Charles Monroe Schulz was born in Minneapolis on November 26, 1922, and grew up in Saint Paul, Minnesota.Throughout his youth, Schulz and his father shared a Sunday morning ritual reading the funnies.
In 1937, Schulz drew a picture of Spike (his dog) and sent it to Ripley’s Believe It or Not!; his drawing appeared in Robert Ripley’s syndicated panel, and Schulz was hooked.Schulz’s first group of regular cartoons, a weekly series of one-panel jokes called Li’l Folks, was published from June 1947 to January 1950 in the St. Paul Pioneer Press.In May 1948, Schulz sold his first one-panel drawing to The Saturday Evening Post; within the next two years, a total of 17 untitled drawings by Schulz were published simultaneously with his work for the Pioneer Press.Schulz had also developed a comic strip usually using four panels rather than one, and to his delight, the syndicate preferred that version, although they had to change the title for legal reasons, and selected a new name — Peanuts.
Peanuts, with its cast of characters including Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, and Snoopy, made its first appearance on October 2, 1950, in seven newspapers. The weekly Sunday page debuted on January 6, 1952.After a slow start, Peanuts eventually became one of the most popular comic strips of all time, as well as one of the most influential.Schulz drew much of his comic strip from his own life including his own shyness and melancholy, having an intelligent dog when he was a boy, and Charlie Brown’s crush on the little red-haired little girl.
The continuing popular appeal of Peanuts stems, in large part, from Schulz’s ability to portray his observations and connect to his audience in ways that many other strips cannot.Schulz’s understated genius lay in his ability to keep his well-known and comfortable characters fresh enough to attract new readers while keeping his current audience coming back for more. His humor was at times observational, wry, sarcastic, nostalgic, bittersweet, silly, and melancholy, with occasional flights of fancy and suspension of reality thrown in from time to time. More of Charles Schulz’s wonderful comic strips can be found at https://schulzmuseum.org/ and https://www.animazing.com/charles-schulz.