The Strangest Pictures I Have Seen #8

Posted by on August 23rd, 2010 at 5:28 PM

Yes, it’s been a while since my last Strangest Pictures column. I blame Comic-Con and will continue to do so until the next Comic-Con. In the meantime, with the 60th anniversary of Peanuts impending, here’s this week’s comic.

You’re Short, Bald and Ugly Charlie Brown
by Dr. Casey “Sparky” Finnegan

Printed in 1991, You’re Short, Bald and Ugly Charlie Brown bears the byline of Dr. Casey “Sparky” Finnegan, who at the time was pretty widely known to be Seth, Joe Matt, and Chester Brown working under a pseudonym they got from Canadian children’s television. This is kind of publication that makes me lament the slow decline of minicomics. Sure, you could do this on the Internet, but it’d be some group blog or mass Facebook meme and the simplicity of the original intent would be lost. That intent being, in this case, “Let’s re-dialogue a bunch of old Peanuts strips to make them horrible and wrong, eh?”

The mini is divided into three sections, one for each of the three contributors. The strips in the first section are one-off gags where the Peanuts characters talk about periods, anal sex, abortions, cross-dressing, and whatever other taboo subjects a jaded indie cartoonist who probably wears an old-timey hat can think of. As far as shock-humor treatments of beloved family comic strips go, it’s well-done but doesn’t rise significantly above the standards of the genre.

The third section uses miscellaneous Peanuts strips to tell an extended story about Linus developing a gay crush on Charlie Brown. More ambitious, almost on par with Jesse Hamm’s redubbing of Family Circus panels with Fight Club dialogue, but still lacking a certain je ne sais quoi. Good work finding a strip of Charlie Brown sitting at Linus’s bedside in the dark to illustrate the seduction scene, though.

Then there’s the central section, “Billiards.”

“Billiards” is the reason to track this minicomic down. (Well, that and Lucy saying, “Christ, that John Holmes has a fuckin’ big dick!”) An actual odd storyline from Peanuts in which Linus’s family gets a pool table has been assembled into a longform comic and rewritten as if badly translated from Spanish, turning it into something akin to a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel. If I could explain why this is funny, I would have the secret of comedy and would have better things to do than put pictures of comic books I own on the Internet. But I don’t, so all I can say is that by the time the dialogue gets to the rolling and the blood and Child Services being called in, it’s very good.

Sometimes comics are for extraordinary visions, grand statements, wise observations, beautiful pictures. And sometimes they’re for being stupid. This is a very stupid comic. I hope there are still comics that do stupid as well as this. With that, I’m off to bed until I get the last of the Comic-Con out of my bloodstream.

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5 Responses to “The Strangest Pictures I Have Seen #8”

  1. Noah Berlatsky says:

    My good friend Bert Stabler did some more surreal Peanuts detournment….

  2. […] Finnegan, was published in an extremely limited print run in 1991. Shaenon Garrity has displayed some of its contents, old Peanuts strips detourned by cartoonists/friends Seth, Joe Matt and  […]

  3. […] Finnegan, was published in an extremely limited print run in 1991. Shaenon Garrity has displayed some of its contents, old Peanuts strips detourned by cartoonists/friends Seth, Joe Matt and  […]

  4. skeezix says:

    The original Nanonuts can be found at http://www.dinosaurgardens.com/archives/30 .

  5. Noah Berlatsky says:

    Nanonuts, the original, is by Bert Stabler and Mike Denlinger. Bert did another series some years later:

    http://bertstabler.com/artwork/211607_Nanonuts_2000_3.html