Your Valentine? Who is, Charlie Brown?

The English language is structured for creativity, not for precision engineering. Too many phrases are ambiguous. When I tell my wife “I can’t love you any more!”, am I noting that I used to love her, but am no longer capable of doing so? Or am I telling her that my love is turned up to 100%, that I am utterly and totally in love with her? I’m not telling. Not even her.

The actually cover has shiny stuff instead of white on the lace (which is a good effect) and the title (which makes it hard to read.)

The title to Who’s Your Valentine, Charlie Brown? is similar. Is it asking “Charlie Brown, who is your valentine?”¬† Or is it “Is your valentine Charlie Brown?” Looking at the cover, if the question is the former, then it is aimed at Charlie Brown; if the latter, it’s aimed at Snoopy in which case that might not seem to be a reasonable question. But then one starts to think about what “valentine” means in this context. After all, in some contexts it means simply a Valentine’s Day card; when we speaking of school children giving each other “valentines”, we just mean the card. But those cards often say “be my valentine”, so clearly it’s a request for some personal relationship, and as it turns out, the question is a very good one, because (and I’m going to have to spoil the ending of this 10-page heart-shaped board book here) the climax of the story is that Snoopy gives Charlie Brown a Valentine’s Day card. Apparently, he is requesting that Charlie Brown become his valentine! So the ambiguity of the title is never settled; it is neither lady nor tiger but rests in the same state of uncertainty as Schroedinger’s cat.

This masterpiece of ambiguity is writ by Tina Gallo and illustrated by Vicki Scott.

 

Classic finds
Collecting Peanuts books is educational

It wasn’t until today, when I finally get a book that I’ve been wanting for over a decade, the one missing book in my set of traced-and-translated-into-Polish Peanuts strips published in the mid-1980s, that I was aware of this historic fact: Communist-era Poland, while bereft of many things, did in …

New releases
Review: Sparky & Spike

The new book¬†Sparky & Spike: Charles Schulz and the Wildest, Smartest Dog Ever seems to be on the cusp of transitioning Schulz’s cultural image from artist to icon – not the first leaning in that direction, but perhaps the most blatant. It tells the tale of a boy who is …

Classic finds
The Moist Menace

While I’ve covered various Happiness is a Warm Puppy parodies in the past, and while I have a number of programs from Reuben Award ceremonies held by the National Cartoonist Society, I haven’t seen the 1963 program, which is where Carol Tilley (U of Illinois professor who focuses on comics …