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Good Ole Charlie Brown | Vidya Sury, Collecting Smiles
in 1952, the introduction of Charlie Brown and the comic strip Peanuts, with its clean drawings and psychological orientation, made for a stark contrast with both the clutter and the vaudeville-gag orientation in cartoon strips of the time: “Most cartoon drawing is about distraction: popular masters like Walt Kelly and Al Capp crowded their panels with characters and activity; Pogo and Li’l Abner are dense with what actors call ‘business.’ Peanuts, full of empty spaces, didn’t depend on action or a particular context to attract the reader; it was about people working out the interior problems of their daily lives without ever actually solving them. The absence of a solution was the center of the story. … “The American assumption was that children were happy, and childhood was a golden time; it was adults who had problems with which they wrestled and pains that they sought to smooth. Schulz reversed the natural order of things … by showing that a child’s pain is more intensely felt than an adult’s, a child’s defeats the more acutely experienced and remembered. Charlie Brown takes repeated insults from Violet and Patty about the size of his head, which they compare with a beach ball, …