Apropos of nothing, yes I saw Order of the Stick. Yes, I'm still bouncing. Now, a slightly older comic.

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Peanuts
(From Peanuts. Click on the thumbnail for... well, yeah.)

I'm not sure this constitutes breaking Tharn. I'm currently drugged up on Nyquil but still can't sleep, after a pretty hard week. (102.5 degrees of body temperature makes for interesting hallucinations, however.) So I went through things, and saw today's Peanuts repeat over at Snoopy.com.

Really, it nailed my current dark mood perfectly. And yet also made me laugh. Which may be Charles Schulz in a nutshell.

For those who don't bother with the Peanuts repeats... this is a good time to revise that feeling. The repeats dart around, but usually cling to the late sixties through early seventies -- what's often considered the heydey of Peanuts. However, my personal favorite era of Peanuts is the fifties -- an era that for my money would work equally well as a webcomic today. This is a point late enough that all the major players (well, most -- Peppermint Patty and Marcie brought their forbidden love in a later time) have made the scene, and their personalities are coming out, but it's far less ritualized that Peanuts would later become. A little more gag-a-day. A little more whimsical. A little more surreal. This is a transitional time, right at the end of the fifties -- Snoopy's begun metamorphosing into the physical dog we all remember from the television specials and the strips most of my readers grew up with, but he still walks on all fours and in most ways acts... well, like a dog instead of Joe Cool. Have a look see. You might find it's not quite what you remember. Or, maybe you'll find it's exactly what you remember. Either way, really.

Today's strip is abject fatalism married to utter whimsy, and yet it somehow externalizes something we've all felt. God knows I have.

Right. More Nyquil. Time to hurl myself into the pit of unconsciousness.

25 Comments

I know this isn't officially breaking tharn....


But welcome back. the internet is more boring without you.

On a semi related note, i have a picture of me and my sisters posing with snoopy at cedar point. I love cedar point.

I so want to hear more about these hallucinations.

See, the only time I've ever been drunk was when I drank a whole bottle of Nyquil in one sitting. That's how sick I was. I'm pretty sure I woke up a day and a half later.

I would like to go on record as saying that Liquid nyquil is the most disgusting VILE substance man has ever created. If you wish to make me miserable FOR AT LEAST A DAY, give me a tablespoon of liquid nyquil. Its like DRINKING PLASTIC. Miyaa, the very thought of downing a bottle of nyquil makes me want to retch and drive a dagger through my neck. It is THAT LEVEL OF AWFUL.

I LOVE these old Peanuts strips. The very earliest ones are rather pedestrian, since Schulz hadn't really figured out where he was going. But the late 1950s-early 1960s strips are, as you say, is when the strip was at its sharpest and most angst-riddled.

And the strip you show here is a perfect example of that. I think I've found a new avatar icon....

I wrote my Online Comics Day strip after reading Monday's Peanuts (look quick; Peanuts archives expire after thirty days). I kept that Peanuts as my office PC wallpaper for most of the week. You just can't beat the classics.

Oh, it's not like some Tharn Ninjas are going to torture you for breakiing it. I think.

This just reinforces in my mind that Charles Schultz was absolutely brilliant. Not just its whimsical joke on depression. Not just that he hilariously depicted what so many pessimistic (and in some cases nihilistic) subcultures has done. It's that he did it back in 1959. I mean, if someone did that exact same joke today (adjusting for art style), you'd say it was a topical joke about the goth subculture. But 1959? Man, Sparky was better than I thought. And I thought pretty highly of him in the first place.

Though now I won't be able to listen to "Paint It Black" by the Rolling Stones without thinking of Charlie Brown.

TasteMyHouse, I think that's why Dennis Leary (stand-up comic) said:

I love NyQuil, man. Because NyQuil has never changed, man. It's never changed. All the other medicines are doing that inner-child thing. "we know that there's a small child inside of you, so now we have grape and cherry and orange flavor." Not NyQuil! They still have the original green death fucking flavor! You know why!? Because it doesn't matter what it tastes like! It's so strong you go, "*wheeze* Hey this stuff really tastes like.." Bang! Yer in the coma already!

At least, that's how it works for me :)

Eric, hope you feel better and get some sleep. You don't want to turn out like Satchel.

(No, I have no unique thoughts of my own today.)

Hey, switch from Nyquil to that Tylenol brand of Nyquil-- it's fantastic!

Hang in there, broham.

Every so often I forget that Charles Schultz was a good cartoonist. Then I read something like that comic and laugh.

I have to agree with you Eric, the stuff he did in the late 50s was some of his best.

I loved reading these old 50s/60s Peanuts as a kid. My Dad had the old first-run books and I always found it fascinating that the strips in them were so much better then the ones in the newspaper. Maybe I just didn't have the patience for the newspaper but it seemed like there weren't the same quality of stories for it.

Nyquil tastes pretty awful all right.

But the great part is, after enough of it, you just don't care.

Ah, yes, this is the period of time the Peanuts collection I had was from. One things about Peanuts is it captures how unfair and cruel childhood can be sometimes.

NyQuil's like Robitussin, right? Since reading Microserfs, I've been curious to try that...

Surely Schultz didn't mean "depressed" like we think about it these days, right?

Maybe my historical perspective is really off, but that must have been a pretty edgy strip in 1959. Depressed 12 year old and all.

I'm a 50s Peanuts guy too. I love all eras of the strip (the later years are weaker, but still way better than most print comics), but the early strips are pure delight.

As 32 mentioned, the strip you've linked is a witty comment on what we now call goth culture -- and it's not even Schulz's best one. There was a series at one point where Snoopy was pretending to be a vulture, glaring at passers-by and such. In the final strip, Snoopy is doing his vulture thing in the first two panels... and then a REAL vulture sits down next to him. Snoopy, the poser, flees in terror.

- Z

My wife and I use DayQuil as a barometer of how sick we are.

"Are you sick enough to choke this crap down just to get through your day?"

"Uh, yeah"

"Oh, lord. You're frikkin dyin man, you should stay home and sleep"

"Can't, just drank the bottle of DayQuil"

"BOTTLE? Ok, you're officially dead and don't know it"

Charlie Brown - the original emo kid.

In the same way that Robert Johnson was the original emo rocker.

The thing that's always creeped me out about Peanuts is that old Sparky never used the period. Never. Read any strip, every sentence that isn't a question ended in either an exclamation point or an ellipsis. It seems to me that this says something about his worldview, but I can't put my finger on what...

Accepted wisdom in the comics industry in the early to middle twentieth century was that periods in dialog balloons weren't visible (cf. Pfeiffer, The World's Greatest Super Heroes). Everyone never used them.

It's gotta be tough growing up in a world where your dog is more popular than you and you deserve it.

Come think about it...I use ellipsis way too much for my own good as well.

...I do have an english major, grammar nazi in my immediate circle trying to make me quit though...

...he's gotta try harder...

Sorry, Feiffer. Jules Feiffer.

>>Surely Schultz didn't mean "depressed" like we think about it these days, right?

Yes, he did.

Lucy's psychiatric booth was a psychiatric booth.

NyQuil, ScmhyQuil, I don't have time for that.

When I'm sick I go straight for a bottle of Buckley's and a bag of Fisherman's Friends.

If you can't breathe, you can't cough.

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