Annotations of The Complete Peanuts/1957 to 1958

From Wikibooks, open books for an open world
< Annotations of The Complete Peanuts
Jump to: navigation, search

Annotations to The Complete Peanuts: 1957 to 1958 by Charles M. Schulz (Fantagraphics Books, 2005. ISBN 1560976705)

  • p. 4 (January 7, 1957) 3rd panel (and subsequent days). Stereo and Hi-Fi equipment were the latest innovations in home audio at the time.
  • p. 7 (January 16, 1957). Bastille Day is the French national holiday symbolizing the start of French democracy.
  • p. 22 (February 19, 1957). Undoubtedly Lawrence Welk, whose show first aired nationally in 1955.
  • p. 23 (February 21, 1957). Having "both feet on the ground" means having a firm grip on reality. This pun is likely a reference to the fact that the accordion is played while standing, whereas the piano is played while seated and often with a foot on the pedals. (The accordion is also a less widely respected instrument than the piano, explaining Schroeder's disgust at the remark.)
  • p. 33 (March 17, 1957) 1st panel and following. Charlie Brown is engaged in the ancient game of hoop rolling. It's exactly what it looks like: rolling a hoop with a stick.
  • p. 34 (March 20, 1957). Skywriting is when a small airplane, expelling special smoke during flight, flies in certain patterns, creating "writing" readable from the ground.
  • p.41 (April 6, 1957). A fiscal year is a 12-month period used for calculating annual ("yearly") financial reports in businesses and other organizations. It covers a full 365 days, but does not begin on January 1 nor end on December 31.
  • p. 53 (May 4, 1957). Old fashioned roller skates did not have their own uppers. They were essentially mini skateboards that you attached to your shoes with a set of clamps that you tightened using a skate key.
  • p. 56 (May 10, 1957). Washboards, used to wash clothes, were, of course, hand-operated.
  • p. 62 (May 23, 1957). 33 1/3 and 78 rpm were common speeds for phonograph records. (The implication is that Lucy speaks very quickly indeed!).
  • p. 77 (June 29, 1957). Buttons proclaiming "I Like Ike" were common in 1951-1952. They proclaimed support for Dwight D. Eisenhower for U.S. president. He was president from 1953 to 1961, during the time this panel ran.
  • p. 82 (July 9, 1957). Barrel staves are curved, wooden parts that make up a barrel.
  • p. 83 (July 13, 1957). "Slacker" is a term from World War I and World War II describing men who were avoiding the military draft.
  • p. 91 (July 29, 1957). Lucy has confused "phonetic" (word sounds) with "psychic" (having the ability to read minds).
  • p. 98 (August 17, 1957). According to the U.S. Census Bureau 16.1 million men and women served in the U.S. armed forces from Dec. 1, 1941, and Dec. 31, 1946. So practically every U.S. family has a World War II veteran in it.
  • p. 99 (August 18, 1957). "Geronimo!" is the traditional cry of paratroopers and others as they jump out of planes. It comes from a film about the Apache leader Geronimo.
  • p. 101 (August 23, 1957). "Thar She Blows!" is the traditional yell of whale hunters when they spot a whale or, more often, a whale spouting water from its blow hole.
  • p. 112 (September 17, 1957). Snoopy is holding his fist in the air like Benito Mussolini, suggesting that Lucy is behaving like the fascist dictator.
  • p. 118 (October 2, 1957). Lucy makes this statement just two days before the launch of Sputnik!
  • p. 139 (November 18, 1957). According to Billboard, the number one song in the United States that week was "Jailhouse Rock" by Elvis Presley. Note: Schulz drew his strip weeks in advance. Even though he didn't know exactly which song would be number one, he knew it would undoubtedly be a rock and roll tune, which Schroeder naturally dislikes.
  • p. 151 (December 16, 1957). The first movement of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 1, op. 2 No. 1.
  • p. 152 (December 20, 1957). Pat Boone was a popular singer of the time. His songs were usually sweet love songs, more conventional and "middle of the road" than the raucous rock and roll of Elvis Presley. Boone had two number one songs in 1957, "Love Letters In the Sand" and "April Love".
  • p. 157 (December 30, 1957). Snoopy's ears are forming a square. "Square" is a slang term for someone who is old fashioned and not "hip." Schroeder's love of classical music marks him as definite square.
  • p. 164 (January 18, 1958). "Pioneer Days" would be the 1800s when the American Old West was first settled by white men ("pioneers"). That would anywhere from 50 to 150 years before World War II.
  • p. 172 (February 4, 1958). Another reference to Sputnik, the first artificial satellite.
  • p. 175 (February 10, 1958). Linus knows that carrying around a blanket makes him look crazy, and crazy people are not drafted into the army.
  • p. 175 (February 11, 1958). Lucy is mis-quoting Karl Marx who said, "Religion is the opium of the people." Like most people, she has mis-interpreted that saying to mean that religion is a tool used by the bourgeoisie to keep the masses quiet and complacent.
  • p. 181 (February 25, 1958). To be "blackballed" is to forbidden to join an organization. The Blue Birds were a children's club, part of the Camp Fire Organization (similar to Scouting), and so, theoretically not that picky. (Blue Birds were started in 1913 as an organization for girls. In 1989 the Blue Bird level became the "Starflight" level serving both boys and girls.)
  • p. 188 (March 13, 1958). A strop is a piece of leather used to sharpen an old-fashioned straight razor. They were also used to spank children with when they misbehaved. Schroeder's grandfather is arguing for more discipline. Electric razors don't have strops.
  • p. 190 (March 17, 1958). Jim Hagerty was President Eisenhower's press secretary. As such, any reporter would love to interview him.
  • p. 196 (March 31, 1958). The quotation is from the chlidren's book Little Black Sambo, which would now be considered racially offensive.
  • p. 199 (April 8, 1958). A parasol can not be hi-fi, but, like the term "high tech", "hi-fi" was bandied about in lots of inappropriate places in attempts to suggest that whatever was being sold was on the cutting edge of science.
  • p. 200 (April 10, 1958). See above.
  • p. 221 (May 30, 1958). The Beat Generation refers to a group of American writers of the 1950s, most notably Jack Kerouac. But here Charlie Brown is referring to himself as beaten down by life in general.
  • p. 222 (June 1, 1958). "Dear Agnes" is a play on Dear Abby, the advice columnist (or "agony aunt"), whose column began running in 1956.
  • p. 224 (June 6, 1958). A gila monster is a venomous lizard found in the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico.
  • p. 239 (July 12, 1958). Van Cliburn was a well known classical pianist of the late fifties.
  • p. 268 (September 17, 1958). See p. 232, June 25, 1958. Odd that Schulz recycles an idea not four months after he first uses it.
  • p. 269 (September 19, 1958). "The fastest gun in the west" was a claim made by many an Old West gunslinger. It literally meant that you were able to draw your gun and shoot faster than any opponent, thus killing them.
  • p. 217 (September 22, 1958). "I don't pretend to be able to give advice." All that would change with the coming of her psychiatric advice booth (Vol. 5, p. 37, March 27, 1959).
  • p. 274 (September 29, 1958) Hula hoops! The only thing more ubiquitous than Davy Crockett in the 1950s was hula hoops. Peanuts is a veritable index to the pop culture of the second half of the 20th century.
  • p. 275 (October 3, 1958). The ticking of a clock supposedly simulates the heartbeat of the mother, which a puppy would have heard in the womb and while snuggled up against the mother after birth, in order to reassure it.
  • p. 289 (November 3, 1958). The underdog is the person or team not expected to win a contest. The word's origin, in ship construction, actually does make its opposite "overdog."
  • p. 289 (November 4, 1958). Beethoven did not belong to a country club, so he never had the chance to become "club champion": the member of the club who is the best at a particular sport, usually golf or tennis.
  • p. 310 (December 24, 1958). The age of accountability is the age at which a child knows right from wrong and is responsible for his/her own actions. In the Catholic Church it's 7.