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Peanuts, 10/10/04

Never mind your adorable plush Linus dolls and your Snoopy-branded Met Life insurance policy, Peanuts is one of the grimmest strips in comic history. Charlie Brown’s running battle with Lucy and the football is of course well known, but in today’s rerun the whole thing is layered with overtones of Old Testament fatalism. Usually Charlie Brown attempts to at least talk himself into the idea that this time, somehow, Lucy isn’t going to pull the football away at the last minute; but today, as his grim aspect in the rightmost panel in the second row indicates, he has no illusions about the ultimate outcome of this exercise. Like Isaiah, he can rage against it all he wants, but he knows what he’s got coming. The vision of ruined cities, plucked from one of the Bible’s less uplifting passages, is a nice touch. It’s cheery stuff.