This was my first exposure to Lage and he does some really impressive lines and riffs. He plays a hollow-bodied electric guitar that sounds an awful lot like an acoustic guitar. He does some phrasings that are really pretty or really interesting
But I was more impressed with Mantilla on percussion. He uses thick brushes, he uses his hands on bongos and cymbals. He uses his hands on his body–playing his lap and chest). He even uses little dusts brooms (which must be unwieldy). He’s also got some kind of drum (perhaps a loose snare?) with a great sound and even a bell.
They play three songs. “Welcoming Committee” is a new song not recorded as of then. At the end of the song, they all laugh as an office phone rings the end. Julian is a sweet funny guy with some interesting stories about his songs.
“However” is an upbeat bouncy song (with some less noodling). Interestingly, it was written by their saxophonist who is not playing in the trio today.
Before introducing the final song “Untitled (No. 24)” he says he started a blog for inspiration–to get people to bounce ideas off each other–healthy peer pressure with incentives for song writers. The most recent one was a song a day for 30 days. This was number 24. (Hhe jokes that the first 23 sucked). It’s a really fun piece that doesn’t feel incomplete at all.
[READ: December 8, 2015] The Complete Peanuts 1967-1968
It’s 1967 and Schulz has had huge success with Snoopy’s Red Baron plots. In December 1966 The Royal Guardsmen made a song called “Snoopy Vs the Red Baron” which made it to number 2 on the charts. So The Red Baron plot takes over a lot of this year. And while I enjoy seeing him like that and I get how it’s funny, I don’t really like it all that much–the jokes are too samey for me. But despite all of the Red Baron excitement there are other things going on this year too. Like the introduction of the Easter Beagle. And of Franklin!
The kids get involved in many different sports this year. In Feb 1967 Lucy begins arm wrestling (and beating) everyone. She even takes on the Masked Marvel (Snoopy). In Oct 1967 Snoopy plays hockey for the first time (I think). He references Bobby Hull). Later in Jan 1968 all the kids play hockey together. Lucy beats everyone up and say how much she likes the game. And at one point Snoopy smiles and is missing teeth. In Oct 1968 Snoopy shoots and scores (on his doghouse) and says “they’re not sleeping well in Montreal tonight.”
In December 1967 Snoopy considers going to the Olympics in France for his ice skating. He says he misses skating with Sonja Henie). In April 1968 Snoopy is going to the Masters in Augusta. When that doesn’t work out (we never see him there), later in April Snoopy is a wrist wrestler who is going to go to Petaluma for the world competition. (There are many jokes about Petaluma). Snoopy is disqualified because he has no thumbs.
In August 1968 Snoopy says “jogging is my thing.” And in Nov 1968 we learn that Snoopy has a pool table but that Minnesota Fats won’t play him.
And of course there is baseball.
Peppermint Patty comes back in March 1967 to play against Charlie’s team. She has a new player, Jose Peterson, who doesn’t really hang out in the strip for very long, but who is an awesome slugger. In November of 1967, there’s a reference to the lousy New York Mets. I didn’t realize it but at the time of this strip, the New York Mets were a recent expansion club with a terrible record.
In summer of 1967 Charlie and snoopy return to camp and they see Peppermint Patty is there. Patty strikes out Charlie a whole bunch and says she considered letting him hit one but he wouldn’t want that, right?
In march of 1968 snoopy takes over as manager and is really mean.
And of course, Snoopy has a lot going on too. We learn that August 10 is Snoopy’s birthday. He also says a lot of things are gauche.
In a very funny skit, in May 1968 Snoopy watches a bird chomp a worm and then says “I’m going to be very very very very very very very very sick.”
June 1968 introduces Lila again, and how Snoopy pines for her. Then in August she writes to Snoopy again. And finally on Aug 24 we meet Lila for the first time. Lila is a girl in the hospital. But it’s not until the end of the month that we learn that Lila was Snoopy’s previous owner who lived in an apartment and had to get rid of him. AND THAT’S ALL THAT’S SAID ABOUT IT!
On a lighter note, in March Snoopy pretends to be a piranha for a few strips. In April 1967 there’s some Cheshire cat jokes from snoopy (who is only a smile) April 1968 sees the first mention of the Easter Beagle (Lucy doesn’t believe Linus who is the only one to see him).
Linus and Lucy pop up a lot of course. They revisit a lot of the same ideas with variations. In August Linus’ grandma agrees to give up smoking to get Linus to give up his blanket. He thinks she’ll never do it, but he goes through the real withdrawal.
In Dec 1967 Lucy ups her psychiatrist booth’s price to 7 cents (winter rates). And then as the book ends in Dec 1968, Linus is taking shorthand notes for her.
Father’s Day this year had Peppermint Patty writing a card. She says that her dad calls her a “rare gem,” This phrase is used as a joke in the strip and then a few more times.
It seems like summer is a good time for new things as well. There are two weeks of strips starring Peppermint Patty at camp! She is a counselor of littler kids. There is a little girl who looks like Marcie but isn’t (her name is Clara). And then later that week another little girl, Sophie, calls her “Sir.”
And then July 31, 1968 introduces Franklin! He and Charlie play at the beach for a few days.
Religion pops up from time in the strips, especially with quotes from the Bible. But in March 1967, Violet asks Charlie if they go to church. He says yes, but she says her family “used to…now they belong to a coffee house.” And in April Schulz revisits the “here’s the church gag.”
[From the Peanuts wikia] On February 8, 1963, Sally watches while her big brother uses his hands to illustrate that old rhyme: “Here’s the church…here’s the steeple…open the door…and see all the people!” After carefully examining his closed fingers, she announces, “It looks like a rather small congregation!” Four years later, on April 8, 1967, Sally watches as Linus delivers the same rhyme…and then she provides an almost exact response: “Sort of a small congregation.”
Most of the strips are totally timeless, with me even thinking that I read some of them when I was much older than I did. I can’t say as I remember a lot of specific strips, but I always remember the one from Dec 5, 1968 (which is from before I was born, so I obviously read it in a collection). Peppermint Patty says that it snowed last night Her dad says that “when it snows you should always take a slice of bread out for the birds.” She places a whole slice on the bird’s head.
I think the timelessness of the strips are what make reading these volumes so much fun.
In May 1967, Charlie asks Linus if he wants to be the first man on the moon.
In July 1967, the bird (unnamed yet) has “long hair” and Snoopy calls him a bird hippie.
Charlie writes to his pencil pal in Nov 1967 and says, “According to what I read, your country hates my country and my country hates your country. I don’t hate you, and I don’t think you hate me. I think about this a lot. It makes sleeping at nigh very difficult.”
In Jan 1968, the girls are going to have a “crab-in.”
Dec 18 1968 Snoopy has a sled and Charlie looks at it and says “Rosebud?”
In June 1968, Snoopy says he thinks he is in love with Twiggy.
In August, Snoopy says that you never hear anyone sing “Chloe” anymore (although which song that is, I’m not sure. Perhaps the Al Jolson one).
In Nov, Snoopy says he is feeling groovy (the Simon and Garfunkel song came out in 1966).
There are references to the election year with the birds holding ups signs that say ? and !! Snoopy say he’ll vote for the one with the paw print on it.
My two favorite jokes in the book have to do with math.
Sally is trying to learn her times table and guesses answers like “Four-thousand six? elventy-twelve? fifty quillion? overly-eight? twiddelty-two?” Then she asks “Am I getting close?” And Charlie responds, “Actually it’s kind of hard to say.”
In Dec 1968, Peppermint Patty says she loves numbers. “Twos are sort of gentle, threes and fives are mean, a four is always pleasant. I like sevens and eights too, too but nines always scare me. Tens are great.” When a classmate asks if she has prepared her division homework, she says “Nothing spoils number faster than a lot of arithmetic.”
In my edition the May 1 strip is repeated instead of the May 3rd strip! (The missing strip will apparently be printed at the end of the next book).
John Waters give the best foreword yet. He actually references strips in this book!
He says he became obsessed with peanuts when he had mono in 6th grade. He loves the depression paranoia and delusions. But John was all about Lucy. He loves her politics, her manners “Get out of my way!” her narcissism and her rants. He says he has a niece named Lucy and Schulz got the expression perfect when she yells “No” on page 61.
He also says that for the most part the strips don’ age at all (with a few exceptions). He talks about Lucy shouting “police brutality” at Charlie as a crossing guard! He also says that Schulz was criticized for including the minority characters (which is shocking). Waters is also fascinated by characters like Roy who are rarely if ever heard.
Pig-Pen was an inspiration for Dingy Dave in A Dirty Shame; Divine cutting up her daughter’s jump rope in Female Trouble is inspired from a Peanuts strip.
He sums up with the attitude that Peanuts presents:
You are dealt a hand. Deal with it. But most importantly he teaches all ages that if you can learn to laugh at the things that cause you the most pain, you will be the strongest of all.