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CSBG Archive

Comic Book Legends Revealed #399

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Welcome to the three hundredth and ninety-ninth in a series of examinations of comic book legends and whether they are true or false. This week, it is a special theme week! All comic strip related legends! Is there really a famous Peanuts strip featuring Snoopy complaining about the IRS? Did the FBI seriously investigate Pogo for hidden messages? Finally, did DC Comics really try to block an Australian comic strip named Swamp from getting a trademark because of Swamp Thing?

Click here for an archive of the previous three hundred and ninety-eight.

Let’s begin!

COMIC LEGEND: There was a notable Peanuts comic strip about Snoopy asking to be removed from the IRS’ mailing list.


There is a popular story about a Peanuts strip about the IRS that routinely pops up in posts about the IRS (just do a search and you will find plenty of references).

Here is the strip in question…

This is not a real Peanuts strip.

Here is the 1997 strip that it was adapted from…

I presume it originally appeared as a joke but then the “joke” part was omitted and it just began to be passed along as an actual Peanuts strip.

Thanks to reader Randall M. for the suggestion and thanks to Derrick Bang and Scott McGuire’s great Peanuts page, FiveCentsPlease.org, for the confirmation!

Check out some Entertainment Urban Legends Revealed!

Did Chinatown Originally Have a Much Different Ending?

Was a Scene Removed From the Film “The Program” Because People Were Killed Reenacting It?

Did Fritz Lang Change the Name of His Film “M” Due to Fear of Nazi Persecution?

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Even if the IRS strip was real, why would people think that was what Schultz really believed rather than think it was a joke about how clueless Snoopy is?

Maybe I just misunderstood what you meant by that sentence actually.

I just edited it to clear it up, T!

The Peanuts strip was an obvious fake, and a second’s glance would tell you why.

Sparky didn’t letter Peanuts using Comic Sans. :)

There is a computer font that replicates Schulz’s lettering, and I believe that BOOM! is using it for their Peanuts comics and graphic novels to make them feel more authentic.

But Comic Sans? Really not authentic.

From what I’ve seen, Allyn, it seems most people referencing the strip aren’t bothering to actually post the strip itself (and thus seeing the fakeness of it) but rather just quoting it.

The fake must have been around for quite some time, as a commenter in CNN’s coverage of Schulz’s death mentioned the strip as one of his favorites!

But… what happened to Andy and Olaf?!

They’re currently being investigated by the FBI.

Did Schulz really redraw those panels every time he did a “Snoopy at the typewriter” strip? [Which is to say, can you pinpoint which one it is that specifically?]

Yes, he redrew them each time. That is to say that each Snoopy typing strip is unique.

Andy and Olaf were fine. They just got lost.

Yeah, when seeing the strip it is pretty obvious it is fake, font is wrong and clearly added with computer, and the strip omits signature, date and syndicate mark…
Or maybe those mundanes don’t notice such matters on comic strips?

I must admit, I wouldn’t have noticed the font being wrong if someone had presented it to me as an authentic Schultz strip.
I remember seeing the Swamp Thing comic when it came out. I didn’t read horror comics, but the Wrightson cover of that one just sucked me in.
I remember reading the FBI also spent two years trying to decide if “Louie, Louie” violated obscenity laws. They decided the words were so indecipherable, they couldn’t really accuse the Kingsmen of singing anything specific.

That Peanuts strip is profoundly depressing in isolation.

P.S. — I can hardly wait for #400 next week!

I sure hope those “Swamp” strips are not representative of the comic’s typical quality. Geez, the depressing Peanuts strip shown here is funnier than any of them…and that’s the least funny Peanuts strip ever published.

I can’t believe DC’s nerve. As if anyone would confuse Swamp with Swamp Thing.

For a start, Swamp Thing is actually good.

“I sure hope those “Swamp” strips are not representative of the comic’s typical quality. ”

Unfortunately, that’s about as good as it gets for that sorry excuse for a comic strip.

The Swamp used to be really good. but the quality has droped lately.
Even now though it is still better than Peanuts which always has make me yawn.

"O" the Humanatee!

December 28, 2012 at 9:48 pm

You’d think that if DC was going to go after anything for trademark infringement on Swamp Thing it would be this Dutch comic of the same name: http://www.stripturnhout.be/2012/10/9789088130021/.

I predict that for #400, in order to get another legend from it, Brian will fixate his mind on Charles Addams’ ski cartoon, resulting in his mind getting switched with the late Addams’, resulting in the new column “Superior Comic Book Legends Revealed”. Too soon ? :)

The other thing about the Snoopy strip is that Schulz wouldn’t waste that second panel for that “beat” between the salutation and the body of the letter.

That Swamp strip looks nice but is pretty dull. Is it because it’s so “biology” oriented humor? And why didn’t the creator go for the TM until 6 years into the strip? That said, it’s absurd that it took 5 years to rule in his favor, since it is plainly obvious that the 2 have no connection beyond being set in a swamp. Ah, the law!

The most interesting bit about the Pogo one is this part of the quote you feature: “according to purported meaning supplied”. Which if I’m reading it right means that Hoover thought certain fonts meant specific things, and told the agent to look into them. Like the High Gothic meant riot on Tuesday, or something. Wow.

Travis- That’s what I was thinking. I’d love to know what sort of “purported meanings” Hoover supplied.

How many times has Brian covered that Charles Addams ski cartoon here? At least five, I think.

Hey, Brian, your Pogo samples don’t use any fonts. Those words were hand-lettered in imitation of classic typefaces.

Walt kelly died in 1973. Cartoonists didn’t begin to use “fonts” until decades later, when computers came into use.

You’re arguing semantics, Mr. Earlewine. I’m sure he just used “fonts” to mean “types of letters”. He could have easily said “scripts” or “lettering” or, as you mentioned, “typefaces”, but the word “fonts” is instantly recognizable by most people in the modern age as a word for different ways that lettering can look.

Also, Travis, “riot on Tuesday”? That’s just silly. High Gothic meant “bring snacks to the next meeting”.

And why would the Sons of Pogo start a riot on a Tuesday? There’s no way we could have gotten any kind of turnout on a weekday.

@TJ: a true Son of Pogo wouldn’t so cavalierly reveal the REAL meanings.

I sentence you to go sit on Porkypine!

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