|Author(s)||Charles M. Schulz|
|Current status/schedule||Concluded, in reruns|
|Genre(s)||Humor, gag-a-day, satire, children|
Peanuts is a syndicated daily and Sunday American comic strip written and illustrated by Charles M. Schulz that ran from October 2, 1950, to February 13, 2000, continuing in reruns afterward. Peanuts is among the most popular and influential in the history of comic strips, with 17,897 strips published in all,making it "arguably the longest story ever told by one human being". At its peak in the mid to late 1960s, Peanuts ran in over 2,600 newspapers, with a readership of around 355 million in 75 countries, and was translated into 21 languages. It helped to cement the four-panel gag strip as the standard in the United States, and together with its merchandise earned Schulz more than $1 billion.
Print syndication distributes news articles, columns, political cartoons, comic strips and other features to newspapers, magazines and websites. The syndicates offer reprint rights and grant permissions to other parties for republishing content of which they own and/or represent copyrights. Other terms for the service include a newspaper syndicate, a press syndicate, and a feature syndicate.
A comic strip is a sequence of drawings arranged in interrelated panels to display brief humor or form a narrative, often serialized, with text in balloons and captions. Traditionally, throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, these have been published in newspapers and magazines, with horizontal strips printed in black-and-white in daily newspapers, while Sunday newspapers offered longer sequences in special color comics sections. With the development of the internet, they began to appear online as webcomics. There were more than 200 different comic strips and daily cartoon panels in American newspapers alone each day for most of the 20th century, for a total of at least 7,300,000 episodes.
Charles Monroe "Sparky" Schulz was an American cartoonist and creator of the comic strip Peanuts. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential cartoonists of all time, cited by cartoonists including Jim Davis, Bill Watterson, Matt Groening, Dav Pilkey, and Stephan Pastis.
The strip focuses entirely on a social circle of young children, where adults exist but are rarely seen or heard. The main character, Charlie Brown, is meek, nervous, and lacks self-confidence. He is unable to fly a kite, win a baseball game, or kick a football held by his irascible friend Lucy, who always pulls it away at the last instant.
An unseen character in theatre, comics, film, or television, or silent character in radio, is a character referred to but not directly known to the audience, but who advances the action of the plot in a significant way, and whose absence enhances their effect on the plot. The concept does not apply to the non-visual medium of literature, where all characters are unseen by the reader.
Charlie Brown is the lead role of the comic strip Peanuts, syndicated in daily and Sunday newspapers in numerous countries all over the world. Depicted as a "lovable loser," Charlie Brown is one of the great American archetypes and a popular and widely recognized cartoon character. Charlie Brown is characterized as a person who frequently suffers, and as a result is usually nervous and lacks self-confidence. He shows both pessimistic and optimistic attitudes: on some days, he is reluctant to go out because his day might just be spoiled, but on others, he hopes for the best and tries as much as he can to accomplish things. He is easily recognized by his trademark zigzag patterned shirt. There is only one exception: whenever he's a costumed character, he wears a red baseball cap on top of his head most of the time, rather than just wearing a white one during baseball seasons in comic strips and animation.
Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team, called the pitcher, throws a ball which a player on the batting team tries to hit with a bat. The objective of the offensive team is to hit the ball into the field of play, allowing it to run the bases—having its runners advance counter-clockwise around four bases to score what are called "runs". The objective of the defensive team is to prevent batters from becoming runners, and to prevent runners' advance around the bases. A run is scored when a runner legally advances around the bases in order and touches home plate. The team that scores the most runs by the end of the game is the winner.
Peanuts is one of the literate strips with philosophical, psychological, and sociological overtones that flourished in the 1950s.The strip's humor (at least during its '60s peak) is psychologically complex, and the characters' interactions formed a tangle of relationships that drove the strip.
Peanuts achieved considerable success with its television specials, several of which, including A Charlie Brown Christmasand It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown , won or were nominated for Emmy Awards. The Peanuts holiday specials remain popular and are broadcast on ABC in the U.S. during the appropriate seasons, since 2001. The Peanuts franchise also had success in theatre, with the stage musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown an oft-performed production. In 2013, TV Guide ranked the Peanuts television specials the fourth Greatest TV Cartoon of All Time. A computer-animated feature film based on the strip, The Peanuts Movie , was released in 2015.
A Charlie Brown Christmas is a 1965 animated television special based on the comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz. Produced by Lee Mendelson and directed by Bill Melendez, the program made its debut on CBS on December 9, 1965. In the special, lead character Charlie Brown finds himself depressed despite the onset of the cheerful holiday season. Lucy suggests he direct a neighborhood Christmas play, but his best efforts are ignored and mocked by his peers. After Linus tells Charlie Brown about the true meaning of Christmas, Charlie Brown cheers up, and the Peanuts gang unites to celebrate the Christmas season.
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is a 1966 American prime time animated television special based on the comic strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz.
An Emmy Award, or simply Emmy, is an American award that recognizes excellence in the television industry. It is presented at numerous annual events held throughout the calendar year, each honoring one of the various sectors of the television industry. The two ceremonies that receive the most media coverage are the Primetime Emmy Awards and the Daytime Emmy Awards, which recognize outstanding work in American primetime and daytime entertainment programming, respectively. Other notable Emmy events include those honoring national sports programming, national news and documentary shows, and technological and engineering achievements in television, including the Primetime Engineering Emmy Awards. Regional Emmy Awards are also presented throughout the country at various times through the year, recognizing excellence in local and statewide television. In addition, the International Emmy Awards honor excellence in TV programming produced and initially aired outside the United States.
Peanuts had its origin in Li'l Folks , a weekly panel comic that appeared in Schulz's hometown paper, the St. Paul Pioneer Press , from 1947 to 1950. He first used the name Charlie Brown for a character there, although he applied the name in four gags to three different boys and one buried in the sand. The series also had a dog that looked much like the early 1950s version of Snoopy. [ citation needed ]In 1948, Schulz sold a cartoon to The Saturday Evening Post, which published 17 of his single-panel cartoons. The first of these was of a boy sitting with his feet on an ottoman.
Li'l Folks, the first comic strip by Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz, was a weekly panel that appeared mainly in Schulz's hometown paper, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, from June 22, 1947, to January 22, 1950. Schulz's first regular cartoon, Li'l Folks can be regarded as an embryonic version of Peanuts, containing characters and themes which were to reappear in the later strip: a well-dressed young boy with a fondness for Beethoven, à la Schroeder; a dog with a resemblance to Snoopy; and a boy named Charlie Brown.
Snoopy is Charlie Brown's pet beagle in the comic strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz. He can also be found in all of the Peanuts movies and television specials, like The Peanuts Movie. Since his debut on October 4, 1950, Snoopy has become one of the most recognizable and iconic characters in the comic strip and is considered more famous than Charlie Brown in other countries. The original drawings of Snoopy were inspired by Spike, one of Schulz's childhood dogs.
The Saturday Evening Post is an American magazine, currently published six times a year. It was published weekly under this title from 1897 until 1963, then every two weeks until 1969. From the 1920s to the 1960s, it was one of the most widely circulated and influential magazines for the American middle class, with fiction, non-fiction, cartoons and features that reached millions of homes every week. The magazine declined in readership through the 1960s, and in 1969 The Saturday Evening Post folded for two years before being revived as a quarterly publication with an emphasis on medical articles in 1971.
In 1948, Schulz tried to have Li'l Folks syndicated through the Newspaper Enterprise Association, a firm run by the Scripps-Howard newspaper chain. Schulz would have been an independent contractor for the syndicate, unheard of in the 1940s, but the deal fell through.[ citation needed ]Li'l Folks was dropped in early 1950. Later that year, Schulz approached the United Feature Syndicate—also operated by Scripps-Howard—with his best work from Li'l Folks. When his work was picked up by United Feature Syndicate, they decided to run the new comic strip he had been working on. This strip was similar in spirit to the panel comic but had a set cast of characters rather than different nameless little folk for each page. The name Li'l Folks was very close to the names of two other comics of the time: Al Capp's Li'l Abner and a strip titled Little Folks, so to avoid confusion, the syndicate settled on the name Peanuts, after the peanut gallery featured in the Howdy Doody TV show.
United Media was a large editorial column and comic strip newspaper syndication service based in the United States, owned by the E. W. Scripps Company, that operated from 1978 to 2011. It syndicated 150 comics and editorial columns worldwide. Its core businesses were the United Feature Syndicate and the Newspaper Enterprise Association.
The E. W. Scripps Company is an American broadcasting company founded in 1878 as a chain of daily newspapers by Edward Willis "E. W." Scripps. It was also formerly a media conglomerate. The company is headquartered inside the Scripps Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. Its corporate motto is "Give light and the people will find their own way."
The title Peanuts was chosen by the syndication editor. Schulz stated many times that he hated the title. In a 1987 interview, Schulz said: "It's totally ridiculous, has no meaning, is simply confusing, and has no dignity—and I think my humor has dignity." [ citation needed ]The periodic collections of the strips in paperback book form typically had either "Charlie Brown" or "Snoopy" in the title, not "Peanuts", because of Schulz's distaste. From November 20, 1966, to January 4, 1987, the opening Sunday panels typically read Peanuts, featuring Good Ol' Charlie Brown.
Peanuts premiered on October 2, 1950, in nine newspapers: The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Minneapolis Tribune , The Allentown Morning Call, The Bethlehem Globe-Times, The Denver Post , The Seattle Times , The New York World-Telegram & Sun , and The Boston Globe .[ citation needed ] It began as a daily strip. The first strip was four panels long and showed Charlie Brown walking by two other young children, Shermy and Patty. Shermy lauds Charlie Brown as he walks by, but then tells Patty how he hates him in the final panel. Snoopy was also an early character in the strip, first appearing in the third strip, which ran on October 4. Its first Sunday strip appeared January 6, 1952, in the half-page format, which was the only complete format for the entire life of the Sunday strip. Most of the other characters that eventually became regulars of the strip did not appear until later: Violet (February 1951), Schroeder (May 1951), Lucy (March 1952), Linus (September 1952), Pig-Pen (July 1954), Sally (August 1959), Frieda (March 1961), "Peppermint" Patty (August 1966), Franklin (July 1968) Woodstock (introduced April 1967; officially named June 1970), Marcie (July 1971), and Rerun (March 1973).
Schulz decided to produce all aspects of the strip himself from the script to the finished art and lettering. Schulz did, however, hire help to produce the comic book adaptations of Peanuts.Thus, the strip was able to be presented with a unified tone, and Schulz was able to employ a minimalistic style. Backgrounds were generally not used, and when they were, Schulz's frazzled lines imbued them with a fraught, psychological appearance. This style has been described by art critic John Carlin as forcing "its readers to focus on subtle nuances rather than broad actions or sharp transitions." Schulz held this belief all his life, reaffirming in 1994 the importance of crafting the strip himself: "This is not a crazy business about slinging ink. This is a deadly serious business."
While the strip in its early years resembles its later form, there are significant differences. The art was cleaner, sleeker, and simpler, with thicker lines and short, squat characters. For example, in these early strips, Charlie Brown's famous round head is closer to the shape of an American football or rugby football. Most of the kids were initially fairly round-headed. As another example, all the characters (except Charlie Brown) had their mouths longer and had smaller eyes when they looked sideways.
The 1960s is known as the "golden age" for Peanuts.During this period some of the best-known themes and characters appeared, including Peppermint Patty, Snoopy as the "World War One Flying Ace", Frieda and her "naturally curly hair", and Franklin. Peanuts is remarkable for its deft social commentary, especially compared with other strips appearing in the 1950s and early 1960s. Schulz did not explicitly address racial and gender equality issues so much as assume them to be self-evident. Peppermint Patty's athletic skill and self-confidence is simply taken for granted, for example, as is Franklin's presence in a racially integrated school and neighborhood. (Franklin came about at least in part as a result of Schulz's correspondence in 1968 with a socially progressive fan. ) The fact that Charlie Brown's baseball team had three girls was also at least ten years ahead of its time (and in fact, the 1966 TV special Charlie Brown's All-Stars dealt with Charlie Brown refusing sponsorship of the team because the sponsor said the league does not allow girls or dogs to play).
Schulz threw satirical barbs at any number of topics when he chose. Over the years he tackled everything from the Vietnam War to school dress codes to "New Math." One strip on May 20, 1962, even had an icon that stated "Defend Freedom, Buy US Savings Bonds."In 1963 he added a little boy named "5" to the cast, whose sisters were named "3" and "4," and whose father had changed their family name to their ZIP Code, giving in to the way numbers were taking over people's identities. In 1958, a strip in which Snoopy tossed Linus into the air and boasted that he was the first dog ever to launch a human parodied the hype associated with Sputnik 2's launch of Laika the dog into space earlier that year. Another sequence lampooned Little Leagues and "organized" play when all the neighborhood kids join snowman-building leagues and criticize Charlie Brown when he insists on building his own snowmen without leagues or coaches.
Peanuts touched on religious themes on many occasions, especially during the 1960s. The classic television special A Charlie Brown Christmas from 1965, features the character Linus van Pelt quoting the King James Version of the Bible (Luke 2:8–14) to explain to Charlie Brown what Christmas is all about (in personal interviews, Schulz mentioned that Linus represented his spiritual side). Because of the explicit religious material in A Charlie Brown Christmas, many have interpreted Schulz' work as having a distinct Christian theme, though the popular perspective has been to view the franchise through a secular lens.
During the week of July 29, 1968, Schulz debuted the African-American character Franklin to the strip, at the urging of white Los Angeles schoolteacher Harriet Glickman. Though Schulz feared that adding a black character would be seen as patronizing to the African-American community, Glickman convinced him that the addition of black characters could help normalize the idea of friendships between children of different ethnicities. Franklin appeared in a trio of strips set at a beach, in which he first gets Charlie Brown's beach ball from the water and subsequently helps him build a sand castle, during which he mentions that his father is in Vietnam. He never occupies the same panel, however, with Sally.
In 1975, the panel format was shortened slightly horizontally, and shortly thereafter the lettering became larger to compensate. Previously, the daily Peanuts strips were formatted in a four-panel "space saving" format beginning in the 1950s, with a few very rare eight-panel strips, that still fit into the four-panel mold. Beginning on Leap Day in 1988, Schulz abandoned the four-panel format in favor of three-panel dailies and occasionally used the entire length of the strip as one panel, partly for experimentation, but also to combat the dwindling size of the comics page.[ citation needed ] Later in the '90s, Schulz abandoned the characters Patty, Violet, Pigpen and Franklin.
Schulz drew the strip for nearly 50 years, with no assistants, even in the lettering and coloring process.
In the late 1970s, during Schulz's negotiations with United Feature Syndicate over a new contract, syndicate president William C. Payette hired superhero comic artist Al Plastino to draw a backlog of Peanuts strips to hold in reserve in case Schulz left the strip. When Schulz and the syndicate reached a successful agreement, United Media stored these unpublished strips, the existence of which eventually became public.Plastino himself also claimed to have ghostwritten for Schulz, apparently uncredited, while Schulz underwent heart surgery in 1983.
In the 1980s and the 1990s, the strip remained the most popular comic in history,even though other comics, such as Garfield and Calvin and Hobbes , rivaled Peanuts in popularity. Schulz continued to write the strip until announcing his retirement on December 14, 1999, due to his failing health.
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The final daily original Peanuts comic strip was published on Monday, January 3, 2000. The strip contained a note to the readers of the strip from Schulz and a drawing of Snoopy, with his trusty typewriter, sitting atop his doghouse deep in thought. Beginning the next day, a rerun package premiered in papers that had elected to pick it up (see below). Although Schulz did not draw any daily strips that ran past January 3, he had drawn five Sunday strips that had yet to run. The first of these appeared six days after the last daily, on January 9.
On February 13, 2000, the day after Schulz's death, the last-ever new Peanuts strip ran in papers. Three panels long, it began with Charlie Brown answering the phone with someone on the other end presumably asking for Snoopy. Charlie Brown responded with "No, I think he's writing." The next panel shows Snoopy sitting at his typewriter with the opening to a letter addressed to "Dear Friends". The final panel features a large blue sky background over which several drawings from past strips are placed. Underneath those drawings is a colorized version of Schulz's January 3 strip, with almost the same note he wrote to fans, which reads as follows:
I have been fortunate to draw Charlie Brown and his friends for almost fifty years. It has been the fulfillment of my childhood ambition.
Unfortunately, I am no longer able to maintain the schedule demanded by a daily comic strip. My family does not wish "Peanuts" to be continued by anyone else, therefore I am announcing my retirement.
I have been grateful over the years for the loyalty of our editors and the wonderful support and love expressed to me by fans of the comic strip.
Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy ... how can I ever forget them ...
— Charles M. Schulz
Many other cartoonists paid tribute to Peanuts and Schulz by homages in their own strips, appearing on February 13, 2000, or in the week beforehand.The comic was reprinted the day after that, but only had the farewell letter. After Peanuts ended, United Feature Syndicate began offering the newspapers that ran it a package of reprinted strips under the title Classic Peanuts. The syndicate limited the choices to either strips from the 1960s or from the 1990s, although a newspaper was also given the option to carry both reprint packages if it desired. All Sunday strips in the package, however, come from the 1960s.
Peanuts continues to be prevalent in multiple media through widespread syndication, the publication of The Complete Peanuts, the release of several new television specials (all of which Schulz had worked on, but had not finished, before his death), and Peanuts Motion Comics. Additionally, BOOM! Studios has published a series of comic books that feature new material by new writers and artists, although some of it is based on classic Schulz stories from decades past, as well as including some classic strips by Schulz, mostly Sunday color strips.
Universal Uclick's website, GoComics.com, announced on January 5, 2015 that they would be launching "Peanuts Begins", a feature rerunning the entire history of the strip from the beginning in colorized form. This was done to honor the 65th anniversary of the strip's debut.
On June 3, 2010, United Media sold all its Peanuts-related assets, including its strips and branding, to a new company, Peanuts Worldwide LLC, a joint venture of the Iconix Brand Group (which owned 80 percent) and Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates (20 percent). In addition, United Media sold its United Media Licensing arm, which represents licensing for its other properties, to Peanuts Worldwide.United Feature Syndicate continued to syndicate the strip, until February 27, 2011, when Universal Uclick took over syndication, ending United Media's 60-plus-years stewardship of Peanuts.
In May 2017, DHX Media announced that it would acquire Iconix's entertainment brands, including the 80% stake of Peanuts Worldwide and full rights to the Strawberry Shortcake brand, for $345 million.DHX officially took control of the properties on June 30, 2017.
On May 13, 2018, DHX announced it had reached a strategic agreement for Sony Music Entertainment Japan to acquire 49% of its 80% stake in Peanuts Worldwide for $185 million, with DHX holding a 41% stake and SMEJ owning 39%. (SMEJ's consumer products division has been a licensing agent for the Peanuts brand since 2010.)The transaction was completed on July 23. Two months after the sale's completion, DHX eliminated the rest of its debt by signing a five-year, multi-million dollar agency agreement with CAA-GBG Global Brand Management Group (a brand management joint venture between Creative Artists Agency and Hong Kong-based Global Brands Group) to represent the Peanuts brand in China and the rest of Asia excluding Japan.
The initial cast of Peanuts was small, featuring only Charlie Brown, Shermy, Patty (not to be confused with Peppermint Patty) and (two days after the release of the first strip) a beagle, Snoopy. The first addition, Violet, was made on February 7, 1951. Other character introductions that soon followed were Schroeder, on May 30, 1951, as a baby; Lucy, on March 3, 1952; Lucy's baby brother Linus, on September 19, 1952 (after his existence was first mentioned on July 14); and Pig-Pen, on July 13, 1954.
Though the strip did not have a lead character at first, it soon began to focus on Charlie Brown, a character developed from some of the painful experiences of Schulz's formative years. In early strips, Charlie Brown was depicted as distinctly younger than his cohorts Patty and Shermy. His main characteristic is either self-defeating stubbornness or admirably determined persistence to try his best against all odds: he can never win a ballgame but continues playing baseball; he can never fly a kite successfully but continues to try. Though his inferiority complex was evident from the start, in the earlier strips he also got in his own jabs when verbally sparring with Patty and Shermy. Some early strips also involved romantic attractions between Charlie Brown and Patty or Violet. On September 1, 1958, Charlie Brown's father was formally revealed to be a barber (after earlier hints). In 1960, Hallmark Cards introduced the now popular line of Charlie Brown greeting cards. Charlie Brown and Snoopy reached new heights on May 18, 1969, as they became the names of the command module and lunar module, respectively, for Apollo 10.
As the years went by, Shermy, Patty, and Violet appeared less often and were demoted to supporting roles (eventually disappearing from the strip in 1969, 1976, and 1984 respectively, although Patty and Violet were still seen as late as November 27, 1997), while new major characters were introduced. Schroeder, Lucy, and her brother Linus debuted as very young children—with Schroeder and Linus both in diapers and pre-verbal. Snoopy also started to verbalize his thoughts via thought bubbles.
One recurring theme in the strip is Charlie Brown's neighborhood baseball team. Charlie Brown is the team's player–manager and, usually, its pitcher, and Schroeder is the catcher. The other characters make up the rest of the team, including Linus as second baseman and Lucy as right fielder. Charlie Brown is a terrible pitcher, often giving up tremendous hits that either knock him off the mound or undress him, leaving only his shorts. The team itself is also poor, with only Snoopy, at shortstop, showing competence. The team consistently loses, but while it is often called "winless", it does win several games over the course of the strip's run, mostly whenever Charlie Brown is unable to play, a fact he finds highly dispiriting.
In the late 1950s, Snoopy began to appear more often, and in the 1960s he became a breakout character. The naming of Apollo 10's command module and lunar module for Charlie Brown and Snoopy respectively attests to the character's prominence at that time. Many of the strips from the 1960s onward revolve around Snoopy's active, Walter Mitty–like fantasy life, in which he imagines himself in various roles, including a World War I Flying Ace, a World Famous Author, and a college student named Joe Cool. Despite these roles' impressive names, Snoopy usually fails in his fantasies.
Schulz continued to introduce new characters, notably Peppermint Patty, a tomboyish, assertive, athletic, freckle-faced, shorts-and-sandals-wearing girl. Peppermint Patty shakes up Charlie Brown's world by calling him "Chuck", flirting with him and giving him compliments he is not sure he deserves. She also brings in a new group of friends (and heads a rival baseball team), including the strip's first black character, Franklin; a Mexican–Swedish kid named José Peterson; and Peppermint Patty's bespectacled, bookish sidekick Marcie, who calls Peppermint Patty "Sir" and Charlie Brown "Charles" and sometimes "Chuck" (most characters only call him "Charlie Brown", though he was known as "Charles" to Eudora, "big brother" to his sister Sally Brown, "that round-headed kid" to Snoopy, and "Brownie Charles" to Peggy Jean after misspeaking his name out of nervousness).
Several additional family members of the characters were also introduced: Charlie Brown's younger sister Sally, who became fixated on Linus; Linus and Lucy van Pelt's younger brother Rerun, who for a time almost always appeared on the back of his mother's bike; and Spike, Snoopy's desert-dwelling brother from Needles, California, who was apparently named for Schulz's own childhood dog. Snoopy also had six other siblings, and four of them made appearances in the strip (his brothers Andy, Olaf, and Marbles, and his sister Belle).
Other notable characters include Snoopy's friend Woodstock, a bird whose chirping is represented in print as hash marks but is nevertheless clearly understood by Snoopy; three of Woodstock's friends who usually appeared when on a scouting trip with Snoopy as their scout leader; Pig-Pen, the perpetually dirty boy who could raise a cloud of dust on a clean sidewalk, in a snowstorm, or inside a building; and Frieda, a vain girl, obsessed with her "naturally curly hair", who briefly owned a cat named Faron, much to Snoopy's chagrin.
Peanuts also had several recurring characters who were never seen. Some, such as the Great Pumpkin or Manfred von Richthofen (the Red Baron), were merely figments of the cast's imaginations. Others were not imaginary, such as the Little Red-Haired Girl (Charlie Brown's perennial dream girl who finally appeared in 1998, but only in silhouette), Joe Shlabotnik (Charlie Brown's baseball hero), World War II (the vicious cat who lives next door to Snoopy—not to be confused with Frieda's cat, Faron), and Charlie Brown's unnamed pen pal, known as his "pencil-pal" after Charlie Brown fails to master the fountain pen. Adult figures appeared in the strip only once, during a four-week Sunday-comic sequence in 1954 in which Lucy plays in an amateur golf tournament, with Charlie Brown "coaching" her. At no time, however, were any adult faces seen (it was also in this sequence that Lucy's family name, van Pelt, was first revealed). There are adult voices in a few of the early strips.
Schulz also added some fantastical characters, sometimes imbuing inanimate objects with life. Charlie Brown's nemesis, the Kite-Eating Tree, is one example. Sally Brown's school building expresses thoughts and feelings about the students and the general business of being a brick building. Linus's security blanket also occasionally displays signs of anthropomorphism. Charlie Brown's pitching mound also sometimes expresses thoughts and opinions ("Why don't you learn how to pitch, you stupid kid?").
Schulz received the National Cartoonist Society Humor Comic Strip Award for Peanuts in 1962, the Reuben Award in 1955 and 1964 (the first cartoonist to receive the honor twice), the Elzie Segar Award in 1980, and the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999. A Charlie Brown Christmas won a Peabody Award and an Emmy; Peanuts cartoon specials have received a total of two Peabody Awards and four Emmys. For his work on the strip, Schulz has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (as does Snoopy) and a place in the William Randolph Hearst Cartoon Hall of Fame. Peanuts was featured on the cover of Time on April 9, 1965, with the accompanying article calling it "the leader of a refreshing new breed that takes an unprecedented interest in the basics of life."
The strip was declared second in a list of the "greatest comics of the 20th century" commissioned by The Comics Journal in 1999.The top ranked comic was George Herriman's Krazy Kat , a strip Schulz admired (and in fact was among his biggest inspirations), and he accepted the ranking in good grace, to the point of agreeing with it. In 2002 TV Guide declared Snoopy and Charlie Brown tied for 8th in its list of the "Top 50 Greatest Cartoon Characters of All Time", published to commemorate its 50th anniversary.
Cartoon tributes have appeared in other comic strips since Schulz's death in 2000 and are now displayed at the Charles Schulz Museum.In May 2000, many cartoonists included a reference to Peanuts in their strips. Originally planned as a tribute to Schulz's retirement, after his death that February it became a tribute to his life and career. Similarly, on October 30, 2005, several comic strips again included references to Peanuts and specifically the It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown television special.
The December 1997 issue of The Comics Journal featured an extensive collection of testimonials to Peanuts. Over 40 cartoonists, from mainstream newspaper cartoonists to underground, independent comic artists, shared reflections on the power and influence of Schulz's art. Gilbert Hernandez wrote, "Peanuts was and still is for me a revelation. It's mostly from Peanuts where I was inspired to create the village of Palomar in Love and Rockets. Schulz's characters, the humor, the insight ... gush, gush, gush, bow, bow, bow, grovel, grovel, grovel ..." Tom Batiuk wrote: "The influence of Charles Schulz on the craft of cartooning is so pervasive it is almost taken for granted." Batiuk also described the depth of emotion in Peanuts: "Just beneath the cheerful surface were vulnerabilities and anxieties that we all experienced, but were reluctant to acknowledge. By sharing those feelings with us, Schulz showed us a vital aspect of our common humanity, which is, it seems to me, the ultimate goal of great art."
In 2001, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors renamed the Sonoma County Airport, located a few miles northwest of Santa Rosa, California, the Charles M. Schulz Airport in his honor. The airport's logo features Snoopy as the World War I Flying Ace (goggles/scarf), taking to the skies on top of his red doghouse (the Sopwith Camel). A bronze statue of Charlie Brown and Snoopy stands in Depot Park in downtown Santa Rosa.
Schulz was included in the touring exhibition "Masters of American Comics". His work was described as "psychologically complex," and his style as "perfectly in keeping with the style of its times."
Despite the widespread acclaim Peanuts has received, some critics have alleged a decline in quality in the later years of its run, as Schulz frequently digressed from the more cerebral socio-psychological themes that characterized his earlier work in favor of lighter, more whimsical fare. For example, in an essay published in the New York Press at the time of the final daily strip in January 2000, "Against Snoopy," Christopher Caldwell argued that Snoopy, and the strip's increased focus on him in the 1970s, "went from being the strip's besetting artistic weakness to ruining it altogether".
The Peanuts characters have been featured in many books over the years.Some represented chronological reprints of the newspaper strip, while others were thematic collections such as Snoopy's Tennis Book, or collections of inspirational adages such as Happiness Is a Warm Puppy. Some single-story books were produced, such as Snoopy and the Red Baron. In addition, many of the animated television specials and feature films were adapted into book form.
The primary series of reprints was published by Rinehart & Company (later Holt, Rinehart and Winston) beginning in 1952, with the release of a collection simply titled Peanuts. This series, which presented the strips in rough chronological order (albeit with many strips omitted from each year) continued through the 1980s, after which reprint rights were handed off to various other publishers. Ballantine Books published the last original series of Peanuts reprints, including Peanuts 2000, which collected the final year of the strip's run.
Coinciding with these reprints were smaller paperback collections published by Fawcett Publications. Drawing material from the main reprints, this paperback series began with The Wonderful World of Peanuts in 1962 and continued through Lead On, Snoopy in 1992.
Charles Schulz had always resisted republication of the earliest Peanuts strips, as they did not reflect the characters as he eventually developed them. However, in 1997 he began talks with Fantagraphics Books to have the entire run of the strip, which would end up with 17,897 strips total, published chronologically in book form.In addition to the post-millennium Peanuts publications are BOOM! Studios restyling of the comics and activity books, and "First Appearances" series. Its content is produced by Peanuts Studio, subsequently an arm of Peanuts Worldwide LLC.
The entire run of Peanuts, covering nearly 50 years of comic strips, was reprinted in Fantagraphics' The Complete Peanuts , a 26-volume set published over a 12-year period, consisting of two volumes per year published every May and October. The first volume (collecting strips from 1950 to 1952) was published in May 2004; the volume containing the final newspaper strips (including all the strips from 1999 and seven strips from 2000, along with the complete run of Lil' Folks) was published in May 2016, with a twenty-sixth volume containing outside-the-daily-strip Peanuts material by Schulz appeared in the fall of that year. A companion series, titled Peanuts Every Sunday and presenting the complete Sunday strips in color (as the main Complete Peanuts books reproduce them in black and white only), was launched in December 2013; this series will run ten volumes, with the last expected to be published in 2022.
In addition, almost all Peanuts strips are now also legally available online at GoComics.com (there are some strips missing from the digital archive). Peanuts strips were previously featured on Comics.com.
Several books have been released to commemorate key anniversaries of Peanuts:
Peanuts was first adapted into full-format animation with A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965), a half-hour Christmas special broadcast to CBS. It was met with extensive critical success.It was the first of the set of television specials that continued to be made thereon, and forms a selection of holiday themed specials which are aired annually in the US to present day, including It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966), and A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973). The first feature length film came in 1969, and was one of four which were produced during the run of the strip. A Saturday morning television series aired in 1983, each episode consisting of three or four segments dealing with plot lines from the strip. An additional spin-off miniseries aired in 1988, exploring the history of the United States.
Peanuts continues to be adapted into animation after the run of the strip, with the last television special made in 2011.A series of cartoon shorts premiered on iTunes, as Peanuts Motion Comics (2008), which directly lifted themes and plot lines from the strip. In 2014, the French network France 3 debuted the latest Peanuts television series, a series of episodes each consisting of several roughly one minute shorts bundled together. The last feature length film was in 2015.
Peanuts characters even found their way to the live stage, appearing in the musicals You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Snoopy!!! — The Musical , and in "Snoopy on Ice", a live Ice Capades-style show aimed primarily at young children, all of which have had several touring productions over the years. [ citation needed ] A Charlie Brown Christmas has also been adapted to the stage, and an official stage version of the production written by Eric Schaeffer in 2013 is available from Tams-Witmark Music Library, Inc. The Off-Broadway drama Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead centers on the Peanuts characters becoming teenagers, though it is an unauthorized parody.You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown was originally a successful Off-Broadway musical that ran for four years (1967–1971) in New York City and on tour, with Gary Burghoff as the original Charlie Brown. An updated revival opened on Broadway in 1999, and by 2002 it had become the most frequently produced musical in American theatre history. It was also adapted for television twice, as a live-action NBC special and an animated CBS special. Snoopy!!! The Musical was a musical comedy based on the Peanuts comic strip, originally performed at Lamb's Theatre Off-Broadway in 1982. In its 1983 run in London's West End, it won an Olivier Award. In 1988, it was adapted into an animated TV special. The New Players Theatre in London staged a revival in 2004 to honor its 21st anniversary, but some reviewers noted that its "feel good" sentiments had not aged well.
In 1962 Columbia Records issued an album titled Peanuts, with Kaye Ballard and Arthur Siegel performing dialogue from the strip (as Lucy and Charlie Brown, respectively) to music composed by Fred Karlin.
Fantasy Records issued several albums featuring Vince Guaraldi's jazz scores from the animated specials, including Jazz Impressions of a Boy Named Charlie Brown (1964), A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965), Oh, Good Grief! (1968), Charlie Brown's Holiday Hits (1998), and Peanuts Portraits (2010). All were later reissued on CD.
Columbia Records released soundtrack albums for the films A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1969) and Snoopy, Come Home (1972), although neither has been reissued on CD.
Other jazz artists have recorded Peanuts-themed albums, often featuring cover versions of Guaraldi's compositions. These include Ellis Marsalis, Jr. and Wynton Marsalis ( Joe Cool's Blues , 1995); George Winston (Linus & Lucy, 1996); David Benoit (Here's to You, Charlie Brown!, 2000, and Jazz for Peanuts, 2008); and Cyrus Chestnut (A Charlie Brown Christmas, 2000). The 1989 GRP Records release Happy Anniversary, Charlie Brown! and the 2005 Peak Records release 40 Years: A Charlie Brown Christmas also include interpretations of Guaraldi's themes by various smooth jazz and blues artists.
The 1960s American rock band The Royal Guardsmen recorded several songs about Snoopy's fantasies of flying against the Red Baron in World War I, including the hit singles "Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron" and "Snoopy's Christmas." The first song was released without Schulz's consent, and he and UFS sued successfully for royalties but allowed the group to make future songs and even contributed album artwork for such releases as Snoopy and His Friends .
Cast recordings (in both original and revival productions) of the stage musicals You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Snoopy!!! The Musical have been released over the years.
Numerous animated Peanuts specials were adapted into book-and-record sets, issued on the "Charlie Brown Records" imprint by Disney Read-Along in the 1970s and '80s. Also issued on Charlie Brown Records, via Disneyland Records, was the soundtrack to Flashbeagle in 1984, which featured Desiree Goyette and Joey Scarbury (of "Theme from the Greatest American Hero" fame) on the title track and other songs written by Ed Bogas and Goyette.
In 1992, RCA Victor released an album of classical piano music ostensibly performed by Schroeder himself. Titled Schroeder's Greatest Hits, the album contains solo piano works by Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, and others, performed by John Miller, Ronnie Zito, Ken Bichel, and Nelly Kokinos.
Over the years, the Peanuts characters have appeared in ads for Dolly Madison snack cakes, Chex Mix, Bounty, Cheerios, A&W Root Beer, Kraft Foods, and Ford automobiles.In 1994, Pig-Pen appeared in a spot for Regina vacuum cleaners.
They served as spokespeople in print and television advertisements for the MetLife insurance company.MetLife usually used Snoopy in its advertisements as opposed to other characters: for instance, the MetLife blimps were named "Snoopy One" and "Snoopy Two" and featured him in his World War I flying ace persona. Starting in 2011, the annual New York Giants and New York Jets preseason football game is called the MetLife Bowl. The winning team receives a trophy which depicts Snoopy carrying a football, wearing an old-style football helmet and holding his arm up as if to ward off a tackler. On October 20, 2016, MetLife announced the end of its 31-year relationship with Peanuts.
The characters have been featured on Hallmark Cards since 1960,and can be found adorning clothing, figurines, plush dolls, flags, balloons, posters, Christmas ornaments, and countless other bits of licensed merchandise.
In East Asia, RM Licensing has licensed the Peanuts characters for fashion stores, children's apparel, and restaurantsincluding Charlie Brown Cafe, a Hong Kong-based fast casual restaurant chain. There is also a Charlie Brown Cafe, themed with Peanuts characters, in Hongdae, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea.
The Peanuts characters have been licensed to Universal Studios Japan (while Peanuts merchandise in Japan has been licensed by Sanrio, best known for Hello Kitty).
The Apollo 10 lunar module was nicknamed "Snoopy" and the command module "Charlie Brown".While not included in the official mission logo, Charlie Brown and Snoopy became semi-official mascots for the mission. Charles Schulz drew an original picture of Charlie Brown in a spacesuit that was hidden aboard the craft to be found by the astronauts once they were in orbit. This drawing is now on display at the Kennedy Space Center. Snoopy is the personal safety mascot for NASA astronauts, and NASA issues a Silver Snoopy award to employees that promote flight safety. The black "caps" that the Apollo astronauts wore on their heads were referred to as "Snoopy hats."
Giant helium balloons of Charlie Brown and Snoopy have long been a feature in the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. This was referenced in a Super Bowl XLII commercial for Coca-Cola, in which the Charlie Brown balloon snags a Coca-Cola bottle from two battling balloons (Underdog and Stewie Griffin).
Peanuts on Parade is St. Paul, Minnesota's tribute to Peanuts. 5-foot-tall (1.5 m) statues of Snoopy throughout the city of Saint Paul. The statues were later auctioned at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota. In 2001, there was "Charlie Brown Around Town", 2002 brought "Looking for Lucy", and in 2003, "Linus Blankets Saint Paul". Permanent bronze statues of the Peanuts characters are found in Landmark Plaza in downtown Saint Paul.It began in 2000, with the placing of 101
A Peanuts World War I Flying Ace U.S. commemorative postage stamp was released on May 17, 2001. The value was 34 cents, First Class.
The Peanuts characters have appeared in various video games, such as Snoopy in 1984 by Radarsoft, Snoopy: The Cool Computer Game by The Edge, Snoopy and the Red Baron for the Atari 2600, Snoopy's Silly Sports Spectacular (1989, Nintendo Entertainment System), Snoopy's Magic Show (1990, Game Boy), Snoopy Tennis (2001, Game Boy Color), Snoopy Concert which was released in 1995 and sold to the Japanese market for the Super NES, and in October 2006, a second game titled Snoopy vs. The Red Baron by Namco Bandai for the PlayStation 2. In July 2007, the Peanuts characters appeared in the Snoopy the Flying Ace mobile-phone game by Namco Networks.
In 1980 (with a new edition published in 1990), the Funk & Wagnalls publishing house also produced a children's encyclopedia called the Charlie Brown's 'Cyclopedia. The 15-volume set features many of the Peanuts characters.
In April 2002, The Peanuts Collectors Edition Monopoly board game was released by USAopoly. The game was dedicated to Schulz in memory of his passing.
In 1983, Knott's Berry Farm, in Southern California, was the first theme park to license the Peanuts characters, creating the first Camp Snoopy area and making Snoopy the park's mascot. Knott's expanded its operation in 1992 by building an indoor amusement park in the Mall of America, called Knott's Camp Snoopy . The Knott's theme parks were acquired by the national amusement park chain Cedar Fair Entertainment Company in 1997, which continued to operate Knott's Camp Snoopy park until the mall took over its operation in March 2005.Cedar Fair had already licensed the Peanuts characters for use in 1992 as atmosphere, so its acquisition of Knott's Berry Farm did not alter the use of those characters.
Snoopy is currently the official mascot of all the Cedar Fair parks. It was previously used in all of the park logos but it has since been removed. Cedar Fair also operated a Camp Snoopy area at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom, Worlds of Fun, and Valleyfair featuring various Peanuts-themed attractions until 2011. There is still a Camp Snoopy area at Cedar Point and Knott's Berry Farm.
In 2008, Cedar Point introduced Planet Snoopy, a children's area where Peanuts Playground used to be. This area consists of family and children's rides relocated from Cedar Point's sister park Geauga Lake after its closing. The rides are inspired by Peanuts characters. The area also consists of a "Kids Only" restaurant called Joe Cool Cafe (there is a small menu for adults). In 2010, the Nickelodeon Central and Nickelodeon Universe areas in the former Paramount Parks (California's Great America, Canada's Wonderland, Carowinds, Kings Dominion, and Kings Island) were replaced by Planet Snoopy. In 2011, Cedar Fair announced it would also add Planet Snoopy to Valleyfair, Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom, and Worlds of Fun, replacing the Camp Snoopy areas. Planet Snoopy is now at every Cedar Fair park beside Knott's Berry Farm and Michigan's Adventure. In 2018 Planet Snoopy was renamed Camp Snoopy & renovations were made to make these areas of the Cedar Fair parks look more like camp. Many of the rides were renamed as well.
Also, the Peanuts characters can be found at Universal Studios Japan in the Universal Wonderland section along with the characters from Sesame Street and Hello Kitty .
An exhibition entitled Good Grief, Charlie Brown! Celebrating Snoopy and the Enduring Power of Peanuts opens at Somerset House in London on 25 October 2018, running until 3 March 2019. The exhibition brings together Charles M. Schulz original Peanuts cartoons with work from a wide range of acclaimed contemporary artists and designers who have been inspired by the cartoon.
Linus van Pelt is a character in Charles M. Schulz's comic strip Peanuts. The best friend of Charlie Brown, Linus is also the younger brother of Lucy van Pelt and older brother of Rerun van Pelt. He first appeared on September 19, 1952, but was not mentioned by name until three days later. He was first referred to two months earlier, on July 14. Linus spoke his first words in 1954, the same year he was first shown with his security blanket.
Patricia "Peppermint Patty" Reichardt is a fictional character featured in Charles M. Schulz' comic strip Peanuts. She is one of a small group in the strip who lives across town from Charlie Brown and his school friends. She has freckles and auburn/brunette hair and generally displays the characteristics of a tomboy. She made her first appearance on August 22, 1966. The following year, she made her animated debut in the TV special You're in Love, Charlie Brown and began coaching a baseball team that played against Charlie Brown and since has had other adventures with him. Uniquely, she refers to Charlie Brown and Lucy as "Chuck" and "Lucille", respectively. In most of her appearances, she is attracted to Charlie Brown, based on her reactions. Her birthday is on October 4.
Rerun van Pelt is Linus and Lucy's younger brother in Charles M. Schulz's comic strip Peanuts. He is named when Lucy van Pelt, his sister, calls the situation a 'rerun' of what happened with her brother, Linus van Pelt. Linus decides to name him that.
Lucille "Lucy" van Pelt is a character in the syndicated comic strip Peanuts, written and drawn by Charles Schulz. She is the older sister of Linus and Rerun. Lucy is characterized as a "fussbudget", crabby, bossy and opinionated girl who bullies most other characters in the strip, particularly Linus and Charlie Brown.
Sally Brown is the younger sister of Charlie Brown in the comic strip Peanuts by Charles Schulz. She was first mentioned in early 1959 and throughout a long series of strips before her first appearance in August 1959. Kathy Steinberg was the first to voice Sally in 1965.
Violet Gray is a fictional character featured in the long-running syndicated daily and Sunday comic strip Peanuts, created by Charles M. Schulz. She was initially a major character, until she began to fade into the background.
Frieda is a character in the comic strip Peanuts by Charles Schulz. According to Schulz, Frieda's character was inspired by his longtime friend Frieda Rich, a local artist whom he met while taking classes at the Art Instruction Schools in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She was a regular in Peanuts throughout the 1960s, but as newer characters were phased in towards the end of the decade, she began appearing less often, and she ceased to be a featured character after 1985, making only cameo appearances since then in various television specials. She is known for having naturally curly hair, of which she is extremely proud. Her full name was revealed in the 2015 film The Peanuts Movie as 'Frieda Rich', where she places 12th in the test results.
Play It Again, Charlie Brown is the seventh prime-time animated TV special based upon the comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz. It originally aired on CBS on March 28, 1971.
You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown is the eighth prime-time animated TV special produced based upon the popular comic strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz, and the 10th one to air. It originally aired on CBS on October 29, 1972, before the 1972 election.
The Gospel According to Peanuts is a 1965 book written by Robert L. Short about Charles M. Schulz's Peanuts comic strip. The book is based on Short's use of the Peanuts characters to illustrate his lectures about the Christian Gospel.
It's the Pied Piper, Charlie Brown is the last animated special produced under the supervision of Charles M. Schulz. Based on characters from the comic strip Peanuts, it was released on September 12, 2000, seven months after the death of Charles Schulz. It's The Pied Piper also has the distinction of being the first new Peanuts special to be released to DVD.
Snoopy: The Musical is the 31st prime-time animated TV specials, based on characters from the Charles M. Schulz comic strip Peanuts. It is an adaptation of the musical of the same name, and originally aired on the CBS network in 1988.
Peanuts Motion Comics is a series of animated cartoon shorts based on 1964 strips of Charles Schulz' comic strip, Peanuts. The series premiered on iTunes in 2008 with the support of the Schulz estate. The first season consists of 20 cartoon shorts, paired into 10 episodes. The episodes employ signature themes and plotlines from the classic strips. The first season was released to DVD on March 9, 2010. Animation production was done by Studio B Productions.
Happiness Is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown is a Peanuts television special that was released in 2011. The special is the 45th Peanuts special and the first produced without Bill Melendez on the production team. It is also the first special without the direct involvement of Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz, Lee Mendelson Productions or Bill Melendez Productions. In addition, it is the first Peanuts special produced in part under Warner Bros. Television, which holds the home media distribution rights to the Peanuts specials.