Now compare the heights of the three Peanuts strips with each other, and with today’s Calvin and Hobbes strip, which is taller than any of them:The oldest Peanuts strip has very little height, consisting of four horizontal rectangles. Charles Schulz had to fit his characters into this tiny space for the first 25 years of Peanuts (1950-1975). That’s why he drew them with such large heads compared to their bodies. The heads became smaller with time but were always oversized, as is Calvin’s.Calvin and Hobbes never would have worked in this format with characters as tall as Calvin’s parents and the non-stuffed Hobbes, with Bill Watterson’s more elaborate backgrounds, and with his more extensive use of text.The second Peanuts strip is taller, consisting of four squares rather than rectangles. Schulz had this larger amount of space for 13 years (1975-1988).
The third Peanuts strip is even taller, consisting of three squares. Schulz had this tall format for his final 12 years (1988-2000), which overlapped many of the years of Calvin and Hobbes (1985-1995).Schulz and Watterson were also allowed to vary the number of panels during those years, which allowed both of them a lot of additional creativity:Click here: Peanuts (1996)Click here: Calvin and Hobbes (1991)Click here: Peanuts (April 1989)Click here: Calvin and Hobbes (September 1989)Note that the last two strips, with similar themes, were published only five months apart.