Wednesday, June 1, 2016

"Peanuts" Firsts (and Last)


The "Peanuts" comic strip looked somewhat different in the early 50's.  It had a very different "vibe" then, too.  Charles Schulz ended up disliking his work from those years.  But I actually prefer them, especially from about '52 to about '54.  (I like the content of the ones earlier than that, too, but not so much the art.)

Here's some to think about:

The strip started running on October 2, 1950.

Snoopy started out as sort of the "neighborhood dog", rather than Charlie Brown's.  Here he's first named, on November 10, 1950.  (Hey, November 10th was Martin Luther's birthday! Any connection?  Nah....) 


Violet wasn't in the first cast of characters.  She made her appearance on February 7, 1951.  Initially the strip got some mileage out of the new girl references. Notice the braids! 


The first time Charlie Brown was called a "blockhead" was on August 16, 1951.  This time, it was by Violet.  (Lucy hadn't made her first appearance yet.)


The fist Sunday strip ran on January 6, 1952.  Some of us Christians who celebrate by an organized church calendar recognize that date as "Epiphany."  Coincidence or plan?  Probably coincidence, as there are no Star, Wise Men or Twelfth Day of Christmas references.


Lucy made her appearance on February 3, 1952.  At first, she was an adorable baby/toddler.  Her main ways of bugging Charlie Brown back then were asking too many questions and asking too many favors of him. 


There were so many other "firsts."  Schroeder started out as an even smaller baby, before Lucy showed up.  He began his piano playing early, seemingly because Charles Schulz said he enjoyed drawing real musical scores in his strips.

Here's how it ended.  This strip ran February 13, 2000. I've run this one before, but I think it's worth running again: