A hill of Peanuts in this crazy world
Whatever else is going on in the world, the Fall means Peanuts to me: not just the Great Pumpkin on TV and the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack, but Charles M. Schulz's sense that despair is inherently worth mocking. Now the second volume of The Complete Peanuts has arrived (with an introduction by Walter Cronkite), just in time for this little essay on Charlie Brown's existentialism and a cool history of Peanuts (both via Incoming Signals).
I love the cover. When Schulz biographer David Michaelis read my own appreciation earlier this year, "Take the Paxil, Charlie Brown," he called to tell me he keeps a picture of Lucy on the wall of the room where he works to remind him of how important she is to the strip. As I put it, "The artist introduced Lucy as a reminder to Charlie Brown that real-life pain isn't necessarily heroic." Good advice for the coming election.
Speaking of pain, Schulz has provided an unwitting shot in the arm for the alternative comics industry: Matos writes an interesting piece in the Seattle Weekly about how the late St. Paul boy's volumes have saved Fantagraphics, which Matos rightly calls the Sub Pop of comics. Douglas Wolk adds his Fantagraphics Top Ten. (I'm with him on Palomar, which I reviewed here, and Safe Area Gorazde. But where's Peter Bagge, the funniest subculture satirist of our time?)
I WON'T BE HOSTING A HALLOWEEN PARTY
...or a Wellstone World Music afterparty (for those who've been asking). However, we will have a big party again at my house sometime, and Halloween weekend, I'll be hitting parties hosted by this blogger, and this one. Speaking of Halloween, Toasty and I loved the Trail of Terror Saturday night, which was almost as fun-scary as Sunday's Red Sox victory over the Yankees, clinched by a former Twin, David Ortiz. (Overheard joke Saturday: Why does Snoop Doggy Dogg carry an umbrella? For drizzle.)