“Womp womp womp”

charlie brown

Charles Schultz’s Peanuts, was one of my favorite childhood comics. The Peanut comics were drawn generally in black and white or if the comics were in colour, it was done simplistically. I think Schultz took this approach because either intentionally, to reflect the sort of mundane everyday situations that the peanut gang went through, or to reflect the time in which he was drawing his comics. The Peanuts comics are geared towards children and reading them as an adult it takes me back to my childhood. Schultz never includes adults in his comic strips. Although the gang may be interacting with an adult, we never see them. For example, when the kids are in school talking to the teacher, it is obvious that they are having a conversation, but we don’t see the teachers or see what they are saying. We just see the kids’ side of the conversation. The Peanuts gang experiences a multitude of everyday situations that are relatable to majority of the readers.  Many of the comics are about school life, friendship, falling in love, like Lucy does with Schroeder, and talking about goals — Pigpen wants to be the class president. The characters in the Peanuts comics reflect stock characters, which makes it so relatable to the viewer. In the Youtube clip Schultz explains how Charlie Brown “is a little bit like everyone” but I think this is universally relatable quality is applicable to each of his characters.  Very minimal background drawings are needed to figure out the setting of the story taking place.  The simplicity of the comics reflects the simplicity of the story line. If there would have been more detail in the drawings, it may have been too distracting for its demographic and taken away from the story.

Charles “Sparky” Schulz

Snoopy2

peanuts comic

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11 Responses to “Womp womp womp”

  1. hannahcritchley says:

    Up until three years ago when I moved to North America, I had never encountered Schultz’s Peanuts in comic form. I was aware of some of the characters, Snoopy in particular, because of merchandising and advertisements, but had no idea it was such a North American institution. Which is why I found this post to be quite fascinating, and had to do a little research. Charlie Brown and Friends have transcended the comic strip and have become recognizable figures throughout the civilized world. Through television movies, fast food merchandising, toys and games, etc, these children have entertained and affected audiences both young and old. Even though the comics are very simplistically drawn, they do have a global audience who are captivated and will continue to love them when they have their own children.

  2. jcdegner says:

    I think that you raise a really interesting point about the fact that adults never appear in Peanuts comic strips. I, too, have considered this idea before, and it is one of my favourite aspects of Schultz’s strips. I think that he is trying to get the reader to sympathize with the children, and to realize that perhaps the adult is not always right. This is an especially important point for adult readers, as they sometimes forget that what they are saying is not the most important part of the conversation. Charles Schultz places the emphasis back on the kids, which gives them a fair opportunity to be heard and understood. It also demonstrates to parents or teachers that it is important to listen to both sides of the conversation, rather than just their own advice to children.

  3. teigan says:

    You comment about the comic about being geared towards children I think may be because you read the comic as a child that you associate it with comic for children. I do not believe the comic is directed to children only. It is enjoyable by all ages and I believe the simplicity of the comic speaks to both adults and children in different ways. For a first time adult reader the simplicity of the layout and colour choices bring a reader back to their childhood just you found while reading it as an adult. Have you considered that the comic is actually written for an adult audience with the purpose to bring a reader back to the simpler moments of childhood.

  4. owencampbell91 says:

    I agree with teigan on his comment about this comic being not directed only towards children. In a large amount of Peanuts comic strips, there are a variety of topics that that bring on philosophical and psychological perspectives that go beyond concepts that at least I would have considered as a child. You see various examples of the Peanuts gang seeming to act as if they are adults with adult dilemas, but still tied with situations of their childhood.

  5. teigan says:

    Also for those theatre people out there, ATP’s season this year had a show that was called “Your a Good Man Charlie Brown”

    http://i.minus.com/ibooNYpbeb4VXm.gif

    This is a musical that is geared for the entire family.
    My question to you is what do you think happens to the presentation and effect of a comic when it enters new forms. Is it still attached to the comic or does it move far away from the author’s original intent. The same can be asked on the Charlie Brown TV special that have surfaced as Peanuts became more popular.

  6. meganklj07 says:

    The simplicity of the Peanuts comic gives it a unique aspect and charming quality. The concept of it being geared towards children can be arguable to some although in comparison to a Manga or later Batman series that may include violence, sexuality etc. and more so geared towards the teens and adult audience, Peanuts would be a much more suitable choice. If I were to introduce my daughter to her first comic it would probably be Peanuts or a simple comic such as Garfield, these would probably be my first pick because these types of comics are less complicated and have a more child friendly appeal to them. True, some Peanuts did touch base on subjects such as politics and religion that only an adult may come across it did bring a childish humor to these adult situations and themes.
    I think Schultz intention was to create a comic based around children and their point of view. While focusing in on just the children characters by eliminating the adults and restraining the adults to the dialogue of a “Wah Wah Wah” voice made it a unique and funny comic. I think it is a classic in which people of all ages can enjoy and relate to.

    Megan Jerry- 🙂
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwhP597-SW0

  7. samanthabotros34 says:

    I agree, that I’m not sure who it is exactly geared towards, because honestly, entertainment is entertainment. However, I think it is very interesting to consider the perception of adults by the Charlie Brown characters. The one I can think of right away is the teacher. The teacher speaks in weird sounds like wah wah woh wah wah, and them the students would respond with a boring yes sir or an I understand. I think the blurring of adult speech is interesting because it speaks to your comment about this being made for children, because it tries to get in the head of children, adults speech does not have importance, and does not have a role in this comic.

  8. nicolericher says:

    I am inclined to agree with Tiegan and Owen. As a long time lover of the Peanuts gang; I’ve watched the holiday specials every year, without fail, since I was 6. Almost every year something changes in how Charlie Brown sees the holidays (in particular: Christmas) and thus, how I view them. I propose that this isn’t because the Peanuts gang is viewing it any differently (obviously) but that we change and the simplicity and each character’s relatability you wrote of allow the Shulz’s wisdom to evolve and grow with us.

  9. nicolericher says:

    Apologies for the grammatical errors.^

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