Charles Schulz revealed that Charlie Brown was the most difficult ''Peanuts'' character to draw
"My idea was to give Charlie Brown a face with very little character."
Out of all of the Peanuts characters besides Snoopy, Charlie Brown is probably the most recognizable, and for good reason. Charles M. Schulz, Peanuts creator, has often said that Charlie Brown is a bit like himself, and he took his characteristics and neurosis and implanted them into the Peanuts protagonist. While the original Peanuts conception didn't name Charlie Brown as the main character just yet, his determination, level-headedness, and endless optimism endeared him to the audience so deeply, you couldn't help but root for him time and time again.
So it may surprise you to know that out of all of his characters, Schulz still seems to have the most trouble drawing good old Charlie Brown. According to his book, Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and Me, Schulz wrote, "Despite all of my practice, he [Charlie Brown] remains the most difficult to draw of all the kids. I guess it's the roundness of his head."
Strangely enough, Schulz originally drew Charlie Brown to have a relatively nondescript face, which again was an autobiographical choice. Schulz wrote, "When I was little, I was so convinced that I had a very plain face that I was surprised when anyone recognized me. My idea was to give Charlie Brown a face with very little character."
Still, it is perhaps his plainness that only added to the audience's receptiveness of the character. Schulz wrote that he viewed Charlie Brown as "an Everyman," and explained, "Most people would admit to often feeling a bit like him - some of us more often than others. He tries to assume a perfect social image, but everything seems to go wrong." He continued, "Who hasn't felt like Charlie Brown after a bad day?"
Schulz is correct. Most of us can probably relate to Charlie Brown more often than we'd like to. The good news is that despite feeling down, viewers have an undeniable need to help whenever and wherever they can, proving that Charlie Brown's optimism was in good faith and good company.
Schulz revealed, "On the show, Charlie Brown gets only rocks in his 'trick or treat' bag and people all over the country send bags of candy to our studio for me to give to him. Or when 'Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown' is telecast, and Charlie Brown gets not one single valentine, hundreds of admirers send him love notes." So remember, even when it doesn't feel like it sometimes, you've got friends somewhere out there, even if you can't see them.