Hagemeyer is not Peanuts

Questions answered

A metric eleventeen people have asked me about the articles that came out in the past week about the discovery of lost Schulz strips, some samples that Schulz had drawn up for a series about a woman boss called “Hagemeyer”. The existence of the strips didn’t come as a complete surprise, because the Schulz museum already had a few of the “Hagemeyer” strips, they’d been reprinted in one of Chip Kidd’s books about Peanuts, and there were strong reasons to suspect that more existed. But the museum, now having gotten some more of these strips, did a good press release about them and it apparently got traction. (The strips go on display as part of a new exhibit about a week and a half from now.)

Some of the coverage has tried to frame this as a grown-up version of Peanuts, with the title character being a grown-up Lucy (nah, she’s more like a grown-up Charlotte Braun, but that’s too deep a cut for most coverage.) One thing that I’ve been repeatedly asked is why the strips say “Peanuts” in the upper left corner if they’re not Peanuts strips… and the answer to that one is easy. Schulz had a pile of art paper already printed with the panel borders and the logo, saving him time on every day’s strip. The fact that the daily Peanuts had been promoted as a strip that could be rearranged and stacked in several formats may have put some creative limitations of Schulz, but it did mean that the panel borders would always be in the same place. And with pre-ruled art paper lying around, it would’ve made sense for Schulz to use it for his samples. If “Hagemeyer” had sold to the syndicate, and appropriate logo could have been pasted on over it.

If you’re not used to seeing that Peanuts logo in the upper left of a Peanuts strip, that’s for very simple reasons:

  1. They stopped making it part of the strip during the 1970s.
  2. Almost every reprint book, from the very first in 1952 through The Complete Peanuts and beyond, has deleted the banner (if you want an example of reprints that don’t, check out The Big Books of Peanuts series.)
  3. Even when they were included in the strip, many newspapers deleted it.

The reason newspapers deleted it is presumably it created a redundancy with the standard layout of the strips in the paper, listing the title twice.

Sometimes, a newspaper deleting the banner would do a nice, smooth job. Other times, they would remove it incompletely.

Or they would remove the outline with it (this shows a good example of how the word balloon layout had to be worked around the banner.)

This I thought was an interesting creative take.

Sometimes, the way the title was eliminated was pretty blatantly not the best way, as see this example from the Baltimore Evening Sun

…which provides an interesting contrast with the same September 6, 1957 strip in the Berkshire Eagle.

Questions answered
The AAUGH Blogger investigates

As the AAUGH Blogger, I get reached out to by people who want to authenticate items, or just want to figure out what to do with a Peanuts item. I try to tread carefully; I am not an art authenticator. And I try to steer well clear of offering “collectible …

Questions answered
Hell no, Kitty.

AAUGH Blog reader Érico asked if I might comment on something on the Sanrio website, specifically in a message from founder and chairman Shintaro Tsuji, which includes this reminiscence: Mr. Schulz cheerfully welcomed these two Japanese men who had suddenly come to visit him, and that was the start of …

Questions answered
Delicate Sparky

I tweeted out the cover to Kop Op, Charlie Brown the other day, as part of a series of ridiculous Peanuts items. And after a comment from a respected member of the comics profession noting that it must be a trace, I tweeted out what was clearly being traced, the cover …