Wayback Whensday – A Bagful of Peanuts

Charles Schulz and his Peanuts comic strip remains a topic of interest in news reports and the blogosphere.

Let’s open with a selection of Peanuts buttons courtesy of Pop Culture Safari.

Not all is okay with Joe Cool.

The unveiling of the new and improved Camp Snoopy at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California, was scheduled to open on Memorial Day weekend. [emphasis added]

“Due to construction delays, the official debut of the reimagined Camp Snoopy at Knott’s Berry Farm, originally scheduled for Memorial Day weekend, has been postponed,” read an official statement from the theme park.

“It is, however, anticipated to open early summer, with the launch of new attractions.”

The U. S. Sun reports on Camp Snoopy missing its deadline.

Determining the date of a Peanuts item can be tricky. The copyright date is not always a good indicator of when an item is made pre-1994. Sometimes, there just isn’t a date at all. However, there are other clues that will help a collector date a piece. First we’ll look at copyright info and what it means. Second, we’ll look at official logo usage through the years. Finally, there’s nothing like an anniversary year to help pinpoint when an item came out.

For 60 years, United Feature Syndicate held the licensing right to the Peanuts comic strip. Products made from 1950 to mid-2010 will have a United Feature Syndicate or UFS copyright on them.

In June 2010, Peanuts Worldwide LLC was formed selling the rights from United Feature Syndicate to Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates and licensing partners.

Collect Peanuts offers primer on determining the age of your Peanuts collectibles.

“Those Little Kids With Gigantic Heads”

The artistic style of Peanuts is immediately recognizable to most contemporary readers, but the worldwide familiar with Charles Schulz’ iconic cartoon obscures the fact that when it first entered publication – nearly three-quarters of a century ago – the artist was in fact taking some notable creative risks by drawing, as one expert described them, “those little kids, with their gigantic heads.”

Appearing on C2E2’s “Four Perfect Panels: Fans of Peanuts and Charles Schulz” panel, comic historian Gene Kannenberg, Jr. and scholar Ivan Brunetti spoke about the innovative aspects of Schulz’ early work on Peanuts. This included a discussion about the aesthetic of the artist’s work, which both Kannenberg and Brunetti proposed actually represented an experimental approach at the time.

Ambrose Tardive for Screen Rant presents two comics experts discussing the Schulz style of art and writing. (that link is through MSN because my Firefox browser doesn’t play nice with Screen Rant/Valnet.)

A new generation takes Snoopy to heart

At the end of 2023, the official Snoopy TikTok account saw a 223.8% increase in engagement and gained 198,000 followers.

The increase in Snoopy’s TikTok engagement grew simultaneously with a 7.1% increase in social media usage worldwide as a whole in the past year.

The highest engagement on Snoopy’s TikTok was 18 to 24-year-olds. 20-year-old Ryan Hess said that she was lured in by the character.

“I think Snoopy is a cute, little guy who has a lot of emotions and characteristics, making him relatable to everyone,” Hess said.

Cecilia Wallace for TommieMedia, “the student-run media for the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota,” investigates a new generation embracing the many lives of Snoopy (and Peanuts in general).

The Minnesota History Center opened an exhibit titled “The Life and Art of Charles M. Schulz” on July 22, 2023, and it has blown attendance projections out of the water.

2 thoughts on “Wayback Whensday – A Bagful of Peanuts

  1. I briefly discuss “Peanuts” in my US history classes when discussing the 1950s and the roots of discontent. And yes, my Gen X students (at least the ones from the US) recognize Charlie Brown, even in his early 1950s version.

  2. Schulz insisted that the Peanuts strip should be retired when he stopped producing it, but it is clear that the marketing machine behind the Peanuts brand will continue to pump out retreaded material as long as there are people willing to buy it. The “Peanuts Movie” was a classic example: telescoping 50 years of strip history into 88 minutes of film, mixing up characters of different ages (and schools) to form a single hodgepodge classroom, and sacrificing the spirit of the strip for the sake of a mass-market movie script. Good old “Sparky” had nothing against merchandising, but I wonder whether he would have been pleased with the mercenary wretch that “Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates” has now become.

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