Wednesday, August 20, 2008
A closer look at... The Best Storyline In A Peanuts Comic Strip.
Want to know how to tell if a comic strip is really good? Really good? You can tell if one is good because it not only makes you laugh -- but also because it transcends the genre and leaves you on the edge of your seat.
A few months back, I nostalgically recalled reading "The Best Storyline In The Peanuts Comic Strip," which was the series of strips that showed Charlie Brown covering his head with a paper bag and going to camp, where became known as "Sack" and took on a new personality.
One thing I said about the storyline was this: "The beauty of that storyline is not just that it was yet another flash of surrealism in a strip that doesn't get enough credit for being avant garde."
That love of Peanuts keeps me reading the strip every day; even though Schulz has sadly passed away, Comics.com prints a new strip each day.
There are those who think that a life spent reading comic strips -- or reading and then re-reading comic strips, something I'm doing actually because when I was a kid I regularly checked collections of "Peanuts" strips out of our library, so I've most likely read these all already -- there are those who think such a life is wasted. Those people are primarily my boss and my Mom, who probably still thinks that there's some possibility, someday, that I'll become a doctor.
Those people, though, do not understand the simple pleasures of reading a well-crafted comic strip, and certainly don't understand how great it is to read an extremely well-crafted comic strip, and certainly-er don't understand how extra-great-tastic it is when you read one that makes you think... and hang on the edge of your seat.
That's what's going on right now, and the storyline that's underway might well exceed "Sack" for its brilliance; we'll see. Here's a catch-up ("Lost" lovers: picture a deep voice saying 'previouly, on Peanuts...')
For a few days, Snoopy has been lying on his doghouse while birds have been using the doghouse for meetings. The birds come in and leave and come in and leave; there's not even, really, a joke in most of the strips.
Throwaway comic? I think not, because check out these three strips, which appeared originally on August 22-24, 1961:
People are going on and on about Heroes and Lostand all these other shows with twists and weird happenings -- but more than 40 years ago, Charles Schulz out-weirded them with this series.
I can't wait to see what happens Friday.
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