Caleb Orecchio here with thoughts on Peanuts, Ron Wimberly’s LAAB, and other news.
Charles “Sparky” Schulz’s birthday was yesterday, he would have been 95. As we all know, Schulz created possibly the most iconic American comic strip, Peanuts. Ever think about how every single newspaper still carries Peanuts? Remember when Snoopy sold us life insurance and would appear at the corner of your screen while watching college football? Has the Charlie Brown balloon at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade ever popped? How many psychiatrists have used Lucy’s football place-holding shenanigans as a metaphor? In fact, how many of those people have a framed image of Lucy’s psychiatrist stand in their office? Who hasn’t seen Linus recite The Nativity Story? My grandmother has a Peanuts recipe book. I saw a woman the other day with a Woodstock tattoo on her calf. How many of you knew who the Red Baron was before Snoopy?—be honest. My friend took his daughter to a theme park where kids could ride in Snoopy’s doghouse. Happiness is a warm cookie®.
I could go on and on. Go ahead, think of all the places you’ve seen Good ‘Ole Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the gang. You can come up with a lot if you really think about it. They are everywhere. Comics are symbols, and Schulz mastered and exploited that fact to the max. Now his creations are everywhere, on everything, and still stand virtually untainted despite their overuse. They interact and inform our culture—what more could a cartoonist ask for?
if you don’t know, now you know
- LAAB (pronounced “Lab”), “The debut issue of Ron Wimberly’s collective newspaper [that] dismantles lethal stereotypes of black representation in sci-fi & pop culture,” is nearing the end of its Kickstarter campaign with 4 days to go and nearly $10,000 left to raise. Wimberly is very smart and an important voice in 21st Century comics, and it would be a shame to not see this project hit its goal. Do what you can to support whether that means spreading the word, or through cold hard cash.
- Austin English debuts a new column at TCJ.com.
- Take a look at Winsor McCay editorial cartoons by way of Warren Bernard’s personal collection.
- Heidi MacDonald’s update on Pixar’s founder over at The Beat—the title says it all.
- Jason Thompson & Jumana Al Hashal are the latest guests on Process Party.