Security is an Eye Patch is the finest Peanuts strip collection ever published by the US government. Put out in 1968 by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, this two-color-cover, black-and-white interior pamphlet collected strips dealing with Sally’s amblyopia. I’ve had one of these for decades, and it was even reprinted in my book The Peanuts Collection… and at the time, I thought that was the first time it had been printed by anyone but the government.
But then I started talking about this in a “giveaway comics” group on Facebook, and Mark Arnold of the Fun Ideas podcast started talking about his copy with a black-and-white cover. I was intrigued.
Turns out that even though this edition came out in 1979, it has some particularly strong ties to the creations of the strip. You see, Schulz had a pal and a golfing buddy named Dan Vaughan. Dan was an ophthalmologist based in San Jose.
Vaughan founded his own Pro-Am tournament, the Mission Invitational, a fundraiser for Society for the Prevention of Blindness which ran for decades in the San Jose area, and Schulz provided some art for it over the years.
In 1960, Vaughan founded the Sight Conservation Research Center. In the HEW edition of the Security booklet, the Center is credited as having suggested the strips; clearly, it was Vaughan who is to blame for Sally getting an eyepatch. And the black-and-white-covered edition of the booklet? That was published by the Center.
But that wasn’t the only impact that Vaughan had on the field of comics. He had eight children, and those children had children, and one of those grandchildren is New Yorker cartoonist Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell.