…when this happened:
I remember reading this particular sequence when it was new, and even as a kid it struck me as a bit odd. Yes, in a strip where Schroeder knocks out Beethoven on his toy piano and Snoopy keeps a van Gogh (later, after the fire, an Andrew Wyeth) painting in his doghouse, it’s Helicopter Snoopy that most greatly impacted my willing suspension of disbelief. “How…how does that even work?” young Mike wonders. “Does his entire scalp spin around? Does each ear spin freely in its ‘socket?’ How is Woodstock piloting him, exactly?”
I worried about weird things as a kid.
Here’s the full strip that panel is from, embedded here courtesy the official site:
As you may have gathered, I’m currently reading the recently-released Complete Peanuts 1977-1978 hardcover from Fantagraphics, which included the above strip. Now, the sequence of strips from later in the book that this next image comes from is not a story I recall, because I’m pretty sure I would have remembered this character design of the fellow on the left:
That’s a little odd looking for a Schulz design, though perhaps that’s more attributable to the unfamiliar strangeness of any kid character in Peanuts that isn’t part of the regular cast. That fella probably isn’t any more bizarre than, say, Pig-Pen. But mostly I’m just pointing him out because it took me a moment to parse out the character’s face…I had a hard time visualizing that it was his ear on the left there, and his nose on the right. It just looked like a cylindrical blob resting between the turtleneck and the hat. (Link to the full strip.)
Now this panel is awesome:
Yeah, it’s an easy gag, but it’s a perfect gag for the circumstance. And, it’s in the first panel of the strip. I’m sure it would have served just fine as the closing punchline in a strip that wasn’t Peanuts. (Link to full strip.)
For some good Peanuts commentary, may I recommend Roasted Peanuts, a weblog devoted to discussing the strips.