Charles Schulz hoped to leave you with something

The Charlie Brown creator gave every panel a sense of humanity.

Let's face it, we're all dust. Nothing lasts forever, no matter how hard we try. The best we can do is try to make things a little nicer for the other people around us while we're here. 

For iconic cartoonist Charles Schulz, that aching feeling of impermanence guided every drawing.  

Schulz was, of course, responsible for the Peanuts cartoons, and all their characters. Charlie Brown, his not-so-secretly semi-autobiographical creation, is a loser. He's constantly hard done by the cruel world around him. While Charlie Brown is a drawing, the harsh, unfair world around him is the one we live in. He is an infinitesimally small blip in the universe, just like us.

That never stops Charlie Brown from lining back up to kick that football again. It's never worked out for him before, with the football being swiped out of the way at the last second every time. But Charlie Brown tries again. The guy once spent eight consecutive comic strips holding onto the string of a kite stuck in a tree. 

So, if we view his most famous creation as an emblem of the human condition, then what does that make Charles Schulz? The cartoonist spoke to the Corpus Christi Times in 1969 about his worldview and his idea of his legacy. 

"They call me everything: Philosopher, theologian, psychiatrist. But I'm not, or I wouldn't be doing what I do.

"I draw. Things come to me and I draw them, that's all. All I ever wanted to do was draw characters and have them say and do things I feel are real. No hidden motives or meanings. Whatever people get out of them, that's what's in them."

This seems deceptively simple for a multi-media property that generated a whopping $32 million a year at the time of Schulz's passing in 2000.

But before he left us, Schulz spoke about what he hoped to leave us, and the answer was in line with his cartoon avatar's outlook.

"I like to leave people with a little something every day if I can. How long does it take to read the strip—three seconds? People race through it, but I think that in that time I like to leave them with something, just a little something."


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16 Comments

Randall 2 months ago
Charlz Schultz left us with a unique prospective, We grow but we are all essentially children at heart! The wisdom in those strips ( I grew up in the 70s) have resonated with Me all of My 55 years ! Thanks Sparky for a Precious and meaningful gift!
Scott 2 months ago
At first Mr Schulz would show 2 of the characters talking & sitting on a curb. He said a reader mentioned to him that would be an unsafe place for kids to sit, & he should not encourage that. He agreed, & after that, showed them standing behind & leaning on a short brick fence. A very considerate man!
JHP 2 months ago
to the readers ;

Do you think the Peanuts would make prime time tv now considering the cartoon sewage they show presently? It's all about the IQ of the viewers aka ratings data and then to the almighty ads.
LoveMETV22 JHP 2 months ago
Prime Time or anytime. However don't see Apple TV loosening their broadcast privileges to other networks. I'm sure they paid a pretty penny for the Peanuts Collection.
JHP LoveMETV22 2 months ago
maybe it was a 1909 VDB lincoln penny? (wish I had one - I do have a 1909 reg cent)
StillDaveK 2 months ago
Peanuts was what really got me interested in reading...I asked my Mom to buy me the little paperbacks when we went shopping, until I had almost all of them.
Bapa1 StillDaveK 2 months ago
Had those books also, they were great.
SparkleMotion 2 months ago
Aw, that is so sweet. I think a lot of us do get a nice, warm feeling from Peanuts, even if it's only from thinking about them and the place in our childhoods so many of the Holiday Specials have. I didn't know them from newspapers, but I'm sure they were wonderful just like the 'tv' shows.
Bapa1 2 months ago
Best daily comic strip ever!
JHP Bapa1 2 months ago
agreed ; I'd add the family circus - Pogo and yes....The Far Side (my fav)
Bapa1 JHP 2 months ago
Big fan of The Far Side, have several books of it. Wasn't Markie Post's character on Night Court a big fan of Family Circus?
JHP Bapa1 2 months ago
yep sure was:)
Coldnorth JHP 2 months ago
Calvin and Hobbes was my favorite
JHP Coldnorth 2 months ago
another great one agreed - in SE Wis the local paper had what was printed the green sheet and it had all the comic strips and goodie coupons for semi-fast food
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