Simplicity Is Beauty!
The simplicity of Peanuts‘ greatness rests in Schulz’s capacity to explore important issues (unrequited love, loneliness, is there a Great Pumpkin?) through the eyes of emotionally impressionable kids. The fact that sports, in general, compel a part of us that has never grown up is the reason why the sports-related content works so effectively.
In a comic strip created following the Giants’ close World Series loss to the Yankees in 1962, Charlie Brown and Linus spend three frames sitting glumly and silently on a curb. Charlie Brown exclaims, “Why couldn’t McCovey have hit the ball three feet higher?” in the fourth episode. Why Buckner wasn’t able to field the ground ball in 1986 is a moving sorrow for baseball fans. Why was Bartman unable to back off in 2003?
Events From Schulz’s Life Are Included in the Peanuts’ Comic Strip
The majority of the incidents and connections in Peanuts are taken directly from Schulz’s life. The same holds true in the world of sports (shortly after a phone bill discloses to Schulz’s wife, Joyce, that he’s having an extramarital affair, Charlie Brown stops Snoopy from canoodling with a girl beagle, warning, “and no more long-distance phone calls!”). Schulz, who organized events and played hockey as a hobby, was admitted to the U.S. in 1993, by the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Even though sports are only a minor part of Schulz’s work, those comics reveal a lot about the Peanuts crew and us as fans. There Goes the Shutout from 1977 is among the book collections that compile some of the finest baseball comics. The squad is down 63-0 after the first inning in the comic strip that inspired the title. After the game, Linus tells Charlie Brown on the bench, “Well, there goes our shutout.” By inference, winning the game itself is still possible.