Achewood is one of my favorite comic strips ever. I don’t think about Peanuts often, perhaps because it was such a basic part of my childhood, but yeah, if I made a top ten list, which I can’t bring myself to do anymore after High Fidelity made such lists seem the province of tools, they’d both be there.
So this morning, listening to an interview with a Charles Schulz biographer, something which in hindsight is obvious struck me like a lightning bolt.
Roast Beef Kazenzakis = Charlie Brown
Ray Smuckles = Snoopy
Roast Beef is an intelligent, sensitive cat who suffers from depression and low self-esteem. Ray Smuckles is a happy-go-lucky cat with infinite resources, a spacious and luxurious home (remember how that doghouse is bigger on the inside?), and an unflagging zest for life.
I’m not saying it’s an accidental bite or even a deliberate homage, but it’s a very similar dynamic and it works, helping explain why these two characters are the heart of both strips. Awesome.