Tuesday, July 21, 2009

You’re a Good Man, Charles Schulz: Original Peanuts artwork readies for August Comics Auction

July 21, 2009
Posted by Noah

Okay, first I must unburden myself – and I don’t think I’ll be alone in this – by saying that Lucy Van Pelt should be ashamed of herself. I cannot tell you how many years, how many thousands of Peanuts strips I read through only to walk away with a burning sense of anger at the raven-haired nemesis of poor bald-headed Charlie Brown. Come on Lucy! Let him kick the darn ball for once!

Whew… I feel better… After spending the morning working on some PR for our upcoming Comics and Comic Art auction I just simply couldn’t go on without venting my lifetime of frustration with Lucy. Now, after today, and a decade of therapy, I think I might be able to let it go. I believe the history has vindicated my position of frustration with her, and my deep and abiding compassion for Charlie Brown – and it has nothing to do with the fact that we have the same haircut…

In the impressive trove of original Charles Schulz Peanuts art that will be featured in the aforementioned auction there is indeed a football-themed strip – it should bring a lot more than its $25,000 estimate – that features Lucy, as ever, simply unable to contain herself and her impish impulse to cause grievous bodily harm to Charlie Brown, who, also as ever, is too much of a simp to not fall for Lucy’s guile. Come on Chuck! Don’t fall for it! Don’t you see the pattern this sets up for your whole life? Man… and to think, he keeps pining after the Little Red-Haired Girl… As if…

Looking over these amazing 12 stripsespecially the one pictured above, where Schroeder and Lucy compare music boxes, and guess whose is better? – I couldn’t help but remember a feature from a Mad Magazine of my childhood, I can’t remember which issue, where they tackled the subject of what would happen if the Peanuts gang were to age like normal folks… It certainly stuck with me, especially the panel of Snoopy and Woodstock as hippies in the 1960s. Let’s just say that when Woodstock comes out of Snoopy’s dog house he’s flying a little crooked. KnowwhatImean? There was also a great panel at the end that showed both Charlie Brown and Lucy as old fogies, on the day of Charlie’s retirement. They were married, and they were bickering. It was funny, but bittersweet. I guess Lucy never managed to get Schroeder to look her way, and I guess her meanness to Charlie Brown masked some more tender feelings beneath… Or maybe I’m just reading a little too much into it…

Our Director of Comics Operations here, Barry Sandoval, said that he was a little surprised by how popular the Schroeder and Lucy strip is, and in general how many people name the young piano genius as their favorite Peanuts character. Not Snoopy, not Linus, but Schroeder. If most of these people are like me, they like Schroeder because he has class and taste, because he plays the keys like an old soul, and because he was able to get the better of Lucy in almost every situation… Somehow, in small part, this made a big difference to anyone sick of watching her always pull that football away from Charlie Brown, sending him careening through space with an “Auuuuggghhhh!” and a thud.

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-Noah Fleisher

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