Research Review II: Electric Research-a-loo


By the end of this semester, I’m aiming for us to start writing something about what we collectively (our class and the classes that have come before) have learned about Charles Schulz’s Peanuts. At the moment, I think the best place for us to start is in considering how transitions work in Peanuts compared to McCloud’s assertions about them in chapter three of Understanding Comics.

While we know what McCloud says, it’s in our interest to see how his ideas have been received by the scholars who followed him. To this end, we’re going to scour a range of comics criticism, collectively building up our awareness of what has been said about his theories. And while we’re at it, we’ll see what people have had to say about Peanuts.

Nitty Gritty

Using their indices, you will skim/read through four books of comics scholarship, looking for any discussions of McCloud’s theories, Peanuts, and/or Charles Schulz. While we have a particular interest in looking for anything these scholars have to say about chapter three of McCloud (gutters and how they function, his taxonomy of transitions), please take brief notes about anything these scholars have to say about his ideas.

You will take notes about these discussions using a shared Google Doc. These notes will be completed by Friday, 31 March at 11:59pm.

Check the index

For each of your books, check the index for the following terms: McCloud, Understanding Comics, Schulz, Peanuts, gutter, transition.

Read the pages

Find the reference to the chosen term on the page in question and read around that area to get a sense of what the author is saying about that topic.

Summarize your findings

On the shared Google Doc, use bullet points to record the page(s) where a reference happens and a brief summary of what is said (if you use the author’s word in your summary, make sure you use quotation marks).


This assignment is worth 75 points. You will be graded by, first, whether you complete your four assigned books; and, second, whether your annotations are clear for someone who hasn’t read the passages themselves.


This is a new assignment for Winter 2023, but it has its roots in annotated bibliography assignments that I have created in the past. Like all of my assignments, it carries a CC BY 4.0 license.