Teen-Agers, Unite! By Charles M. Schulz

The “Peanuts” Gang Grows Up! A Great New Collection of Riotous Cartoons By Charles M. Schulz

I don’t even remember where I picked up this oddball collection- the generic hand-lettered price tag only tips me off that it was NOT Salvation Army or Goodwill and PROBABLY not my usual Library Book Sale.

That tagline Bantam went with is all lies; it would accurately read:

Weirdly Elongated Versions Of Peanuts-Lookalikes In a Collection of Chronically Unfunny, Vaguely Religious-Themed Cartoons That Seem Like A Money Grab…

These are actually a collection of cartoons called Young Pillars, which he did for a Church of God youth magazine in the 1950s and 60s (hence the religious flavor to a number of them). Another blogger informs us that these were also reprinted under the [sophomoric snicker] title Teen Nuts. 

The caption on the cover is hard to read in the thumbnail, but it says:

“I can never remember… Are we uniting FOR something or AGAINST something?”

Which is the Prom Trouble level of humor at work throughout the collection: Teenagers! Everything they do is dumb and I don’t understand it!

Which considering how Schulz is usually revered for capturing the child’s point of view, is actually pretty disappointing.

The copyright date on this collection is 1958-1967, so there are about 10 years of teen fads to make fun of. Like… Baby Boomers getting too chummy with their parents!

Or… sideburns!

Per Wikipedia (I didn’t dig too deep on this one) the Main Teen is named Harold, although some of the other characters resemble beloved Peanuts characters heads on grossly elongated bodies, like these Lucy and Schroeder dopplegangers:

Ha, ha, Youth Group!

There are also a few featuring someone who appears to be Peppermint Patty, usually holding a tennis racquet:

But my personal fave is definitely this pack of adorable proto-Snoopys:

As Mike Lynch notes on his review of this volume, Schulz does a great job drawing downpours:

As a weird novelty, I don’t feel like I got ripped off for the ten cents I paid for it. The depiction of the teen girls is pretty gross and sexist (they are all dumb and shallow, and most of the jokes are about how they are ugly and dateless). I laughed exactly once while reading through this one. This is the cartoon I laughed at:

I don’t know, something about the fact that Harold is able to get that whole sentence out before he knocks himself out, combined with the motion-lines on the falling shoe, it’s just funny to me.

NEXT WEEK: I have a follow up volume of teen-oriented cartoons from another, different surprising, well-known-for-something-else author(s).

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12 Responses to Teen-Agers, Unite! By Charles M. Schulz

  1. Amity says:

    Well that was….interesting.

  2. Amity says:

    Also, where is the rest of the gang? Lucy, Schroeder, and Peppermint Patty are there, but what about Charlie Brown, Sally, Linus, Marcie, the actual Snoopy, and Woodstock? Schulz was better than this.

    • Caroline H. says:

      Amity, maybe this was considered practice for Schulz before he hit the nail on the head with Peanuts. I doubt there are many artists who hit the ball out of the park on the first try.

  3. Susan says:

    I think the main problem here is the misleading title. The comics were for a church youth magazine; it’s too bad someone decided to market it as the Peanuts gang. It turns out he did quite a bit of non-Peanuts work:
    I remember when Charles Schulz died, a lot of other cartoonists had a day on which they incorporated Peanuts characters into their strips. I wonder if there is a book or collection of those!

  4. Claritza says:

    The last cartoon – usually girls were shown in the phone in that position. First time I’ve seen it showing a guy!

  5. Pingback: Got Inner Critic(s)? Meet Annie’s and mine | Happiness Between Tails by da-AL

  6. da-AL says:

    just want to let you know I enjoyed this so much that I linked to it on my latest blog post about “inner critics” – thanks again! https://wp.me/p6OZAy-1d2C

  7. Dana says:

    Perhaps they don’t age well, but I thought they were funny in the sixties, then laughed all over again in the seventies when I was in Luther League.

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