal pads or whatever to come up with drawings and stuff like that. Do you think there was a lot of working a pose out or that he would draw that pose absentmindedly almost and go, oh, that's it. Or do you think it was ever like, I have to draw Charlie Brown in front of the mailbox. Let me figure out how his little body would do that. I get the sense that that doesn't happen.


Michael: Well, it's probably worked out in this case because, as we go ahead, there's three strips with him in that exact same pose. Yeah. It was important to get it right and copy it.


Harold: Yeah, well, you see it like with Snoopy. Since Snoopy is the most elastic of all of the characters, you see that he discovers something new and often it's so different. It's not a know if he finds the Snoopy happy dance with this crazy elongated drawing that had to have come out of a sketch. Right. I don't think you could force yourself to violate the rules of Snoopy that much unless you were just sketching with wild abandon. And it didn't matter. It wasn't a final piece. But I wouldn't be surprised if he did tackle something and say, how am I going to do this? Occasionally? But he just seems so intuitive when he comes up with some amazing new iconic pose that just reads so beautifully. It just seems like he had a tremendous gift for that. Of course, he's been drawing them and the ones we're looking here now for 18 years, he's got a good sense of what he's doing and he just almost never has a wrong footing on anything.


Jimmy: Right. The other thing that he has that we have to sort of think about, especially like this waiting for Valentines strip that's only a joke if we already know who Charlie Brown is. I mean, it would just be an optimistic kid or whatever if you didn't know Charlie Brown's personality. but he's built it up brick by brick over these years. So now he could do something so minimal and we get it because we know Charlie Brown.


Harold: And yet, if you'd never seen Peanuts before. I'm just looking at him waiting for Valentine's and the one that's coming up with Lucy, it pulls me know. It's like I'd want to know this character, that there's something about this simple little character that has, there's something behind it that is not your typical cartoon. He's not as two dimensional. And I don't know how Schulz is doing that. He's pouring something into this. His spirit is somehow going into this strip, and it stays alive and jumps out of the page at you when you read it. And that's remarkable.


Jimmy: Oh, absolutely.


Michael: I have a Ukrainian student,.


Jimmy: and this is teaching, English, correct?


Michael: Yeah. Helping. Well, not teaching, but helping English conversation. I've been introducing Peanuts strips.


Jimmy: Nice one.


Michael: Peanuts strip every week. So here's a test case. Somebody who had never heard of Peanuts, right. Did not know any of the characters, had never seen one, never even heard of such a thing. And going, okay, this is Charlie Brown. This is Lucy. The first three I've done are all Charlie Brown and Lucy. So she's just beginning to get a feel for the characters. So I'm going to continue doing it, because I think it's a really good way to teach.


Harold: That's great. It's a great thing to see what you hear back from your student in terms of how she's responding.


Michael: Well, I'm always amazed because she actually laughs at the punchline.


Harold: That's great.


Michael: But also, it's the perfect strip because the drawing is simple and very clear, easy to read, but the language can be challenging and lots of, yeah.


Harold: Yes.


Jimmy: That's really interesting. Yeah. Comics have been traditionally a great tool for teaching English as a second language, but you may have really hit on something with Peanuts because it takes away a lot of the difficulty of the comics form.


Michael: Yeah, well, the first time I did it, I said, okay, why don't you read the first panel?

And she read the last panel first. she didn’t know to start on the left.


Jimmy: Like Harold, when he was a kid. 


February 13, 1968. This continues. Charlie Brown's still sitting, underneath the mailbox, and Lucy comes up to him, and he explains to her, “waiting for Valentines.” Lucy looks at him and says, “oh, well, good luck.” Charlie Brown says, “thank you.” Then Lucy walks away, and she says, “you'll need it.” Charlie Brown yells, “you didn't have to say that.”


Michael: A normal person wouldn't say that. But Lucy has to say that.


Jimmy: It would go against her nature.


Michael: Yeah.


Harold: Interesting that when she turns around to walk away, she's actually closer to him walking away than she was in the panels when she was facing him. She's like, she backed up as she turned and then heading out.


Jimmy: So, basically, on Valentine's day itself, Snoopy, climbs on top of Charlie Brown, who's still sitting at the mailbox, and gets a whole stack of Valentine's out, which are just his. And then for the next couple days, we just see Snoopy reading all the names from all the lovely ladies he got Valentines from. And, a lot of them are people who, have significance to Schulz. Like, we see his wife Joyce's name. We see his daughters, Amy and Jill and Meredith. And this keeps going on for the next day. And this goes all the way till the 17th. 


And on the 17th, Charlie Brown has just about had enough of it. He's so furious that Snoopy is reading all these valentines he got. And Snoopy continues, “and Edna and Naomi and Lila and Fran.” And somehow Charlie Brown knows that he did not get one from Lila. So he turns and yells at Snoopy, “you didn't get a valentine from Lila.” Snoopy looks at the valentines remaining in his paws and says, “I didn't? Didn't Lila send me a valentine?” Then in the third panel, he looks absolutely devastated. “Lila doesn't love me anymore.” But then in the fourth panel, he's back at it. “Oh, well. And Connie and Chiyo and Marilyn and Aileen” and Charlie Brown leans his head not against the mailbox, but against Snoopy's dog house. And he says, “I can't stand it. I just can't stand it.”


Jimmy: I think that's a really great way to spread these. Snoopy's getting all his Valentine's Day strips out for, like, a whole week. That's a smart cartoonist. You didn't have to do a lot of writing that week. A lot of lettering, but not a lot of writing.


Harold: And you get your can't stand it again, a classic. Yeah, that's a common one. And there's something about these strips I remember again, as a kid reading these. And there's something absolutely adorable. This little beagle with this happy smile, getting all these valentines from all these different women. So cute. And then that's juxtaposed against Charlie Brown's despair and anger and resignation. And it's quite a powerful combination.


Jimmy: Absolutely.


February 14, 1969. Oh, a very sweet moment. Sally, who, as we know, absolutely adores Linus, is standing outside. And Linus comes up to her. He hands her a valentine and says, “here, Sally, happy Valentine's day.” In panel two, Linus smiles as she looks at it. She has no real expression on her face. Maybe just surprise, not even surprised, but just that she is in the moment that she is receiving a valentine from her sweet Babboo. And in panel three, this causes her to scream to the heavens, “WAAH.” This shocks Linus that she is crying so loudly. But in the last panel, she stops, smiles, looks at Linus and says, “excuse me, a tear came to my eye.” 


Jimmy: It feels like we haven't been getting quite as much Sally in the last couple years. Well, we did at the camp and stuff. But I love Sally and I love Sally and Linus. I love that he gave her a valentine. They have a really unique and special relationship in the strip, I think.

Harold: And it's funny, we talk about the strip being about unrequited love, and this small kindness from Linus has this massive emotional payoff. It's interesting that Schulz is not used to giving us a moment where somebody who might want something from somebody, they actually get it.


Jimmy: Get it.


Harold: And then it's so meaningful when it happens.


Jimmy: And it also is a little bit of Sally maybe misunderstanding things. Like she thinks, like, well, she's heard that phrase, so she thinks, oh, great, this is my opportunity to just let loose.


Harold: Oh, that's interesting. I hadn't looked at it that way.


Jimmy: Yeah, well, it's a real catharsis.


Harold: Yeah.


Jimmy: But it's, maybe a misunderstanding of the appropriateness of doing that.


Harold: Even if he did just show her a kindness and it was that meaningful to her. That really touches me. Right.


Jimmy: Oh, yeah. And I'm not negating that. I mean, she absolutely does feel that it's a real emotion, but I just think she thinks, oh, yeah, you could do this.


Harold: And her fourth panel is an interesting mixture of kind of looks like a clear headed and a little sheepish at the same time that she feels free to say that to Linus. And Linus rolls his eyes and that is accomplished.


Jimmy: That's sheepishness by one parentheses around the dot. That is the eye. And the smile doesn't come quite to a point. It sort of rounds off and then comes down with her chin a little bit tucked in. It's the most minimal amount of change from, say, the panel, panel one where she.


Harold: the upper lip drops and then the mouth has a little bit of a wave. Yeah. Again, he's just so amazing as a cartoonist, getting an emotion that complex across.


Jimmy: With basically two lines.


February 13, 1970. Charlie Brown is again out, looking at the mailbox. 


Jimmy: It's a wintry day sometimes on Valentine's Day in Peanuts land. It's fine that you can walk around in your shorts outside and other times you are living.


Michael: Looks like he's not quite sure where this strip takes place. Last year was in California because Linus has a short sleeve shirt.


Jimmy: And this year is exactly. Yeah. So. 


So Charlie Brown's standing in the piles of snow and he's looking at the mailbox. And then panel two, he, turns away from the mailbox with a grin on his face and says to himself, “I wonder what it would be like to get a valentine from someone you liked and who really liked.” And he looks back at the mailbox and he turns away from the mailbox again and says, “I wonder what it would be like to never find out.”


Jimmy: Now, luckily we know because we just saw it last year, in the Linus and Sally's strip. It's very, very cute.


Harold: This is a very tiny thing, but the flag that, you know, you have on the side of your mailbox, it looks like the same base of a mailbox, but they bought a new one because the flag is turning the other way. So if you actually pointing toward you instead of away from you. So, maybe they moved the mailbox and it's post elsewhere, ‘cause you see the side of the house here, which is a little unusual. And it looks like there was quite a snow because if that mailbox is anywhere near the street, the street has not been plowed.


Liz: We lost three or four mailboxes when we lived in New Hampshire from the snow plows.


Jimmy: Oh, no. Really?


Harold: Yeah. Put it back about 8ft.


Michael: This is why you listeners have to listen to all the strips, to get little tidbits of information like this.


Jimmy: Listen. So while you're contemplating that one, we're going to take a quick break because our world has been shattered by this information of the new mailbox. We'll, take a quick break and come back on the other side, and we'll keep going through the strips. See you in a minute.


BREAK


VO: Hi, everyone. We all love listening to Jimmy describe what's going on in a Peanuts strip. But did you know that comics are actually a visual medium? That's right. You can see them anytime you want at gocomics.com. Or in your very own copy of the Complete Peanuts available from Fantagraphics. Plus, if you sign up for our monthly newsletter, you'll know in advance which strips we're talking about each week. Learn more about the great Peanuts reread at unpackingpeanuts.com.


Jimmy: And we're back. Did you miss us, Valentine? Okay, so we're going to go ahead and continue with the strips in but a moment. but first off, hey, Liz. I'm hanging out here in the mailbox with Charlie Brown. Did we get any?


Liz: we did we got a couple. The first one's from Sean W. who says, hey, guys, thanks for making the podcast. I've listened to it at least four times now. I grew up on Calvin and Hobbes, but after coming across the podcast, I've been reading through Peanuts from the beginning and enjoying it. And he says, I've been listening to Glenn Miller and big band music since hearing Harold talk about it. And after looking up Ivan Brunetti when he came on as a guest, I've gotten the confidence to do my own strip.


Michael: All right.


Harold: Oh, that's wonderful.


Jimmy: Way to go, buddy.


Harold: Yeah. Let us know if you get any, share any of that online. Let us know where it is and how we can check it out.


Liz: He did. He sent us a link, and I'll post it on social media.


Jimmy: Absolutely. Because, if you decide you are a cartoonist and you make finished work, then you are a cartoonist.


Harold: You are in an elite group. Not many people will do finished work, get that far.


Jimmy: Absolutely. It's a hard thing to do. I'm glad you're taking your first steps, and I'm glad we were even a small part of it. That's awesome.


Harold: Yeah.


Jimmy: Now listen to REM too.  Glenn Miller.


Michael: And give us a plug when you win that Eisner award.


Jimmy: Yeah, exactly. That's right. When you win an Eisner award, we want, at least a thank you.


Liz: And Susie Metzler wrote again, she was the listener, who really wanted us to do the doomsday series, and she says, thank you so much for episode 95. I spent years just wanting to hear or read some good discussion of those doomsday camp strips. I think one of you said it best, that in those final two strips, dividing the takedown of the camp between Linus on the spiritual level and Peppermint Patty on the street smarts level, after a couple of weeks of exploring the troubling nature of the camp, Schulz through those two characters, levelled that sort of exploitive enterprise beautifully. I try to share the interlude whenever I talk to someone who thinks of Peanuts being all happiness is a warm puppy, etc. But their eyes glaze over. Thanks. Thanks. This episode was a huge gift. Thank you, Susie, and thank you for your generosity.


Jimmy: That's fantastic.


Michael: Yeah.


Harold: And thank you for asking us to do it.


Jimmy: Oh, I was thrilled, when we heard from you and said you wanted us to do this. I was excited to do it. One of the things I've taken away, from looking, at these longer stories in depth is how much better he got at nailing those endings. When we first started looking at the longer strips, I remember saying, well, a lot of times that ending doesn't even up to say Alfred E. Newman. Right. I don't know. Is that a good ending? But, boy, yeah, I think in the last few, especially this one, he really does nail that ending.


Harold: And I guess it goes back to the animation. We keep saying that the animation is probably affecting him and he's getting better at things that he maybe wouldn't have pursued. But he is in the business of writing stories that have beginnings and middles and ends within a certain time frame. And that's got to make you better at something that maybe wasn't your strong suit or the thing you were really focused on in your art.


Jimmy: Absolutely. On the old Peanuts hotline, we got two text messages. Now. If you want to call the Peanuts hotline, Liz will give you the number here. 


VO: That number again is 717-219-4162 


Jimmy: so if you want to call, you could leave a voicemail, or you can, just text us. no one's monitoring it, so you could call anytime at night, and then I just check it in the day. So anyway, we got two texts. We were put on blast by former friend of the podcast, Todd Webb.


Harold: Oops.


Jimmy: Okay, so this is what Todd has to say. Listening to the latest episode of unpacking while working. And Jackson Pollock got some guff for not being able to draw. I'm not a fan of his work necessarily, but I don't think his paintings are about representing or abstracting anything at all. So draftsmanship shouldn't even play into it. His paintings are just documents recording the performance of his movements. He wasn't a painter so much as a dancer performer. Keith Herring worked similarly, but with a figurative style. Thanks for coming to my Todd Talk. Yeah, I went back and listened after I got this and said, oh, it must have been Michael, but it was actually, I think, kind of all of us a little.


Michael: Well, yeah, but at some point, kids who draw, all kids I assume, you know, they go from squiggly lines. At some point, they try to do a representation of a tree or their parents or whatever. And I'm sure that's true with him too. So I'd like to see the six year old drawing by him, see if he can nail the sun over a little tree.


Harold: Yeah. And point taken. Todd, thank you for standing up for Jackson and what he was about.


Jimmy: Yeah, and I absolutely understand what you're saying. And by the way, if anybody out there is unfamiliar with Tod Webb's work, he is a true daily cartoonist. He has been doing a comic strip called The Poet for years. You can go back and listen to his episode with us. It's a really good interview. It gives great insight into what it's like to do a daily strip. And, also, we just love Todd, even though he's wrong. No, I'm just kidding. 


No, I actually, at the Met, I think it was. I sat in front of a Jackson Pollock for about 15 or 20 minutes. One of the real problems with studying art is that, like, fine art is you really have to be in front of it before it means anything to you. If you see it on the screen, on your phone or whatever, that's one thing. When you stand in front of it and it's, the size of a wall, it has a totally different impact. So there you go. Todd Webb says, don't sleep on Pollock. And, I threw out Keith Herring reference, too, which was great, because Keith Herring from Kutztown, Pa. 


And we got one other. This is from Kevin L. In Houston, and he texts. Can you talk about how the idea for this podcast came about? How did the-- I know. I just said, hey, we should read all the Peanuts strips. Here's the two important things I will say about that. My idea, it was originally my idea. My idea was not, I want to read a bunch of Peanuts strips, or all the Peanuts strips, and talk with cartoonists about it. The idea was, I am going to read all the Peanuts strips with Harold and Michael and talk about it. That was the idea for the show. And that's super important that everyone understands if you're interested in this sort of thing. The other important thing is it would not have ever made it to your ears if Liz hadn't stepped in and said, who had already had success creating and producing her own podcast, and she hadn't stepped in and said, look, I can produce this, I can edit this, and I can actually get it in front of people, we wouldn't be discussing it at all. So, hopefully that answers-- 


Harold: Somebody willing to cut out all of the stupid things we say.


Jimmy: Well, not all of them, because it would just be a silent podcast. Well, that's true. Yeah.


Harold: you can't cut out all this.


Michael: We need the John Cage podcast. We've got to do it.


Jimmy: Episode 1, 56 minutes of silence.


Michael: but you got to give a shout out to, I would think an inspiration for me and Jimmy, at least, is, the Screw it we're just going to talk about comics podcast.


Jimmy: Absolutely.


Michael: Which is reading every Spiderman and every Fantastic Four and talking about it. Two brothers.


Jimmy: Absolutely.


Michael: Who were guests on the show, and we both love that. And I think that gave us the thought, like, we could do this.


Jimmy: Oh, 1000%. We need to give them a shout out. And they were guests on this show. They're really funny and great guys. so Kevin and Will Hines, Screwit We're Just Going to Talk About Comics, check out our episode of that, and then check out, their podcast.

Especially if you're just a Peanuts fan and you're like, hey, I'm sort of interested in some other comics. Maybe go back and give their early Spiderman series a run, because those Ditko comics are great, and that's so, ok. 


So if you want to get in touch with us, you can do it a number of ways. The easiest way is for you just to go over to that unpackingpeanuts.com, and, you can just email us. We are unpackingpeanuts@gmail.com. We would love to hear from you that way. Otherwise you can follow, us on social media. I'll give you the info at the end of the episode. And, you can call the hotline, which once again, is.


VO: That number again is 717-219-4162 


Jimmy: all right. Back to the strips. 


February 14, 1971, for the third year. Now, again, if you're a new listener, you might not know this, but the first tier of these Sunday strips, are designed to be removable because not every newspaper editor ran the entire strip. So you had to design it so that the editor could cut those top two off and then just print the rest of the strip and it would work. So this is why for the third time this episode, we're seeing one of these symbolic panels of Charlie Brown in the heart. now he has a big cheesy grin. And then in panel two, we see the famous mailbox and, looks like now they've kept the model from when last we saw it and Woodstock sitting on top. So then in the next tier, the strip really gets started, and Charlie Brown and Linus walk up to the mailbox, and Charlie Brown says to Linus, “there's our mailbox. Wouldn't it be great if there was a valentine in there for me from that little red haired girl?” He continues in the next panel, “wouldn't it be great if it was a real fancy one with all sorts of hearts all over it and lace and everything? Maybe it will be a scented valentine. It will smell sort of like violets or a rare perfume.” Charlie Brown is in pure rhapsody at this point. Then he goes to reach for the door of the mailbox with a smile on his face and hope in his eyes. And Linus says, “this is Sunday Charlie Brown. There's no mail delivery on Sunday.” Which leaves Charlie Brown to just slump in front of the mailbox, head up against the post and sigh.


Michael: Well, it's better not to look. It's like Schrodinger's Valentine’s card. Don't look. There's still a chance it's there, right?


Harold: Little Woodstock is just staring at him from behind in the last panel. It's a nice little balancing touch there.


February 14, 1975.


Michael: Why is the mailbox the wrong way?


Jimmy: We're seeing the mailbox from the other, angle.


Harold: Correct.


Charlie Brown looks in it. It's empty, apparently. And he says, “sometimes a mailbox looks empty when it really isn't.” Now he's peering inside. He says, “sometimes you have to look way in the back.” And he does by sticking his head in and actually half crawling into the mailbox, which in the last panel, unfortunately leaves the mailbox stuck to his head. And he stands there, mailbox on his head, and says, “this is going to be my worst Valentine's Day ever.”


Michael: That's good. Yeah. And the reason that you're looking at the wrong side of the mailbox is that little Peanuts title square is in the upper left. So he's got to flip everything to get the dialogue in.


Jimmy: Yes. for decades, that first panel on every Peanuts strip, the upper left hand corner, was taken up by a little black box with the word Peanuts in it, which he had to work around. It's taken out in the reprint volumes, but it wasn't back when he had to draw it. 


Harold: Go comics you'll see them.


Jimmy: Yeah. 


February 15, 1975. Sally is inside now, and Charlie Brown is also inside, sitting on his little stool. he still has the mailbox on his head. Sally comes in and says, “t's gone.” She's saying this to Charlie Brown. “I went out to get the mail, and our mailbox is gone.” She doesn't notice that Charlie Brown is just sitting there with the mailbox on his head. Now she's ranting. “Isn't anything safe anymore? Do people have to steal everything? I don't understand it.” In the last panel, Charlie Brown just continues to sit there with a mailbox on his head and sighs.


Michael: This is really funny. I don't think we picked this one. I wonder why. I think it's great.


Jimmy: Maybe because it was a sequence, but, yeah, it is really good. I love the picture of Charlie Brown with a mailbox on his head. And even the fact that it registers as a mailbox is probably only because we've seen the other strips. He could look like some strange robot or something. Yeah.


Harold: This predates R2D2. Prescient.


February 16, 1975. One of them symbolic panels. This time, Lucy is in the valentine in panel one. And, in panel two, we see Lucy coming up to Schroeder, who is practicing on his piano. And we just see Allegretto across the top. So if you're wondering what tempo he's playing, the music. That's the tempo. Like legato and whatever. Okay, so anyway, next here, Lucy takes up her familiar position at the piano, and she says, “I note that you didn't send me a valentine this year. I have the feeling that it was not an oversight. I have the feeling that it was deliberate.” “However,” she says in the next panel, raising her fingers skyward. She then turns around with a smile on her face and says, “if I am wrong and if it was merely an oversight, or if the valentine that spoke so eloquently, your love for me was lost in the mail, then I want to express my appreciation for the thought.” Schroeder, with basic contempt, says “it was not an oversight and it did not get lost in the mail.” Then Lucy says, “I see. Well, you know the old saying.” Schroeder says, “what old saying?” And Lucy says, “rats.”


Michael: Okay, now, do you think Lucy is being sarcastic, or she thinks there's actually a chance it was lost in the mail?


Jimmy: I think she thinks there's a chance.


Michael: She's trying to rub it in.


Harold: Hope springs eternal.


Jimmy: Exactly. Yeah. yeah.


Harold: That cheesy grin of her and that throwaway panel up top maybe is a clue that she's really hoping.


Jimmy: Yeah. And the however, is great. I love that. The timing of having it in its own panel, the pose she has, the extra bold lettering. Love it. Really good. And a great little summation of their relationship.


Harold: Yeah. Poor Lucy. She's not giving up. She's about as tenacious as Charlie Brown.


Jimmy: Absolutely. And it might pay off in a way, because here on 


February 13, 1977, another symbolic panel. Lucy in a broken heart. She says to Schroeder, it's the exact same position. “Tomorrow is Valentine's day. I find that there are a lot of misconceptions about Valentine's day.” Lucy continues to talk. She says, “it's a mistake to think that you have to be madly in love with someone to give her a valentine.” Schroeder, while continuing to pound away at the keys, says, “do you have to love her a little?” Lucy says, “no, not necessarily.” Schroeder asks, “how about if you only like her and not really love her?” Lucy says, “that's fine.” And then Schroeder says, “how about just barely being able to tolerate her?” Lucy says, “well, I guess, but.” And then suddenly Schroeder produces a valentine, from out of nowhere, and says, “happy Valentine's day.” And, Lucy is just. I can't even describe the position. Her chin is on the piano and she looks absolutely devastated. 


Jimmy: But hey, she did get a valentine from Schroeder and he had one there.


Harold: Yeah, the pyrrhic victory.


Jimmy: I think she blew it.


Michael: I think he blew it. He should have just kept his mouth shut.


Jimmy: No, I see. I think. Here's the thing. I think he had that valentine for her. He was actually going to give her one. But then when she started this little discussion, he couldn't help but make it a zinger.


Harold: We're looking at the Sunday black and white strip, so it might be a little yellowed with age. He's been holding out. Yeah, this is a good twist, I think, on this. It reveals something about each of them that's new, I think slightly different that we kind of see where Schroeder is with Lucy. She's not happy about it at all. But, yeah, he's able to barely tolerate know just barely.


Jimmy: Just barely. But that's all you need for this scenario.


Harold: Yeah. And he's got a big smile on his face when he gives it to her. And he did have it prepared.


Jimmy: He was ready. He had it prepared. Yeah, I think he was going to give in, but her big mouth ruined it. She had almost.


Harold: And it doesn't look sarcastic. It looks like he's been waiting for the moment that he could show her some slight kindness that she wouldn't take out of context. Now she___ the context. Now he can deliver it.


Jimmy: Yes. That's a perfect way to sum it up exactly. 


February 12, 1978. Sally is making something, and it looks like it might be a valentine. Panel two. She looks off panel and says, “here he comes.” And she has something behind her back. And then the next panel we see it's Linus approaching. And Sally has cut out a giant heart and made him a valentine and says, “happy Valentine's Day, my sweet Babboo.” Linus walks by saying, “I'm not your sweet Babboo.” This upsets Sally greatly. And she says, “rats.” And pierces the valentine on a little dead tree branch, just leaving it hanging there as it's hanging there, impaled on the tree branch. Woodstock approaches and is confused by this, then runs and tells Snoopy all about it. And in the last panel, Snoopy says to Woodstock, “what you saw was probably a Valentine tree. They're kind of rare and they only bloom once a year.” 


Jimmy: Now that's a throwback to, the way Lucy used to teach, Linus things back in the 50s.


Michael: Well, it's weird because we read this like a couple of weeks ago and I don't remember it at all. I would think.


Jimmy: Well, that is one of the things that he was able to count on, I think, is that when people are reading them to a year removed, two years removed, it's something he could count on, that people could forget aspects, but also something he had to rely on them remembering. It's a weird gig.


Michael: Just to go back to the world of comic books. One of the DC editors back in the 50s said something like, we have an entirely new generation every three years, so you can keep repeating these stories. If they're reading it when they're 12, they're gone by the time they're 15.


Harold: You can redo that purple gorilla cover.


Michael: Yeah, right.


Harold: I really love the second panel of Sally. She's in a kind of a modern sweatshirt.

Jimmy: I love the sweatshirt.


Harold: And, it's really just a really adorable panel of her looking hopefully toward what's about to happen with Linus.


Jimmy: Striped shirts are hard to do. And it's really cool the way he has those stripes sort of following the contour of her torso as opposed to just like straight lines across.


Harold: Yeah, it's got those rumpled. That rumpled sweatshirt look.


Jimmy: Yes, it really does. 


February 13, 1979. Charlie Brown is, in his television room with his sister Sally. And he's looking at a valentine that he has either made or purchased. And he says,”isn't this a beautiful valentine? It says, I love you. I love you.” And then in the next panel, he explains to Sally, “I think I'll give it to the little red haired girl.” Sally walks away saying “she'll probably laugh right in your face.” And then it ends with Charlie Brown looking at his sad little valentine, saying, “at least I'd be near her.” 


Jimmy: That's a throwback to the feel of the early 60s. I think, that third panel of Sally could be a classic Lucy line.


Harold: And I look at this in the last few years with Charlie Brown. The sense of vulnerability in Charlie Brown and how Schulz draws him. It seems like it's not as great as it used to be. That's just me reading into it. It's like he's somehow gotten up a level or so in terms of being able to hang on, to not getting into complete despair when he has a disappointment.


Jimmy: And that's just smart cartooning from Schulz, too, because we were talking about Linus, in an earlier episode, maybe having to take a step back in some instances, so that when his super moments happen, they have a little more impact. And if Charlie Brown was going on and on about depression every single day, it would get old, as my friends know, from talking about to me. But you know what I mean? I think it's both a growth for the character, but it's also just smart for Schulz to not keep it amped up all the time.


Harold: And maybe growth for Schulz, too, given where he is right now. He's in a happy marriage, and it's just where he happens to be at the moment. The other thing that really strikes me as we jump through the years is this is where we know the strips are getting smaller and smaller in the newspapers, and he no longer has that little box in the upper left hand corner. But the lettering is just gigantic compared to what it was before, because he's trying to compensate for how small these strips are running, which is weird, given how he was a tiny space saving strip in 1950 compared to everybody else. But now it's even smaller than the tiny space saving strip for the world of comics. This is the beginning of the decline of American newspaper comics, because you just have no space, and today, it's just even way worse.


Jimmy: Well, today, I admire anybody who's slogging in those fields today. To do a daily strip in a newspaper with a syndicate.


Harold: Yeah and just try to keep it fresh.


Jimmy: It’s a hard thing to do at the best points of the industry. It is a very strange thing to have this masterpiece of an art form that was completely submerged as part of another commercial enterprise that had nothing to do with art. Journalism. I'm not criticizing journalism. I'm just saying the newspapers were not designed just to print these comics. They were sort of an afterthought to the reason a newspaper exists. So it becomes this thing that's at the mercy of the fates of the newspaper industry.


Harold: Yeah. And it's not aligned necessarily with what's best for the comic strip. That's absolutely true. And yet it's so funny that they were so popular, and editors often so resented these things in the newspapers because it wasn't what the editors were in the business for, was to entertain people with these little cartoons. But it was like almost every newspaper, save a few, felt obligated to include them. I'd be fascinated to take, a 1920s comic, like a 1924 comic, and get a 2024 comic, daily strip, and then just lay the 2024 comic over the 1924 comic. And I bet you you could read every single piece of dialogue in the 2024 comic based on the amount of space that the 2024 comic took up. It's probably just a tiny fraction of what they had to work with in the past.


Jimmy: If you are a new listener and you're thinking about, maybe being interested in just the form of comics in general, as opposed to Peanuts in particular. My pick for book to buy is the Smithsonian Book of Newspaper Comics, which gives you an amazing overview of comic strips from the earliest days up until, I guess, the late 70s. Peanuts is almost an afterthought in the book because they didn't quite understand it, or maybe they are from a slightly earlier generation.


Harold: Maybe the reason Peanuts is not too overly represented in the Smithsonian book was because they were really trying to focus on strips that people didn't have access to. And maybe Peanuts was so accessible at the time, they kind of gave it a little short strip because they knew you could get it elsewhere.


Jimmy: Well, that's definitely true, I think. And, it's great because you get full long stories of like little Orphan Annie, which we've talked about, the Floyd Gottfredson’s Mickey Mouse strip, which is a masterpiece. All kinds of great stuff.


Harold: It's a great book. It's a revelation. If you haven't seen it or you don't know much about older comic strips, it will get you interested in looking at a lot of old comics because it'll blow you away.


Jimmy: You'll be shocked.


Michael: Yeah, it's one of the few art forms that devolved. The earliest stuff is actually the most amazing, graphically at least.


Jimmy: Right? Yeah, I think that has to do with the fact that it was, Tied to the fate of newspapers. it is weird to think of it devolving art form, but Peanuts continues to evolve. And hey, we're at the last strip for this episode, so let's do it. 


February 14, 1979. Charlie Brown walks up to the mailbox, opens it up and yells inside, “any Valentine's in there.” And then it comes echoing back, “any Valentine's in there.” And then Charlie Brown looks with sadness into the mailbox, into the void, the open, endless chasm of the mailbox, and says, “nothing echoes like an empty mailbox.” 


Jimmy: Which is why you guys need to write us. Unpackingpanuts@gmail.com because we want to hear from you. we're on the 1981 will be our next episode, and we have read every strip from 1950 all the way up to 81. And we're really hoping that you want to follow us as we continue on this journey.


Harold: Yeah.


Jimmy: And there's a bunch of different ways you can do that if you want to. First off, you want to hang out with the gang on social media, on Blue sky, Facebook and YouTube, we're unpacking Peanuts. And on Threads and Instagram, we're at unpack Peanuts. You could also call the hotline, and leave a voicemail or send us a text, and we'll, try to read it on the show. 


I think that's all I have for this week, guys. do you have anything else to say that you want to wrap up the old Valentine's special with?


Michael: Okay, so good luck in your mailboxes, everybody.


Harold: Be a good mailbox.


Jimmy: Yes. May they be overflowing.


Michael: Think positive. Or don't open the mailbox and pretend it's full.


Jimmy: Right? If you never open it, you'll never know it's always full.


Harold: Or maybe you want to get a dog. That way, at least you'll have something in the mailbox.


Jimmy: Oh, always get a dog. Here's two things they can always do to make your life better. You can buy yourself a dog and you can publish a comic book. Those are two things guaranteed to improve your life at any time. 


The other thing you can do is come back next week when we are talking about 1981. I'm very excited to get to it. And, happy Valentine's Day. I love you guys. We were the number two visual arts podcast in America last week. So that is all thanks to you guys, and thanks to everyone at the Schulz organization and the Schulz Museum for supporting us and, sharing our episode last week. Thanks a lot. Come back next week. Until then, for Michael, Harold, and Liz, I'm, Jimmy saying, be of good cheer.


H&M&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 Twitter. Unpacking Peanuts on Facebook and YouTube. For more about Jimmy, Michael, and Harold, visit unpackingpeanuts.com. Have a wonderful day, and thanks for listening.


Harold: This Valentine is for you.

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