Annotations of The Complete Peanuts/1985 to 1986

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Annotations to The Complete Peanuts: 1985 to 1986 by Charles M. Schulz (Fantagraphics Books|Fantagraphics Books, 2011. ISBN 1606995723

  • p. xi (Foreword by Patton Oswald) "Snoopy even adds a new make-believe character to his repertoire (...) a bowtie-wearing, bowler-topped attorney." That sentence is misleading, as the attorney persona of Snoopy in fact appeared many years before 1985/1986.
  • p. 47 (April 19, 1985) It seems Snoopy is cured of the "weed claustrophobia" that plagued him in 1956. See the strips of October 27, November 3, and November 6 to 9 of that year.
  • p. 94 (August 7, 1985). A "punker" is "a punk rock musician or a devotee of punk rock or punk styles.". They were especially prevalent during the late 70's and 80's.
  • p. 94-95 (August 7, 1985 – August 9, 1985) Although the term "mallies" doesn't actually exist, the type of people Schulz was referring to did. In the 80's, and still today, there are several people who can be possibly referred to as "mallies".
  • p. 97 (August 12, 1985) YUPpies (from "Young Urban Professional") defined the 1980s more than any other social group. Their way of life (expensive tastes and professional ambition) was fueled by the financial and economic optimism of the era and was the subject of many books, movies, and television series (The Bonfire of the Vanities, Family Ties, Wall Street).
  • p. 127-128 (October 23, 1985 – October 25, 1985) "The Lone Eagle", as the first strip of this series explicitly indicates, was Charles Lindbergh, who, as this strip also indicates, made the first nonstop solo flight from New York to Paris. Snoopy's "Lone Beagle" outfit is also his World War I Flying Ace outfit as well.
  • p. 128 (October 26, 1985) Wayne Gretzky is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player and former head coach. The joke is that Rerun's helmet looks like a hockey mask.
  • p. 128 (October 27, 1985) One of the rare instances where an adult's speech appears in Peanuts.
  • p. 131 (November 1, 1985) "Beagle Blaster" refers to ghetto blasters, a 1980's slang term referring to "a large, powerful portable radio, especially as carried and played by a pedestrian or used outdoors in an urban area.".
  • p. 133-134 (November 6, 1985 – November 9, 1985) Halley's Comet, officially designated 1P/Halley, is the best-known of the short-period comets and is visible from Earth every 75–76 years. Halley is the only short-period comet that is clearly visible to the naked eye from Earth, and thus the only naked-eye comet that might appear twice in a human lifetime. Other naked-eye comets may be brighter and more spectacular, but will appear only once in thousands of years. As this strip series explicitly indicates, Sally has the date at least a month too early, and the comet's actual arrival was on February 1986.
  • p. 170 (February 1, 1986) She has what is known as a ten-speed. A ten speed is "a system of gears having ten forward gear ratios, especially on a bicycle." These types of bikes were particularly popular during the 1970s and 1980s.
  • p. 174 (February 9, 1986) The poems Snoopy writes down are plays on a classic love poem that may be traced at least as far back as to the following lines written in 1590 by Sir Edmund Spenser from his epic The Faerie Queene (Book Three, Canto 6, Stanza 6):
It was upon a Sommers shynie day,
When Titan faire his beames[check spelling] did display,
In a fresh fountaine, farre from all mens vew,
She bath'd her brest, the boyling heat t'allay;
She bath'd with roses red, and violets blew,
And all the sweetest flowres, that in the forrest grew.

The version Snoopy is lampooning is the most popular one:

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
Sugar is sweet,
And so are you.
  • p. 175 (February 10, 1986) About the political correctness of the 1980s concerning gender bias in language, see also the strip of December 27, 1983.
  • p. 175-176, 178-179 (February 10, 1986 – February 15, 1986, and February 16, 1986 -February 21, 1986) As the series explicitly indicates, the flu Snoopy (as the World War I Flying Ace) catches is the great influenza epidemic of 1918-1919. As it also states, before it ended in 1919, twenty million people had died from the disease. The armistice that was to mark the end of World War I that was mentioned February 19, was also signed during those years of death and disease.
  • p. 178 (February 19, 1986) "The war is over!!" Actually, the war is not over for Snoopy's pilot persona. He will return to fight on October 4, 1986.
  • p. 179 (February 22, 1986) The national anthem of the United States is "The Star-Spangled Banner," of which lyrics come from "Defence of Fort McHenry", a poem written in 1814 by the 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet, Francis Scott Key, after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British Royal Navy ships in Chesapeake Bay during the Battle of Fort McHenry in the War of 1812. The poem was set to the tune of a popular British song written by John Stafford Smith for the Anacreontic Society, a men's social club in London. "The Anacreontic Song" (or "To Anacreon in Heaven"), with various lyrics, was already popular in the United States. Set to Key's poem and renamed "The Star-Spangled Banner", it would soon become a well-known American patriotic song. With a range (tessitura) of one and a half octaves, it is known for being difficult to sing. Although the poem has four stanzas, only the first is commonly sung today. "The Star-Spangled Banner" was recognized for official use by the U.S. Navy in 1889 and by President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, and was made the national anthem by a congressional resolution on March 3, 1931 (46 Stat. 1508, codified at 36 U.S.C. § 301), which was signed by President Herbert Hoover. Before 1931, other songs served as the hymns of American officialdom. "Hail, Columbia" served this purpose at official functions for most of the 19th century. "My Country, 'Tis of Thee", whose melody is identical to "God Save the Queen," the British national anthem, also served as a de facto anthem. Following the War of 1812 and subsequent American wars, other songs would emerge to compete for popularity at public events, among them "The Star-Spangled Banner."
  • p. 184 (March 5, 1986) "Baby on Bike" is a reference to the rising popularity of "Baby on Board" warning signs in the 1980s.
  • p. 185 (March 7, 1986) This strip is a little bit confusing, as at first glance it appears that Snoopy is talking in the last panel. However, on closer inspection, it is revealed that it is in fact the body of Snoopy talking. One of the possible hint to this is the scrunched up line directing the thought balloon to its bearer that only Snoopy's body parts have.
  • p. 192 (March 23, 1986) "Medic" is slang for doctor.
  • p. 195 (March 30, 1986) The definition of the word "ganglion" Linus is referring to is the less known one, meaning "a small lump most commonly on the hand or foot".
  • p. 202-203 (April 15, 1986) What have we done to Fort Zinderneuf?! Fort Zinderneuf is the main setting of the 1966 film Beau Geste and the 1924 novel it is based on.
  • p. 208 (April 28, 1986 – May 3, 1986) The Maypole Dance that is celebrated in U.S. in Secondary or High School dances as part of a May Day celebration are nearly identical to that celebrated in the United Kingdom. Often the Maypole dance will be accompanied by other dances as part of a presentation to the public.The earliest use of the Maypole in America occurred in 1628, where William Bradford, governor of New Plymouth, wrote of an incident where a number of servants, together with the aid of an agent, broke free from their indentured service to create their own colony, setting up a maypole in the center of the settlement, and behaving in such a way as to receive the scorn and disapproval of the nearby colonies, as well as an official officer of the king, bearing patent for the state of Massachusetts. The May Queen or Queen of May is a term which has two distinct but related meanings, as a mythical figure and as a holiday personification. This series is referring to the latter, the May Queen who is a girl who must ride or walk at the front of a parade for May Day celebrations. She wears a white gown to symbolize purity and usually a tiara or crown. Her duty is to begin the May Day celebrations. She is generally crowned by flowers and makes a speech before the dancing begins. Certain age groups dance round a Maypole celebrating youth and the spring time.
  • p. 226 (June 9, 1985) This the first appearance of Lydia.
  • p. 247 (July 29, 1986) Maynard is misquoting the Scripture Luke 10:7 (The laborer is worthy of his hire) as Luke 10:4.
  • p. 252 (August 10, 1986) Mozart, Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, Franck, Lehar, Tchaikovsky, Elgar, Schubert, and Gershwin were all famous composers.
  • p. 253 (August 12, 1986) Buck Beagle in the 25th century is a parody of the famous 1930s comic strip "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century," which also was a favorite of Schulz's as a youth.
  • p. 254 (August 16, 1986) Joe Garagiola is an American former catcher in Major League Baseball who later became an announcer and television host, popular for his colorful personality. He was well known for being one of the regular panelists of The Today Show on NBC for many years. He also happened to be a good friend of Schulz's.
  • p. 258 Fort Zinderneuf See annotation on pages 202-203
  • p. 263, 265-266, 268, 289, 292, 301 (September 4, 1986 – September 6, 1986, September 8, 1986, September 13, 1986, September 15, 1986 – September 17, 1986, November 5, 1986, November 10, 1986, and December 3, 1986) Tapioca Pudding is a satirical remark on runaway licensing, and her name is a likely parody on Strawberry Shortcake, as both of them are named after a dessert item.
  • p. 274 (October 1, 1986) The first balls were made of natural materials, such as an inflated pig bladder, sometimes inside a leather cover, which has given rise to the slang term "pigskin". Modern balls are designed by teams of engineers to exacting specifications, with rubber or plastic bladders, and often with plastic covers. Various leagues and games use different balls, though they all have one of the following basic shapes:

| a sphere: used in Association football and Gaelic football | a prolate spheroid | either with rounded ends: used in the rugby codes and Australian football | or with more pointed ends: used in American football and Canadian football

The precise shape and construction of footballs is typically specified as part of the rules and regulations. The oldest football still in existence, which is thought to have been made circa 1540, was discovered in the roof of Stirling Castle, Scotland, in 1981. The ball is made of leather (possibly from a deer) and a pig's bladder. It has a diameter of between 14–16 cm (5.5–6.3 in), weighs 125 g (4.4 oz.) and is currently on display at the Smith Art Gallery and Museum in Stirling.

  • p. 277 (October 8, 1986) A zamboni is an ice resurfacer, which is a vehicle used to clean and smooth the surface of an ice sheet, usually in an ice rink. The first ice resurfacer was developed by Frank Zamboni in 1949 in the city of Paramount, California. Zamboni /zæmˈboʊni/ is an internationally registered trademark, though the term is often used as a generic colloquialism for any ice resurfacer.
  • p. 283 (October 22, 1986) Fog is a 1916 poem by Carl Sandburg that reads:
THE FOG comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
  • p. 293 I'll eat first, and then I'll call the Humane Society! The Humane Society is a group that aims to stop human or animal suffering due to cruelty or other reasons, although in many countries, it is now used mostly for societies for the prevention of cruelty to animals (SPCAs).
  • p. 301 (December 3, 1986) This the last appearance of Tapioca Pudding.
  • p. 308, 310 (December 19, 1986 – December 20, 1986, and December 22, 1986, and December 24, 1986) This unnamed kid closely resembles Shermy, a character who last appeared in the year 1976.