In 1989 I started grade 10. As I was returning for my second year of high school, Charlie Brown and Sally mused about where the summer went. I walked to school—Sally waited at the bus stop as she lamented to Linus about the difficulty of fitting a hero sandwich into a lunch box.
I have always loved the Peanuts. Comic strips would come and go, but the Peanuts stayed. In this volume, Charlie Brown agonizes about how to afford gloves for a girl who calls him Brownie Charles—the girl he met at summer camp. Marcy (“you’re wierd, sir”) and Peppermint Patty try to figure out how to cope with school. Snoopy, Spike, and Woodstock up the absurdity level while Good Ol’ Charlie Brown remains melancholic.
One of my favourite parts of Schultz’s Peanuts is his frequent nods to Christianity. On July 11, 1989, Sally informs her brother, “I have to have a Bible story to tell by Sunday morning. I was thinking of Daniel in the 49ers’ Den.” “Lion’s Den,” Charlie Brown replies from the comfort of his bean bag chair without turning his head from the TV. “Whatever,” says Sally as she walks away.
The best part of these strips now is reading them with Ryan, my 8 year old son. He has a particular soft spot for the absurd strips. I’ll end with his favourite strip from this volume (August 15, 1989):
MARCY: I love ice shows, don’t you, Sir? I even like the intermission when the Zucchini comes out and resurfaces the ice.
PEPPERMINT PATTY: Zamboni, Marcie
—Charles M. Schultz, The Complete Peanuts: 1989 to 1990 (Seattle: Fantagraphics Books, 2013).