Good Man, Interrupted

By: Matthew Battles
March 29, 2011

Mentioned on Twitter today by HiLobrow contributor (and indispensable twitteur) Tim Carmody, 3eanuts is a tumblr dedicated to the proposition that removing the last panel from most Peanuts comics unveils a world in which “despair pervades all.” 3eanuts blogger Daniel Leonard argues that the Schulz’s 4th-panel humor and the strip’s sentimental marketing combine to mask the horror with which the Peanuts characters contend:

The concluding punchline distances readers emotionally from the misery that precedes it; jokes turn us from co-sufferers into onlooking wise guys. Schulz was well aware that the dismal content of Peanuts, which is to say the stuff of life, is difficult to face without humor to aid us. By removing the final gag panel, we bring to the fore exactly how dark Schulz’s view of the world has always been.

Categories

Kudos, Read-outs

What do you think?

  1. http://www.gildedgreen.com/peanuts-great.jpg

    Unadulterated Peanuts, at least in it’s heyday, could be pretty relentless.

    Other similar comic strip memes, like removing Dagwood’s or Garfield’s thought balloons, revealed an unintended yet undeniably present bizarre tone that was at odds with the prescriptive tone of the comic that was at once pretty funny and kind of interesting.

    This, however, seems to be “revealing” a tone that is both acknowledged by the artist, and readily discernible in the unaltered comics. It feels a bit like editing out the “peace” portions of “War & Peace” to “reveal” that the book contains many passages detailing the horror and inevitability of war.

    Maybe I’m just more touchy about people fiddling with Peanuts than I am about Garfield and Blondie, though.

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