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Christopher Wheeler | profile | all galleries >> Cartoon(ist) Gallery >> Charles Schulz tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Charles Schulz

Charles Schulz. Peanuts. One and the same.

As the world's most widely syndicated cartoon artist, he brought the phrase "good grief" into popular culture, and was honored by many awards, including International Cartoonist of the Year, (in 1978) and two Reuben Awards (1955 and 1964).

"Peanuts" became the most popular cartoon in history. The 1967 "Life" magazine featured Snoopy and Charlie Brown on the cover. In 1969 the Peanuts gang became NASA mascots.

Schultz himself sketched and wrote every running of Peanuts for 50 years. He insisted on a clause in his contract preventing anyone else from releasing new "Peanuts" cartoons after his death. He died on February 12, 2000.

"A Charlie Brown Christmas" has aired every year since 1965. (See below for an advertisement for the book by the same name.) In all, there were 50 TV specials. He published some 1,400 books, selling more than 300 million copies. "Peanuts" ran in approximately 2,600 papers and was read by around 355 million people in 75 countries. The strip was translated into 21 languages. It strip inspired some household phrases: "security blanket" after Linus's prop, and "happiness is a warm puppy," of course, after Snoopy.

Many of his characters were based on real people in Schulz's life. His childhood dog Spike was behind Snoopy. The little red-haired girl was based on a girlfriend who rejected his proposal for marriage. An art-school friend of his inspired the character Charlie Brown.

He was born in St. Paul, Minn, and there took correspondence courses in art upon seeing a "Do you like to draw?" ad. After serving in the Army in World War II, he worked on a church comic book. In 1950 he created "Li'l Folks," renamed "Peanuts" under syndication. The strip enjoyed enormous popularity in 1965 after Snoopy played the Red Baron, using his doghouse as an imaginary Sopwith Camel.

His museum is in Santa Rosa, California.
http://www.schulzmuseum.org/

To see a nice page of his early publications and how to identify first editions, go here:
http://www.peanutscollectorclub.com/books.html

A note to collectors: "Peanuts," Schulz's first collection, was reprinted umpteen times with god-only-knows how many copies circulating. But true first printings -- bearing the Rinehart colophon -- are exceedingly scarce. I've seen only three copies in many years of active looking.

And how valuable is his stuff? His 1950s and 1960s -era dailies typically sell for between $8,000 and $20,000. His Sundays might go for twice that much. Take a look at the one below that in November of 2007 sold for $95,000 at Heritage -- NOT counting the buyer's premium (customarily 20%)!
Sparky
Sparky
Peanuts (1952) (first printings)
:: Peanuts (1952) (first printings) ::
More Peanuts (1954, hardbound) first printing
More Peanuts (1954, hardbound) first printing
More Peanuts (1954, hardbound) rear cover
More Peanuts (1954, hardbound) rear cover
More Peanuts (1954)
More Peanuts (1954)
More Peanuts (1954) (signed)
:: More Peanuts (1954) (signed) ::
Good Grief, More Peanuts! (1956) (Inscribed with original drawing of Snoopy)
:: Good Grief, More Peanuts! (1956) (Inscribed with original drawing of Snoopy) ::
Peanuts Revisited (1959) NOT the common book club edition
Peanuts Revisited (1959) NOT the common book club edition
Peanuts Revisited (1959)
Peanuts Revisited (1959)
Snoopy and “It Was a Dark and Stormy Night” (1971) (signed)
:: Snoopy and “It Was a Dark and Stormy Night” (1971) (signed) ::
Peanuts Revisited (1959) (signed)
:: Peanuts Revisited (1959) (signed) ::
You're Something Else, Charlie Brown (1968) (signed with original drawing)
:: You're Something Else, Charlie Brown (1968) (signed with original drawing) ::
My all-time favorite Peanuts strip
My all-time favorite Peanuts strip
A Hagemeyer strip (courtesy Chris Ware).  When was this drawn?
A Hagemeyer strip (courtesy Chris Ware). When was this drawn?
Check out this (likely) Schulz forgery that sold on eBay in April 2007 for $710.  'Charles' is misspelled as 'Charls'!
Check out this (likely) Schulz forgery that sold on eBay in April 2007 for $710. 'Charles' is misspelled as 'Charls'!
Ad for A Charlie Brown Christmas
Ad for "A Charlie Brown Christmas"
Original drawing of Snoopy
Original drawing of Snoopy
This early Sunday (10 Apr 1955) sold for $95,000 at Heritage on 17 November 2007.  Wow.
This early Sunday (10 Apr 1955) sold for $95,000 at Heritage on 17 November 2007. Wow.