Brownout

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I’ve written before about how there is a modern method of commercial caricaturing that quite often works. Just as Al Hirschfeld could with some sweeping lines capture the key parts of a Broadway actor to make them instantly recognizable while utterly stylized, so too can a Funko Pop version of Dwight fromĀ The Office or a Lego minifigure of Harry Potter be instantly recognizable. These textures that have been applied to so many fictional characters and to real people can pull out and exaggerate the simple elements that make them recognizable. But with Peanuts characters, that’s hard to make work, because they are already simplified in a very specific way, and with subtle elements that make the character who they are. It’s hard to represent the same character with a different form of simplification and make it feel right.

Squishmallows is a line of stuffed figures filled with what I presume could be classified as memory foam. Because they have material that wants to re-expand when compressed, they come in very rounded shapes. Most of the ones that I’ve seen previously have been original designs intended for fairly egg-shaped creatures… but now there are Peanuts Squishmallows. So the characters inherently take on a new visual texture because of the format of these figures. But then the entire thing gets put through another artistic texture when drawn in the style that is used to represent the stuffed figure on the tag. So once you put Charlie Brown through those two artistic filters, you get this:

Close up on the tag of a Squishmallows Charlie Brown, showing a drawing of the toy

Of all the Charlie Browns, you are the least Charlie Browniest.

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We just finished one year, and already there’s another one!

Welcome to 2023, AAUGH Blog readers! I hope that everyone has been having fantastic holidays. Here, we had two new pieces of Peanuts statuary enter the house during the holidays. One of them, a gift from Dr. Mrs. The AAUGH Blogger, was a Japanese piece that I had praised in …

Row of Peanuts christmas cards
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I’m dreaming of a Hallmark Christmas

AAUGH Blog reader Michael sent me some pictures from his collection of early Hallmark Peanuts items, which he uses to decorate each Christmas. There are some lovely items in his collection, and the limited pallet they relied on in the early days really does lend itself to a nice display. …

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a Peanuts BOOK item I want

When I was a kid I collected trading cards. I wasn’t big into sports, so I mainly went with Star Wars cards, and things of that ilk. But now, as an adult, there is no joy in that inefficiency of purchasing, buying many, many duplicates en route to getting whatever …