krpalmer: Charlie Brown and Patty in the rain; Charlie Brown wears a fedora and trench coat (charlie brown)
[personal profile] krpalmer
I suppose each volume of "The Complete Peanuts" coming out may now reach me with slight feelings of melancholic uncertainty about whether this time I won't have anything to say about it in the end. With that admitted again, though, on starting with the introduction by Leonard Maltin I was struck by a comment of his about how, while it may have been easy to pass over the strips of the first part of the 1980s then, they still reward attention with their sense of familiarity. That was worth mulling over for me, even if as I started into the volume I had the feeling of being able to remember quite a few of the strips from a reprint volume I got fairly early on (not even as a used book, which was how I saw a good part of the strip). I also had the added impression a good number of jokes had also made it into animation on "The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show," which was being made around that time. (So far as animation goes, Leonard Maltin does manage to bring in one of his interests by referring to the UPA cartoons of the 1950s as having a tangential connection to Charles M. Schulz's deliberate minimalism.)

It took a year's worth of those more or less familiar strips before I got to a storyline I had an impression I could actually remember from the newspapers, one where Peppermint Patty's string of "D minuses" are at last broken by outright failure and she has to repeat the year (after her single father takes her to France to help cheer her up). I suppose I couldn't quite remember how the storyline ended up, but I was surprised to see her interacting with Eudora, who'd been introduced a few years before going to "the regular school" as someone just a little peculiar for Sally to interact with.

One new development in the strip around this time that struck me was Spike, who'd made regular guest appearances either visiting or being visited by Snoopy, sort of setting up a solo life in the desert near Needles with lots of gags about cactuses and a few about loneliness, too. Before that, there did happen to be a story where Snoopy leads the Beagle Scouts to "Point Lobos" ("Doesn't he know how far that is?"), only for Harriet and Bill get married there and stay. Before too long, though, Snoopy was beginning to hang around with four birds again; it took until the end of the volume for the new addition to be named Wilson. That's a smaller thing to comment on, perhaps, but it is something.

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