Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Picasso, Peanuts and Garfield

I have been in a way crappy mood for quite a while, and I have not felt much like writing. But it has occurred to me that I am in charge of my crappy mood. I feel almost like hitting myself over the head with my princess wand and incanting, "out, crappy mood, out."

I read last year where the Peanuts Cartoon, perhaps the most well-known comic strip in the US, is going to publish all of the strips associated with it – Charles Schultz penned fifty years worth of comics, so they intend on releasing one book per year (with 2 years worth of work) for the next 25 years. I am not really a collector, but if I were, I am not sure I would collect a book that would take a generation to finish my collection. I mean, remember when the state quarters started being minted an collected? Ten years to finish the project. But I am not a collector – and maybe long time horizons are okay for collectors.

Long story short – I was thinking of Peanuts and Charles Shultz this morning, and I am almost embarrassed to admit this, but you know, I never thought Peanuts was that funny. The Peanuts Christmas special, especially Linus' "Meaning of Christmas" soliloquy was wonderful. But the strip? Not really great in my opinion. I would consider it a bit over-rated.

Sort of like Garfield when I was growing up. I am not a cat person, so maybe that is working here, but I never found Garfield that funny. Bill the Cat: funny. Garfield: annoying.

You know, in different parts of entertainment and the arts, there are some artists who stand out. In comics, I think Charles Schultz (Peanuts) and Jim Davis (Garfield) are two of the most popular doodle artists ever. The only other I can name right now is Scott Adams. And Gary Trudeau. Well, I guess I do know a few.

For "real art", I could never get Picasso. I have seen some Picasso that is very beautiful, but the classic Picasso does not fit my taste.

I know I should like Picasso, Peanuts and all, but I just don't. And it is not if I was in a pissy mood when I made these decisions.


Leigh said...

I have to agree with you when it comes to Peanuts. I have never found it funny. Creepy yes... funny not so much.

Hope your days become brighter.

~Deb said...

I never found the whole "Charlie Brown" cartoon amusing to begin with. Different tastes... And Garfield, eh... the lasagna thing baffled me. What cat would eat Italian food?

KYCM said...

You put it all into words so well. Amazingly, I have read both Peanuts and Garfield in the comics for years, and only rarely do i even chuckle. Thanks for bringing this to my attention and hopefully, I can be more productive with those few moments of wasted time. I do know I now read your bloggage daily. I find your work interesting, entertaining and can see you put a lot of thought into your work. Good Day Madam Leesa!

Prata said...

Peanuts and Garfield, were not designed to be funny comics. I've never viewed them as funny, because they are not pushing funny material.

However, they are not popular because they are funny. They are popular because of their content. Same as the Boondocks, although the author/artist of the Boondocks is better at coming across as extremely funny from an everyday and political standpoint. That is the nature of the authors though, I believe.

Chris Allen Gaubatz said...

I agree with you on Peanuts. I watch the Christmas special every year, and the Halloween special, but the strip has never appealed to me. I've always had some affection for 'ole Garfield, though. I remember when I was a young kid, and Garfield was one of the first "books" I ever read. I guess I appreciate Garfield for the nostalgia as opposed to the quality of the comic...

Pittchick said...

I only read the sunday comics. That makes it atad difficult to follow along with the strips that tell a story evryday.

Zack said...

Who says you must like Picasso and Peanuts? Is it the same person that says you must drive a red car or you must do this diet. We are not like cattle to just follow the herd. Many authors, including yourself, have something to say and know that they may touch only one person with their thoughts. Picasso, expressed his feelings of the times politically, so his work changed a lot. If in our expressions of creative uses, we touch or affect just a few, think how many that can be with today's communication. We must filter the hype and search for the meanings that are best for each of us. And yes, your words are just as valuable to someone. Maybe as valuable as a Picasso.

Leesa said...

leigh: thanks, hun!

~deb: I just am not entertained with Peanuts.

KYCM: thanks!

prata: Peanuts and Garfield were supposed to entertain. They just don't entertain me.

chris: I forgot about the Halloween special. I have not said it in years.

DNA: I only read Sundays as well.

zack: there are some things that should be appreciated. Listening to a Mozart piano piece, watching the Russian Ballet, all sorts of things. And I don't appreciate Peanuts.

Prata said...

So is Cathy, or Dilbert; however, they still reflect views on political climate amongst other things such as philosophy, in a truncated and dry/sarcastic/funny way.

Not necessarily funny to all; however, that is the approach of the author and perhaps the intent. If there was not content, then other more content laden/funny comics would have replaced them.

Advizor said...

I always like Peanuts because I have similar characters in my own life, the Lucy the know-it-all (my sister), Linus the faithful friend (Charles), Pigpen, the scroungy philosopher (Keith), and a loyal pet with a mind of his own (OK, mine was a cat, but it all worked). I think they are funny and sometimes insightful, and though I rarely laugh out loud, I like them.

Garfield only made me laugh when we as beating up on Odie or when the main guy was trying to date the vet.

Now, if you want to talk about a waste for newsprint (and you probably don't), try reading "Family Circle." UGH, BLECH, YUCH. That comic is inane in the extreme, overly sentimental, and it' the same joke day after day after day. Give it a rest, let it die.....

My current favorite it "Sheldon" the touching story about a millionaire boy, his pet duck, and his very hairy grandpa.
Coming in a close second is "Big Nate" by Lincoln Pierce, or Bo Nanas, by John Kovaleski, about a monkey in society where, I guess, talking monkeys are pretty normal, or "Drabble" by Kevin Fagin.