The mailman must like me, because he’s been bringing me a lot of Peanuts goodies lately. Today, it’s an issue of a Japanese Snoopy magazine from the 1970s. And I feel like going through it right now, so here I go.
- The cover is a particularly low-resolution of Snoopy looking, well, snoopy in a slouched hat and a trenchcoat. The image has a copyright date of 1967 – which unfortunately had the guy auctioning it off on eBay thinking it was an issue from 1967. It’s a June issue from, well, I’m not certain what year, but the interior has copyright dates through at least 1971.
- Inside cover: whoa! Any thought that this was a magazine aimed at kids is pushed back by an ad for the “International Comics” mag Woo, which features a large shot of Crumb’s Fritz the Cat groping his girlfriend, rolling papers and spent matches at their feet.
- The Table of Contents is a mini-page, about a third of the width of the full pages of the magazine. Listings are a mix of English and Japanese. After that Fritz surprise, I’m worried what the section labeled “HOT YOUNG” will be when I reach page 37.
- First real page is a Happiness is thing, printed in two colors. After that, three Sunday pages, printed in two colors (black and blue), with all the text in Japanese. Then we come to the MY PEANUTS! section, eighteen pages of strip reprints in black and white, with Japanese text in the balloons and the English text typeset below the panels.
- A page of indecipherable ads is followed by a 2/3 page ad for WORLD COMICS SERIES including “DENNIS THE MENACE”, “BEETLE BAILEY”, “MISS PEACH”, “BLONDIE”, “KERRY DRAKE”, “LOVE” (presumable “Love is”, but there are no pictured examples to be sure), and, ummm, “FRLASH GORDON”. Really.
- Full color enters the magazine, for the “COME-ON SUMMER!!” section. Yes, that would be a summer of come-ons. The first theme is “Bicyclist”. Three pages of pictures of stylistic bicycles, some marked with prices, some with phone numbers. Two pages of mostly drawings of folks on bikes. Then we come to “BOAT SHOW”, two pages of photos from a boat show. Then, finally, we get a little bit of Peanuts content as we hit the page of a “snoopy mate”, what I would guess to be a teen hearthrob page. This is a western-looking young man (pulling readable numbers from the text that accompanies it, I’m guessing he was born in 1950 and is 21 years old, backing up the 1971 copyright estimation.) He’s looking serious, sitting among the flowers, holding a pack of cigarettes or possibly a deck of cards. The best I can decipher his signature is “Raymond Lovelark”. And there’s a drawing of Snoopy kissing the page’s photo… a mite strange. Snoopy and Linus are mentioned in his bio. And that’s it for the full-color section.
- Ah, “Hot Young” is not some sexy photo spread as I’d feared, but black-and-white pages on culture and hot items — what looks like a concert calendar. The Carpenters are playing! Then there are new LP releases, the description of some new store, a shopping section pushing umbrella hats and slide whistles. There’s a few pages of touristy information, pictures of old buildings and hand-drawn maps of areas.
- Two-pages of horoscopes, illustrated with non-Peanuts cartoon drawings.
- Two pages of “Snoopy Teaches You.”, focused on onomatopoeia. Yes, Peanuts illustrations are used as examples to teach you such English words as zoom, blah, gulp, growl, sniff, bump, tap, tinkle, tick, puff, swish, and rattle. Some of the non-Peanuts text examples are things that we’d not likely use in English today, and I’m not sure we would actually have used them then (“I’ll give you a tinkle (on the phone).”)
- Two more text pages on Peanuts (illos of Snoopy and a bunny, and of Pigpen) followed by two pages of fan letters from folks aged 13-18, including some fan art of the characters.
- A two-page Lucy-hosted section of pictures of girls, some displaying Snoopy merchandise. A subscription ad and subscription card.
- Back to the two-color section, for four pages of photos of legs and feet, with cartoon dialog balloons and overlapping drawings of Snoopy. I presume it’s very humorous.
- CM Song Card, a page of sheet music. Three verses, all in Japanese except for the closing of each verse, which is “Oh you!” On the back, what looks like an album review and the cover shot of a Japanese guy in a chair, showing an expression that looks exactly like what Saturday Night Live cast member Fred Armisen looks like when pretending to be someone looking serious.
- Inside back cover is an ad for Scholastic books, U.S. editions of Clifford The Big Red Dog and Rabbit And Skunk books, plus the Scholastic Dictionary of Synonyms, Antonyms, Homonyms (hint: I think the word they want is “thesaurus”.) Back cover is an ad for Coca-Cola, featuring a Japanese guy taking a bath in an old oil barrel. The slogan “The Real Life” is an interesting mixture of the old US Coke slogans “The Real Thing” and “Coke adds life”
And thus we come to the end of our overly-detailed (but hopefully slightly entertaining) overview of what Japanese Snoopy fans had to read in 1971. So if you’re ever a Japanese Snoopy fan in 1971, you’ll know what to look for!