The way Charles Schulz spoke of the 'Peanuts' proved he was never in it for the money
What did he think of his major successes with the comic strip? 'I don't know. It's O.K. I guess.'
Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy, Patty, Pigpen and so many others wouldn't be household names, across multiple platforms today without illustrious creator Charles Schulz.
What started out as one simple comic strip in 1950, turned into thousands more, which turned into television specials still thriving today, which turned into several feature films of the Peanuts gang.
The legendary crew listed above became one of the most influential comic strips ever. The commercial success that followed and still lives on today is proof.
Though the comic strips he created, along with the subsequent television specials and movies, turned into an abundant amount of success, Schulz didn't like to sit under the bright lights of it all. He insisted he wasn't in it to become famous and cash in. He was only in it for one reason.
"I like to leave people with a little something every day, if I can," the cartoonist said in a 1969 interview belonging to the Chicago Tribune Service. "How long does it take to read a strip, three seconds? People race through it... but I think in that time I like to leave them with something, just a little something."
Schulz says the beauty of his comic strips are they're relateable. It isn't a clear-cut message in every comic. The comics allow, through the story, the readers to interpret what they want and take away whatever message may be in it.
He's clear though, whatever that message may be, the readers are creating it, Schulz isn't implanting one.
"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."
And really, that was always enough for the artist. When asked about all of the sheer success with his comic strips, Schulz didn't really know what to say, in the Chicago Tribune Service interview.
Schulz is asked, "How do you feel... when you consider that at this very moment millions all over the world are reading your material?"
He responds, "I don't know. It's O.K., I guess."
When pushed further for an elaboration with the stat that his comics are "about 1,000 papers" and have about "90 million readers," Schulz replies, "I don't know. I guess so. Sounds right. Something like that."
The Peanuts creator was always himself and nothing more despite, according to him, outlets wanting him to be something he isn't.
"They call me everything," Schulz added. "Philosopher, theologian, psychiatrist. But I'm not, or I wouldn't be doing what I do."
What he did, was create comic strips filled with characters he saw himself in, and lived by his own motto, day in and day out.
"Charlie Brown is me and I'm him."