🥂Toasting Peanuts: A Charles Schulz Centennial Celebration!🎉
Happy Birthday, Sparky! The man who launched a beloved comic strip about kids and a loveable beagle would have been 100 this week! I'm one of tens of millions for whom his genius was an inspiration!
GOOD GRIEF, THE GANG’S ALL HERE!
November 26, 1922: The birthdate of Charles Monroe Schulz, creator and cartoonist, known for imagining and building a world of “Li’l Folks” that was later called Peanuts (rolling his eyes and groaning “Good grief” was his likely response), and a career, as well as a warm and welcoming universe, was born.
When Schulz died, at age 77, in February 2000, I admit I cried a bit. No heavy heaves or sobbing, but a tear or two for the man who not only brought me joy as a child, but also showed me how to express child-like feelings on paper, as an adult, without being cloying, condescending, or trivial.
Schulz, like another creative and captivating “Chuck”….Jones, created solely to make himself laugh. “Sparky” knew enough about his psyche to write what his heart told him to, knowing it’d rarely be over the heads of his younger audience, and would enlighten and challenge the adults in the room.
In fact, his gentle, yet poignant humor was as profound as it was comforting and familiar.
Similarly, Chuck Jones, the Warner Bros. cartoon director and animator (whose original 1999 artwork is shown above) who gave us Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies at the Studio’s “Termite Terrace,” crafted his toons with a similar knowing nod and a wink as Schulz did so easily for his audience.
It would be pointless for me to even try to expound on the master’s art or eloquence; for this Centennial Celebration of the man’s birth and talent, we’ll peruse a few of his best-loved works and characters.
Feel free to share your favorite Peanuts moments (whether in print, on vinyl, onstage, at Knott’s Berry Farm, at theatres, or on TV) in the comment section!
Related: Good friend and fine writer, Glenn Cook, and his moving personal story of growing up and acquiring a one-of-a-kind hand-drawn and signed Charles Schulz artifact, here:
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