Monday, November 09, 2015

The Atlantic: "The Exemplary Narcissism of Snoopy" by Sarah Boxer

PEANUTS © Peanuts Worldwide LLC

Sarah Boxer, writing for the new issue of The Atlantic, talks of the appeal of the PEANUTS strip by Charles Schulz in her article "The Exemplary Narcissism of Snoopy." It's good writing. I think I need to tell you that in order to get you to click. Like most of us, we already KNOW the appeal of PEANUTS. Like Lucy, "we know everything" about the beloved strip. But it's worth it to click and learn a bit more, especially as the big PEANUTS MOVIE comes out to generally positive reviews. And read it so that no one can "blame the cartoon dog for ruining Peanuts." Yes, there are too many Lucy Van Pelts out there in cyberland.

That brings me to John Waters from his introduction to Fantagraphics COMPLETE PEANUTS series of reprint books, whose favorite character is Lucy:

"I like Lucy’s politics ('I know everything!' …), her manners ('Get out of my way!' …), her narcissism … and especially her verbal abuse rants … Lucy’s 'total warfare frown' … is just as iconic to me as Mona Lisa’s smirk."

Ms. Boxer talks peels back the history and the strip's impact in "The Exemplary Narcissism of Snoopy." Quoting some of the luminaries who have written introductions THE COMPLETE PEANUTS series of reprint books:
Matt Groening: “I was excited by the casual cruelty and offhand humiliations at the heart of the strip.”

Garry Trudeau, saw Peanuts as “the first Beat strip” because it “vibrated with ’50s alienation.”
Even Al Capp, back in the day, called them “good mean little bastards eager to hurt each other.”

Go read.


Thanks to my dear old Dad for telling me about the article! Thanks, Dad!

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