Spike was a secret Trekkie because of… MURDER!

General
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Dadgummit, I was so proud of my theory why those two July 1978 strips were originally drawn with Spike watching Hogan’s Heroes, yet were edited and run in newspapers with Spike watching Star Trek instead. The dates! The companies! It all fit together!!!

But sometimes Occam whips out his razor and cuts you to the bone. AAUGH Blog reader Walter remembers when these strips came out, says he even saw the same strips running in different papers with different final panels, Star Trek in one, Hogan’s Heroes in another. Even wrote to The Buyer’s Guide to Comics Fandom about it, and if anyone has issues of that from August or September 1978, we’d love to have a reference scan. And in the moment, the reason for the change was much more obvious.

Schulz drew Peanuts with about a three month lead time, so these late July strips would have been drawn in April. So, what could have happened between April and July that caused him to change the strip? In fact, any change was probably well into that period; if different papers ran different strips, that would mean that the stats had already gone out to some papers, perhaps a replacement set was sent out that some papers had missed.

On June 29, 1978, actor Bob Crane, the titular Hogan of Hogan’s Heroes, was found murdered, bludgeoned to death in a Scottsdale, Arizona apartment where he was living while performing locally on stage. This grisly crime remains unsolved to this day.

So, less than a month from the death, the use in the strip would’ve been of questionable taste. And thus Mister Spock was brought in to take Colonel Hogan’s place. It’s only logical.

Animated Peanuts
The First Thanksgiving.

It’s common knowledge that A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving first aired on November 20, 1973. You can find that fact on the show’s IMDb page, or its Wikipedia page… at least if you check right now, before I get it fixed. You see, like much common knowledge, it appears to be wrong. …

Dialogue balloon from the August 15, 1960 Peanuts
Greatest hits
Errors Live Forever

Charles Schulz was a stickler about language in his strip. You could see it in the way he included accurate shorthand or transcribed musical notes, the written language of music. He paid close attention to his punctuation. But all of that does not mean that he didn’t make mistakes. For …

General
An age-old problem

In the US, one typically starts kindergarten at the age of 5. Charlie Brown was attending school before we first saw Linus, who was a baby at the time. Linus was attending school before Sally was born. Sally was attending school before Rerun was born. Rerun started school before the …