The above panel with Snoopy saying ‘so long, chaps’ is part of the throwaway panel from the Peanuts strip originally published on January 23, 1966.
With the 17,897 Peanuts comic strips that Sparky created, it was pretty astounding to all of us here in the Schulz complex to find two with very similar ‘throw away panels’ (the throw away panels are the top third of the Sunday page which many newspapers don’t print, and therefore the name). The throw away panel has to relate to the rest of the story, but obviously has to be superfluous. We often say that some of the best art is contained in those panels.
The similarity of the two Sunday strips jumped to the fore when we installed a new painted mural in the Museum.
This Peanuts strip was originally published on January 23, 1966.
Justin Higgs, Manager of Snoopy’s Home Ice, noticed the similarity to the strip which has covered the upstairs interior windows in the gift shop for many years. We covered them to give privacy to the office there, but also because customers in the gift shop used to point to the upstairs office and say “That used to be Mr. Schulz’s studio.”
This Peanuts strip was originally published on February 6, 1966.
Notice that the top third of the two strips are similar. One might think that Sparky somehow copied the images onto the second strip. He didn’t. He was so facile with his drawing that he could produce an almost identical image several weeks apart. You can see several differences in the two throwaway panels.
The question in my mind is did he remember the earlier throw away panel. I am pretty sure, from things he said during the years I knew him, that he didn’t realize that he had drawn something so similar. He often commented, “I think I may have done this before, but I don’t remember.” Discovering things like this adds to the fun we have here at the Museum!