Oct 022015
 

Charlie Brown 5

Friday, October 2, 2015 marks the 65th anniversary of PEANUTS by Charles M. Schulz. First launched on October 2, 1950 in only nine newspapers, the original four column comic strip below was an immediate success among readers.

Photo Credit: PEANUTS via Wikipedia, The first strip from October 2, 1950. From left to right: Charlie Brown, Shermy, and original Patty.

PEANUTS appeared throughout its original run under the drawing pin of Charles M. Shultz (1950-2000) in over 2,200 newspapers, in 75 countries and 21 languages.

“The main character, Charlie Brown, is meek, nervous, and lacks self-confidence. He is unable to fly a kite, win a baseball game, or kick a football,” according to Wikipedia. “In 2013, TV Guide ranked the Peanuts television specials the fourth Greatest TV Cartoon of All Time.” [Sands, Rich (2013-09-24). “TV Guide Magazine’s 60 Greatest Cartoons of All Time – Today’s News: Our Take,” TVGuide.com. Retrieved 2015-05-21.]

From the award-winning PEANUTS hits, “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” to Charlie Brown miss kicking the football as Lucy snatches it away, Linus’s thumb-sucking carrying his ever-present blanket, and Lucy leaning over lovingly atop Schroeder’s classical piano, these classic animated television specials have for several generations launched our holiday seasons with such lovable characters and delightful phases, like “Security Blanket” and “Good Grief.”

“Most of the other characters that eventually became the main characters of Peanuts did not appear until later: Violet (February 1951), Schroeder (May 1951), Lucy (March 1952), Linus (September 1952), Pig-Pen (July 1954), Sally (August 1959), Frieda (March 1961), “Peppermint” Patty (August 1966), Woodstock (introduced April 1967; given a name in June 1970), Franklin (July 1968), Marcie (July 1971), and Rerun (March 1973),” according to PEANUTS via Wikipedia.

We have marveled at how Cartoonist Charles Schultz mirrored our children’s conversations and the decisions they face during the wonder years of their young lives.

In Honor of PEANUTS 65th Anniversary Celebration, October 2, 2015

Photo Credit: ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ stamps show us what the holidays are all about. http://on.mash.to/1FGH2qx 

According to WFLA in Washington, “To celebrate the holiday season and launch October as National Stamp Collecting Month, the U.S. Postal Service is dedicating the A Charlie Brown Christmas Forever stamps [on October 2, 2015] at the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California. The 9 a.m. PT event is free and open to the public. The stamps will be available nationwide that day. Customers may pre-order the stamps now for delivery shortly after October 1, 2015. Peanuts fans are encouraged to share their excitement about the stamps on social media using #CharlieBrownStamps.”

“Scheduled to join Postmaster General Megan Brennan at the ceremony are: Schulz’s wife Jean Schulz; Schulz’s son Craig Schulz; Emmy award-winning “A Charlie Brown Christmas” Executive Producer Lee Mendelson; U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors Acting Chairman James Bilbray; Charles M. Schulz Museum Director Karen Johnson and Snoopy,” WFLA Washington reports.

“’A Charlie Brown Christmas’ continues to resonate with fans, because everyone can relate to Charlie Brown and his quest to find the true meaning of Christmas,” said Jean Schulz. “It will be a great joy to see these iconic images when I open my mailbox this holiday season.”

A Phenomenal Artist-Cartoonist, Charles M. Schulz (1922-2000)

The Iconix Brand Group, Inc., historically chronicles on behalf of Peanuts Worldwide LLC, that Charles Schulz once described himself as “born to draw comic strips.” A Minneapolis native, he was just two days old, when an uncle nicknamed him “Sparky,” after the horse Spark Plug from the “Barney Google” comic strip.

Throughout his youth, he and his father shared a Sunday-morning ritual of reading the funnies. After serving in the army during World War II, Schulz got his first big break in 1947, when he sold a cartoon feature called “Li’l Folks” to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

In 1950, Schulz met with United Feature Syndicate, and on October 2 of that year, “PEANUTS,” so named by the syndicate, debuted in nine newspapers, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Minneapolis Tribune, The Allentown Morning Call, The Bethlehem Globe-Times, The Denver Post, The Seattle Times, The New York World-Telegram & Sun, and The Boston Globeaccording to PEANUTS via Wikipedia.

Schulz died in Santa Rosa, California on Saturday, February 12, 2000—just hours before his last original strip (shown below) was to appear in the then-Sunday papers on February 13, 2000.

Photo Credit: Final Sunday strip, which came out February 13, 2000: one day after the death of Charles M. Schulz.

In closing with the final retirement words of The Phenomenal Artist-Cartoonist, Charles M. Schulz:

Dear Friends,

I have been fortunate to draw Charlie Brown and his friends for almost fifty years.  It has been the fulfillment of my childhood ambition.

Unfortunately, I am no longer able to maintain the schedule demanded by a daily comic strip. My family does not wish “Peanuts” to be continued by anyone else, therefore I am announcing my retirement.

I have been grateful over the years for the loyalty of our editors and the wonderful support and love expressed to me by fans of the comic strip.

Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy… how can I ever forget them…

— Charles M. Schulz

The Peanuts Collection from Little Brown and Company is a compendium of rare materials from the Charles M. Schulz museum and family archives.

APPENDIX

In Honor of PEANUTS 60th Anniversary Celebration, October 2, 2010

“I know that Sparky would be humbled but also delighted to see the scope of events celebrating the 60th Anniversary of PEANUTS,” said Schulz’s widow, Jeanne Schulz, ten years after his late husband Charles’ death. “Most of all he would be so moved to see the tremendous enthusiasm and affection that people of all ages and nationalities continue to feel for his beloved characters.”

A yearlong tribute culminated on October 2, 2010 the “birth date” of the beloved world of PEANUTS, with four celebratory events described below that was also enjoyed by family, friends and fans worldwide, according to Iconix Brand Group, Inc., announcing in a then-press release on behalf of Peanuts Worldwide LLC:

  • “A photograph of PEANUTS creator Charles Schulz (1922–2000) presented to the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in a ceremony for invited guests on October 1, 2010. The 1986 photograph, created by acclaimed portraitist Yousuf Karsh, is the Portrait Gallery’s first image of the famed cartoonist. In the image, Schulz is at his drawing board with pen in hand. Before him is a partially completed PEANUTS full-page comic featuring the perennially popular story line in which Lucy snatches the football away from Charlie Brown and sends him hurtling through the air. The photograph, with the accompanying original comic strip, will be on view to the public immediately following the ceremony in the museum’s “New Arrivals” exhibition.
  • “On October 2, 2010 the National Portrait Gallery will host a family-and-friends day with events for all ages: cartooning workshops; a screening of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown; and guest appearances from Snoopy and Schulz friend, Lee Mendelson, executive producer of all the classic PEANUTS specials.

  • “The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will also mark the 60th anniversary of the PEANUTS strip with a case that will feature objects from Schulz, including drawing utensils, an animation cell from the television special It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and two comic panels that show the cartoon’s progression from rough pencil sketches to finished ink strips beginning October 1, 2010.
  • “Also this month, PEANUTS fans are celebrating the 60th anniversary of their favorite comic strip via the “Countdown to the Great Pumpkin” game. This online social media game invites Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Foursquare and YouTube users to join the 60th Anniversary fun by completing a series of daily PEANUTS-themed “to-dos” from early September through Halloween. Players earn points for each task completed—such as sharing a PEANUTS quote with their friends or followers, or changing their profile picture to that of a PEANUTS character—and the winner will take home a special PEANUTS-loaded iPad and have a shot at an extra $25,000. Weekly winners receive prizes throughout the contest and members of the Schulz family—including Charles Schulz’s son Craig, daughter Jill, and widow, Jeannie—are playing along, offering their own PEANUTS memories and suggesting some of the daily to-dos.”

Photo Credits: The PEANUTS characters and related intellectual property are owned by Peanuts Worldwide LLC, a joint venture owned 80% by Iconix Brand Group, Inc. and 20% by members of the Charles M. Schulz family.

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