I promised a second post on Schulz and more detail about his art and the Peanuts strips.
Having come across my childhood collection of these books, my last post ‘Charlie Who Books?!’ described how they came into my life as a young boy.
After I had done this, I had a look at the man Schulz himself and found some interesting facts too.
Schulz said that his routine every morning consisted of first eating a jelly donut, and then going through the day’s mail with his secretary before sitting down to write and draw the day’s strip at his studio. After coming up with an idea (which he said could take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours), he began drawing it, which took about an hour for dailies and three hours for Sunday strips.
Unlike many other successful cartoonists, Schulz never used assistants in producing the strip; he refused to hire an inker or letterer, saying that “it would be equivalent to a golfer hiring a man to make his putts for him.”
At its height, Peanuts was published daily in 2,600 papers in 75 countries, in 21 languages. Over the nearly 50 years that Peanuts was published, Schulz drew nearly 18,000 strips. The strips themselves, plus merchandise and product endorsements, produced revenues of more than $1 billion per year, with Schulz earning an estimated $30 million to $40 million annually.
During the life of the strip, Schulz took only one vacation, a five-week break in late 1997 to celebrate his 75th birthday; reruns of the strip ran during his vacation, the only time reruns occurred while Schulz was alive.
Undoubtedly, the lasting icon of these strips has to be Snoopy. So I couldn’t possibly leave out a bit of blurb about this loveable beagle!
FIRST APPEARANCE: October 4, 1950
The wildly imaginative, supremely confident, world-famous beagle is a canine master of disguise. As Joe Cool, he’s aloof, unflappable, above the fray, the hip dog we’d all like to be. As the World War I Flying Ace, he engages in aerial combat with the notorious Red Baron. While pondering life from the top of his doghouse, he writes the great American novel, travels to the moon, and plots revenge on the cat next door!