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Holy Shit!

death of RobinThe end of an era!   Batman’s young partner Robin will die saving  the world in a comic book published on Wednesday, DC Comics has announced.   Both the Boy Wonder and Batman’s son, the  Damian Wayne character will meet his end in the eighth issue of the comic Batman Incorporated.

Apparently he does his job – he saves the world and dies an absolute hero.   He will inevitably be killed fighting a vicious assassin who also happens to be his brother, ‘cloned from his genetic material’.   Batman will not be there to save him.

This news reminded me of the hysterical episode of Only Fools and Horses, Heroes and Villains, where Del Boy and Rodney [David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst] dress up as Batman and Robin for a party with their usual calamity filled antics.  This episode was shown on Christmas Day in 1996 and attracted a record audience of  21.3 million.  If you’ve not seen it for a while, check out this clip and I’m sure you’ll agree that even 16 years on it definitely stands the test of time – an absolute classic!

Good Grief Charlie Brown!

The latest in my occasional series “On this day in History”.

On 2nd October 1950 “Peanuts”, the comic strip created by Charles M. Schulz, was published for the first time in seven newspapers.  This successful cartoon continued until 13th February 2000, the day after Schulz died.

An incredible 17,897 strips were published in all, and at its peak, Peanuts ran in over 2,600 newspapers, with a readership of 355 million in 75 countries, and was translated into 21 languages.   It helped to cement the four-panel gag strip as the standard in the United States ,and together with its merchandise earned Schulz more than $1 billion.   reprints of the strip are still syndicated and run in almost every U.S. newspaper.

Charles “Charlie” Brown (occasionally called Chuck by certain characters) is the main character.   He is a lovable loser, a child possessed of endless determination and hope, but who is ultimately dominated by his insecurities and a “permanent case of bad luck”. He is often taken advantage of by his peers.

The first strip from 2nd October 1950

In early 1988, Schulz abandoned the four-panel format in favor of three-panel dailies and occasionally used the entire length of the strip as one panel, partly for experimentation, but also to combat the dwindling size of the comics page.

Good Grief!

You're not as happy as you think you are

You’re not as happy as you think you are

Final strip 13th February 2000

If ever there is an iconic comic strip, it is Peanuts which has developed into an enduring classic. Whether you’re pernickety like Lucy, a philosopher like Linus, a joyous Flying Ace like Snoopy, or a lovable underdog like Charlie Brown, there is something to touch your heart or make you laugh, whoever you are, in Peanuts.

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