When I posted yesterday about Peanuts appearing in Spanish in an English language Pomona, California paper in the 1970s, I had already intended to follow up by finding the very start of this, and seeing if the paper carried some explanation. (Could I have waited on the original post before I did so? Absolutely! But then I’d’ve only gotten one post of out this, rather than two.) But before I could get to it, AAUGH Blog reader Dennis already had the answer… and it was just what I expected! (Oh, okay, one of two possible explanations I had in mind, but let me pretend my guessing apparatus is more precise than it is.)
On the front page of the May 23, 1976 issue of the Progress Bulletin, an article notes that the paper hadn’t been carrying Peanuts because a Los Angeles paper had gotten a territorial exclusive on the strip that covered the nearby Inland Empire area where the Progress Bulletin was offered. Now, exclusive deals are interesting things, iu that they often are quite precise about the exclusion. (I recall in the 1980s, when Marvel Comics had an exclusive deal to publish Star Wars comics, a smaller publisher managed to get a Star Wars comics license as well, as the Marvel deal did not exclude 3-D comics.) In this case, the Los Angeles paper had an exclusive on the English language version of Peanuts; the Spanish was not so restricted. And thus the paper added the Spanish language version of the strip, with what they claimed was an “English translation” below.
Of course, it was clearly not an English translation, but the original untranslated text…. which is a better idea than retranslating!