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Thread: Peanuts and My Writing

  1. #11
    I'd have to add Pogo to that short list. I was 11 when Walt Kelly died, and it was the first death that ever affected me, the first time death became real.

    I read anything with drawings in it, but I devoured Peanuts, Pogo, BC (which at that time was whip-smart and hilarious), and later Doonesbury, Bloom County and Calvin & Hobbes.

    But Peanuts was first.

  2. #12

    Re: Peanuts and My Writing

    If so many comic creators grew up with one-gag-a-day strips like Peanuts or Calvin and Hobbes, how come we're having this attrition of fun comics now?

  3. #13
    Gunsel AndrewCrossett's Avatar
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    Re: Peanuts and My Writing

    My dad had a collection of the original Pogo paperback collections from the 50's. Pogo, I Go Pogo, Potluck Pogo, Positively Pogo...

    I read them over and over until they fell apart in my hands.

    At some point in the 70's I got a copy of "A Pogo Panorama," which collected a lot of Walt Kelly's more conceptual, almost avant-garde work (not all of it even connected to Pogo). Fortunately, that book had a more durable binding than the 50's pulps I destroyed.

    I'd say Walt Kelly ranks with Winsor McCay and Bill Watterson among my favorite newspaper cartoonists of all time. Fantagraphics has been trying for years to put out a complete collection series for Pogo, but I have a feeling the critical mass of readers won't be there to make it as cost-effective as the Peanuts collections.

    BC is kind of a sad story. Johnny Hart is a local boy... he lived one town over from me, and was a well-known fixture in the community. His BC artwork can still be seen all over the place around here. My local bar used to be called The Duke's Place (after the Duke character from BC) and Hart himself designed the signboard and the mirror over the bar.

    BC was a great strip, until the day old Johnny got religion and got it bad. The comic strip turned into a platform for his sermons, and every shred of humor disappeared in favor of heavy-handed preaching and blocks of red-lined scripture quotations. Sad, sad, sad.

    The quality of the strip has improved considerably since his death.
    "Fascism should rightly be called Corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power." --Benito Mussolini

    "I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and to bid defiance to the laws of our country." --Thomas Jefferson

  4. #14

    Re: Peanuts and My Writing

    I used to love comic strips. Now I buy collections of a few, Pearls Before Swine and Get Fuzzy, mostly. But the impact they had seems mostly to be gone.

  5. #15
    Gunsel BClayMoore's Avatar
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    Re: Peanuts and My Writing

    I'm glad I'm not the only one who appreciated B.C. in its prime. For years, it was one of the funnier, most cynical strips on the page, with well designed characters, each of whom could successfully deliver a particular style of gag.

    What happened to Johnny Hart and his strip is a shame, but he had a good twenty year run before the humor evaporated in favor of moralizing.

    -BCM
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  6. #16
    Gunsel
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    Re: Peanuts and My Writing

    I used to buy newspapers in the 80s and early 90s for three reasons:

    1) crossword puzzles

    2) Calvin and Hobbes

    3) The Far Side

    Once numbers 2 and 3 ended, I stopped buying newspapers and bought crossword magazines. Their is a truly impressive amount of talent needed to convey the humor, cynicism, morbidity, optimism, awe, etc.... of day-to-day life in the strips that touch us so. To sum up the things that make life worth living or a that make life a chore in one to 4 panels....? Wow, I don't know how they do it.

    And Peanuts, at it's best, did it beautifully.

  7. #17
    Gunsel
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    Re: Peanuts and My Writing

    Quote Originally Posted by BClayMoore View Post
    I'm glad I'm not the only one who appreciated B.C. in its prime. For years, it was one of the funnier, most cynical strips on the page, with well designed characters, each of whom could successfully deliver a particular style of gag.

    What happened to Johnny Hart and his strip is a shame, but he had a good twenty year run before the humor evaporated in favor of moralizing.

    -BCM
    B.C. usually made me chuckle or laugh.

    Part of the reason was the message that whether you wore an animal pelt or a Gucci suit, mankind is still basically the same.

  8. #18

    Re: Peanuts and My Writing

    It makes me think of Universal Islands of Adventure in Orlando. They have a land there, I think it's called Toon Lagoon, which is the weirdest thing ever. It's a whole area about comic strips, many of which are so outdated and/or obscure that I doubt adults could name the strips, and children are completely clueless...things like Tumbleweeds and Witch Hazel and Gasoline Alley. It's a weird idea, to base the entire land on this. They have Popeye and Dudley Do Right rides, which I guess most kids are aware of, but then it just trails off into Beetle Baily. I love some of that stuff, but what kid today has ever even heard of that?

  9. #19

    Re: Peanuts and My Writing

    I used to love Witch Hazel ...

  10. #20
    Gunsel
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    Re: Peanuts and My Writing

    I used to read Beetle Bailey because it sorta reminded me of the Gilligan/Skipper dynamic. And I loved Gilligan's Island. Mind Beetle wasn't as clumsy or stupid as Gilligan, just lazy, but....

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