Peanuts work for the government again

The AAUGH.com library has just been bestowed with a copy of The American Economic System… and your part in it, a 20-page 8.5″ x 11″ pamphlet that was put out in 1975. It was a joint production of The Advertising Council (the private non-profit that puts together most of the major public service ad campaigns) and the Department of Commerce with the help of the Department of Labor. Looking at the cover with the bicentennial-themed ribbon-and-medal design, you wouldn’t think that Peanuts had anything to do with the economy… but a look inside will quickly disabuse you of that notion. There you will find a couple dozen Peanuts images scattered throughout. It looks to be made of some standard Peanuts decoration images of the day and individual panels taken from strips. Then, you look a bit closer, and find that while some panels are genuinely taken from strips, others have dialogue never seen in Peanuts — or probably any other comic. “I’m switching to something with more personal income!” says Linus.

This pamphlet got some attention at the time, not all of it good. In 1977, College English magazine ran an article criticizing the pamphlet’s content… and they couldn’t resist poking a little fun at the use of Peanuts in the title of the article. “‘The American Economic System’: The Gospel According to the Advertising Council”, an invocation of the title of the best-selling The Gospel According to Peanuts.

This isn’t the only time the Advertising Council would use Peanuts. The Council also produces the Smokey Bear ad campaign material, and once used Smokey and Snoopy together on a bookmark (and possibly other materials; I only know of the bookmark.)

Classic finds
Lucy’s Lemon Censorship Recipe

As you may recall from this episode of the podcast (you do have them all memorized, right?), we had established that the Peanuts Cook Book had at one point had a replacement recipe issued, thanks to concerns about kids working with the high-proof lemon extract called for in the making …

New releases
Peanuts Holiday Cookbook

The new Peanuts Holiday Cookbook is a slick piece of work, a bright hardcover illustrated with a mix of Schulz strips, recycled Peanuts art from other projects, and new art done for this project by Peanuts kid books regulars Robert Pope and Scott Jeralds. It offers a fairly diverse set …

Animated Peanuts
I’m confused by A Charlie Brown Christmas

I stopped by a local Hallmark store knowing that it was about time for Christmas books to surface, and there I saw it, a new book edition of A Charlie Brown Christmas… or at least that’s what I thought. I did not recognize this colorful edition. Then I opened it and …