Happiness is a Warm Blanket by Rodrigo Leonardo Batista Ferreira (rodrigobhz) is my favorite of this week’s new Peanuts tees at Threadless. What I love most about this design is the way it’s so perfectly suited to the t-shirt format- it’s a concept that works infinitely better on fabric than any other medium, and the look of comfortable contentment on Linus’s face feels similar to the relaxed feeling of wearing a classic cotton shirt. Making the shirt’s folds stand in for the curves of his blanket is also one heck of a fun and smart optical illusion. Slam dunk!
Puzzled by aparaat (aparaat) is a nice gag about the unusual shape of Charlie Brown’s head, but what’s great about this design is that it goes farther than that. Charlie’s zigzag shirt is easy to pick out, and it’s also a clue to what’s happening on the rest of the pieces. Each of those patterns corresponds to the clothing of another Peanuts character, from Linus’s red and black stripes to a tiny Woodstock piece on top. So it’s not just a joke about his round face and ears, it’s also a fun trivia challenge.
Fresh Peanuts Daily by Randall6917 (Randall6917) has a look that appeals to me a lot because this early Peanuts style (when Snoopy was at his most puppy-like) is the one I’ve always liked best. And of course anyone who likes dogs or who has had a pet will find Charlie’s proud face and Snoopy’s beaming, eager-to-please expression pretty tough to resist. It feels classic and timeless, especially the vintage touch of having the ink colors not quite line up.
The Perfect Comics Formula by aparaat (aparaat) combines Charlie Brown and math, but somehow this unlikely pairing works. Part of the art’s success is that these mathematical markings really do bear a strong resemblance to Chuck (especially the squiggle of his shirt). But I think the larger reason why it works is because Charlie is so often a character full of anxiety and confusion, and those are also feelings a lot of people associate with complicated math problems. Somehow, despite knowing the basics, tackling something so complex can leave you feeling a bit like Charlie Brown trying to kick that football and missing again. There’s an emotional resonance to it.
Happy Bone by barton anton (samalope) tackles Snoopy’s iconic happy dance. And indeed, there’s something pretty neat about drawing an animal who’d be so excited to get a bone… as a collection of bones. I even like the two-color technique used, which is a beautifully graphic approach to creating an x-ray effect. But despite the logic of the concept, this design kind of freaks me out. I don’t want to think of wonderful, imaginative, clever Snoopy as a real dog, with all the fragility and mortality that implies. I want him to transcend that, so seeing him in a creepy, skeletal context feels really disturbing to me. I don’t want to see what his bones look like, I want to read his weird novels and see him fly fighter planes. Despite the skill involved, the design falls flat for me because of that.