Seventeen years without Charles Schulz, father of the Peanuts, Snoopy and Charlie Brown

Published on Feb 12, 2017

I have made the vaccine for polio and the mumps... And then... let's see... what did I do after? Ah, yes, then I did the one for scarlet fever, whooping cough, and measles... Then I fell from the stairs! (biografieonline.en) Seventeen years without Schulz, father of the Peanuts, Snoopy and Charlie Brown. Charles Monroe Schulz was born in St Paul (the cities, Minneapolis is one of the Twin Cities the twin cities of Minnesota) on November 26, 1922, and immediately seems destined to the comics. Just born, in fact, an uncle styled himself Sparky, short for Sparkplug, the horse in “Barney Google” strip then hugely popular (in the Italian version, Barnabas Goggoloni or Bertoldo Scalzapolli). So Charles became Sparky for all, the nickname with which he signed his early work with who always called him friends. The anecdotal also gives us another part of intuition is linked to a teacher that looking at a drawing of the young Sparky commented: “someday, Charles, you will be an artist”. Very good in school, excelled, of course, in art, in loving, almost as if reading from a script, read the comic strips that appeared in the newspapers of the time, hoping intimately to be able to one day publish their own. When she was thirteen years old, got the dog black and white name Spike, funny and intelligent, the model of what later will be Snoopy (one Spike, brachetto tall, lanky, and from the air, perpetually sleepy, it will appear in the Peanuts as the brother of Snoopy). Attending the high school, instead, he made friends with a boy named Charlie Brown, used in the invention of the figure of the eponymous child. Don't know if the character is similar, but the name definitely yes.... After graduating and a brief experience of war in France in 1945, he was hired as a teacher at the Art Instruction School a school of design for correspondence where Schulz meets with many young colleagues and draws inspirations and suggestions for future characters. For example, the employee at the accounting Woman in the World, his first unrequited love, inspired that particular character off the field who is the girl with red hair, the eternal love of Charlie Brown. “Sparky” sends his drawings to several editions, until in the end the newspaper of St. Paul decided to publish some of his strips. After this small recognition, galvanized, convinces her to put together the best production and send it to United Feature Syndicate in New York. The response is immediately positive, and Charles received a short letter with confirmation of interest. Said and done, they moved to New York with the intent to deliver his strips, and then calls from the publisher, with a term initially abhorred by Schulz, Peanuts (literally: “peanuts”, because of the speed and the insatiable hunger with which he ate). Soon Schulz created a gallery of unforgettable characters, today known all over the world: Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, Sally, Woodstock, Schroeder, and many others. The Peanuts debuted officially on October 2, 1950, the date on which the first strip came out on seven american newspapers. In a few years, however, the Peanuts became the comic's most popular on the globe. His characters are published on 2293 newspapers from 67 countries, appearing in entertainment programmes, in a film for the cinema, including the diaries of the school and collected comics (even, in the occasion of the 40 anniversary of the Peanuts, was held in Paris, in the Pavillon Marsan wing of the Louvre which houses the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, an exhibition dedicated to him). In April 1951, “Sparky” bride Joyce Halverson, but the marriage lasts only two years. In 1976, he tried again, marrying Jeannie Forsyht, a marriage, it lasted for twenty-one years, and has seen the birth of five children, became the main source of inspiration for the stripes of a brilliant author. The Peanuts are, therefore, have not only become a cult phenomenon, but even the object of study by scholars, essayists and psychologists (unforgettable, by the way, the analysis of Umberto Eco, who has sharply written multiple times around the characters of Schulz), because, in one way or another, they reflect on those that are the small issues of all the children (and not only) of this world. In a famous interview he said: “Why do musicians compose symphonies and poets write poems? They do so because for them life would have no meaning if they do not. This is the reason why i design my comic: it's my life”. And the proof is in the fact that a clause in his contract states that the characters die with their creator. In fact, since the beginning, he would say: “When I can no longer draw, I don't want anyone to take my place. Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy, and my other characters will disappear from the scene with me.” And so it was. Charles Monroe Schulz died on February 12, 2000, at the age of 77 years, stricken with cancer, and with him are the outputs of the scene also of his creations.

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