Charles Monroe Schulz 

The Banner

On November 26, 1922…Charles Schulz was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He would have been 100 years old today. He would read the Sunday cartoon feature with his dad every week. Schulz had asthma and his mom would give him a pencil and paper in bed to draw and that started it all.

He created the Peanuts strip (originally entitled Li’l Folks) in 1950, introducing a group of characters based on semiautobiographical experiences.  That first year, the comic strip came in last place in the New York World Telegram’s reader survey of cartoons… however, a book of Peanuts reprints helped the strip gain a larger audience. Shulz encapsulated the kid’s point of view as good or better than anyone. The grownups didn’t talk; it was all about the kid’s world. When I was growing up I would not miss a Sunday Cartoon feature or holiday special…not to mention the movies that came out.

Schulz channeled the loneliness that he had experienced in his army days and the frustrations of everyday life into Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown was familiar because he was us. . Linus was named after a friend and fellow cartoonist Linus Maurer. Peppermint Patty was inspired by his cousin Patricia and Snoopy is based on Schulz’s intelligent childhood pet dog. Woodstock is just a miniature of Snoopy…he is drawn the same way.

Philip Van Pelt’s wife, Louanne, inspired Lucy Van Pelt, Linus’ sister. Schulz introduced the feisty…some say mean brunette, known for pulling away footballs just as Charlie Brown is about to kick them, to the cartoon strip in 1952.

The comic strip would explode and be a pop culture icon in the 50s until now. So Happy Birthday Charles Schulz!

When I was a kid I would occasionally get a Peanuts item…watch or something with them on it. My favorite characters were Schroeder and Pigpen since I stayed dirty much to my mom’s horror. No matter how much she tried…and she tried and tried to get me somewhere clean…it hardly ever happened. She got me ready for Church one morning and she had a brainstorm. She got me ready 15 minutes before we left. It was a cool spring day so she put a scrubbed-clean Max into the back seat of our car. When she came out she was horrified…I had dug around in the ashtray and was filthy…therefore Pigpen suited me fine.

In the late 1990s while my wife and I were dating…we would go to flea markets and antique shops and buy Peanuts memorabilia. We both had rediscovered The Peanuts in our 20s. Over 2-4 years we bought thousands of dollars of older collectibles. If being late on rent meant getting a rare Peanuts item…so be it! No, we were not the most responsible around at the time. It was a cool bonding activity between us and we still have all the things that we bought. At Christmas, we get a lot of it out and decorate the house. We slowed down when our son Bailey came along and we realized…hmmm better start saving money!

So the Peanuts were with me as a child and an adult and if we ever see a Peaunts item out and about…we usually get it.

If you get in the mood to watch The Peanuts… try A Boy Named Charlie Brown and Snoopy Come Home…their first two movies.

My role model Pigpen

 

 

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

23 thoughts on “Charles Monroe Schulz ”

  1. Peanuts is perhaps the most iconic cartoon I know, in addition to The Pink Panther.

    The closest I can think of in Germany is an educational children’s TV series titled “Die Maus” (the mouse). It has been on the air since 1971. And, yes, you guessed it, the main character is a lovely cartoon mouse.

    Here’s a link to what appears to be the very first episode.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I would say “Die Maus” has something that’s close to cult status in Germany. I well remember it watching it as a kid.

        I think part of the appeal is the relative simplicity of the cartoon. You really don’t need fancy or special effects to create something engaging. That little mouse just makes you smile!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. A one of a kind & a big part of my childhood. Used to always look for it in the Toronto Star comics when the paper arrived back then & had the hardcover books of the Great Pumpkin & Christmas specials. I still wear a watch that has a Snoopy on it quite regularly. What’s the most unusual collectible you have for it?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A ceramic Snoopy from Italy that costs us quite a bit back then….and a Woodstock on a long spring that makes noises… I have the green and yellow Snoopy Tennis Watch that I wear sometimes!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love Peanuts. Loved ’em as a kid – i would buy any collections in books i could get hold of, especially the 60s era, and i would cut them out of newspapers and save them at one point! By the time i went to College they were doing posters of Snoopy and other characters, they were on many student bedroom walls in the late 70s early 80s. Including mine! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I was one of those people who drew one of the pictures of either the pirate, turtle, or girl, and sent it in to Art Instruction Schools (which I think was in Minneapolis). They accepted me and I did their two-year program for a certificate to hang on my wall. My instructor for the cartoon drawing segment was none other than Charles Schulz. My biggest takeaway from that class was “Keep your drawings simple.” Best advice for cartooning I ever got.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Growing up with 3 channels, those Charlie Brown Specials were watched by *everybody.* I do remember seeing the Peanuts cartoon in the newspaper but the TV specials were the best. I like how the adults never talked but were represented by the wah wah wah sound. Favorite Peanuts characters: Snoopy (with Woodstock) and Linus (with blanket.) So funny about your becoming Pigpen in the car as a kid 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Max, over the weekend many current comic strip authors did their strips in tribute, drawing Peanuts characters in or using dialogue associated with Peanuts. I couldn’t think of a better honor one could get than for other writers devoting their space in tribute to you so many years after the fact. A timeless comic strip indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

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