I am thankful to my teachers who introduced comics to us,especially the Peanuts, and Dennis the Menace . As town kids we have already picked up Superman and other Chinese comics from the streets of Sibu. But Peanuts? The Gang will forever have a place in my heart. Miss Fries in particular lent us her Peanuts collection. And later, the Methodist Youth Centre had a good library of Peanuts and other great books. The Methodist School Library also had very good books and the reading habit of the students was developed very seriously by all the dedicated teachers!
It was not easy to live the hard going ordinary life in Sibu - we met with the usual aggressive , selfish, people - the norms as people would say. There were many good people too so we were not traumatised . However my siblings and I in particular learned to keep ourselves safe when we did not have a father to protect us. One good way of keeping away from the fouler life was to hide under a blanket and read about Snoopy and Charlie Brown. As we turned the pages, we learned about life. Thanks, Pals!
(The following pictures and write ups in italics are from http://www.snoopy.com and Wikipedia)
How long have you loved dogs? I have loved Snoopy since I started loving dogs. And Snoopy has been my imaginary dog ever since. He is next to my heart. Here. No one can remove it. He has been such a friend, such an inspiration. An imaginary friend like Snoopy will never leave you or abandon you.
Snoopy is an extroverted beagle with a Walter Mitty complex. He is a virtuoso at every endeavor- at least in his daydreams atop his doghouse. He regards his master, Charlie Brown, as "that round-headed kid" who brings him his supper dish. He is fearless though prudently cautious about "the cat next door." He never speaks- that would be one human trait too many- but he manages to convey everything necessary in facial expressions and thought balloons. A one-man show with superior intelligence and vivid imagination, he has created such multiple personalities as: Joe Cool, World War I Flying Ace, Literary Ace, Flashbeagle, Vulture, Foreign Legionnaire, etc.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Charles Monroe Schulz was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and grew up in Saint Paul. He was the only child of Carl Schulz, who was German, and Dena, who was Norwegian. His uncle nicknamed him "Sparky" after the horse Spark Plug in the Barney Google comic strip.
Schulz loved drawing and sometimes drew his dog, Spike. Spike ate unusual things, like pins and tacks. Schultz drew a picture of Spike and sent it to Ripley's Believe It or Not! Then, his drawing appeared in the comic published by Robert Ripley with the caption "A dog that eats pins, tacks, and razor blades is owned by Charles F. Schulz of St. Paul, Minn. Drawn by 'Sparky'" His middle initial was mistaken in the caption.
Schulz attended St. Paul's Richard Gordon Elementary School, where he skipped two half-grades. He became a shy timid teenager, perhaps as a result of being the youngest in his class at Central High School.
After his mother died in February 1943, he was drafted into the United States Army and was sent to Fort Campbell in Kentucky. He was shipped to Europe two years later to fight in World War II with the U.S. 20th Armored Division. Schulz attained the rank of Staff Sergeant and was awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge.
After leaving the army in 1945, he returned to Minneapolis where he took a job as an art teacher at Art Instruction, Inc. — he had taken correspondence courses before he was drafted. Schulz, before having his comics published, began doing lettering work for a Catholic comic magazine titled Timeless Topix, where he would rush back and forth from dropping off his lettering work and teaching at Art Instruction Schools, Inc.
Schulz's first made money for his comics when he sent in a drawing to The Saturday Evening Post. Schulz received $40 for the first drawing, and was asked to send more. Schulz sent in more comics similar to the first one. He received $40 for each of those. After sending a total of 13 cartoons in, Schulz ended his partnership with SEP.
Schulz's first regular cartoons, Li'l Folks, were published from 1947 to 1950 by the St. Paul Pioneer Press; 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 sand. The series also had a dog that looked much like Snoopy. In 1948, Schulz sold a cartoon to the Saturday Evening Post; the first of seventeen single-panel cartoons by Schulz that would be published there. In 1948, Schulz tried to have Li'l Folks syndicated through the Newspaper Enterprise Association. Schulz would have been an independent contractor for the syndicate, unheard of in the 1940s, but the deal fell through. Li'l Folks was dropped in January, 1950.
Later that year, Schulz approached the United Feature Syndicate with his best strips from Li'l Folks, and Peanuts made its first appearance on October 2, 1950. The strip became one of the most popular comic strips of all time. He also had a short-lived sports-oriented comic strip called It's Only a Game (1957 – 1959), but abandoned it due to the demands of the successful Peanuts. From 1956 to 1965 he also contributed a single-panel strip ("Young Pillars") featuring teenagers to Youth, a publication associated with the Church of God (Anderson).
Some of the Peanuts gang
Charlie Brown, the principal character for Peanuts, was named after a co-worker at the Art Instruction Schools; he drew much of his inspiration, however, from his own life:
Like Charlie Brown, Schulz's father was a barber and his mother a housewife.
Schulz had a dog when he was a boy. Unlike Snoopy the beagle, it was a pointer. Eventually, it was revealed that Snoopy had a desert-dwelling brother named Spike.
Spike's residence, outside of Needles, California, was likely influenced by the few years (1928 – 1930) that the Schulz family lived there; they had moved to Needles to join other family members who had relocated from Minnesota to tend to an ill cousin.
Schulz was also shy and withdrawn.
Schulz's "Little Red-Haired Girl" was Donna Johnson, an Art Instruction Schools accountant with whom he had a relationship. She rejected his marriage proposal, but remained a friend for the rest of his life.
Linus and Shermy were both named for good friends of his (Linus Maurer and Sherman Plepler, respectively).
Lucy was inspired by Joyce Halverson, his first wife.
Peppermint Patty was inspired by Patricia Swanson, one of his cousins on his mother's side.
Schulz moved briefly to Colorado Springs, Colorado. He painted a wall in that home for his daughter Meredith, featuring Patty, Charlie Brown and Snoopy. The wall was removed in 2001 and donated to the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California. The restored artwork by Schulz is printed in the paperback edition of Chip Kidd's book Peanuts: The Art of Charles M. Schulz.
Schulz's family returned to Minneapolis and stayed until 1958. They then moved to Sebastopol, California, where Schulz built his first studio. It was here that Schulz was interviewed for the unaired television documentary A Boy Named Charlie Brown. Some of the footage was eventually used in a later documentary titled Charlie Brown and Charles Schulz. The original documentary is available on DVD from The Charles M. Schulz Museum.
Schulz's father died while visiting him in 1966, the same year his Sebastopol studio burned down. By 1969, Schulz had moved to Santa Rosa, California, where he lived and worked for more than 30 years.
Schulz had a long association with ice sports, as both figure skating and ice hockey featured prominently in his cartoons. In Santa Rosa, he was the owner of the Redwood Empire Ice Arena, which opened in 1969. Schulz's daughter Amy served as a model for the figure skating in the 1980 television special She's a Good Skate, Charlie Brown. Schulz also was very active in Senior Ice Hockey tournaments; in 1975, he formed Snoopy's Senior World Hockey Tournament at his Redwood Empire Ice Arena, and in 1981, Schulz was awarded the Lester Patrick Trophy for outstanding service to the sport of hockey in the United States. In 1998, he hosted the 1st ever Over 75 Hockey Tournament (although goalies could be younger - 60). In 2001, Saint Paul renamed The Highland Park Ice Arena the "Charles Schulz Arena" in his honor.
Schulz died in Santa Rosa of complications from colon cancer at 9:45 p.m. on February 12, 2000, at age 77. He was interred in Pleasant Hills Cemetery in Sebastopol.
The last original strip ran the day after his death. In it, a statement was included from Schulz that his family wished for the strip to end when he was no longer able to produce it. Schulz had previously predicted that the strip would outlive him, with his reason being that comic strips are usually drawn weeks before their publication. As part of his will, Schulz had requested that the Peanuts characters remain as authentic as possible and that no new comic strips based on them be drawn. United Features has legal ownership of the strip, but his wishes have been honored, although reruns of the strip are still being syndicated to newspapers. New television specials have also been produced since Schulz's death, but the stories are based on previous strips.
Schulz had been asked if, for his final Peanuts strip, Charlie Brown would finally get to kick that football after so many decades. His response: "Oh, no! Definitely not! I couldn't have Charlie Brown kick that football; that would be a terrible disservice to him after nearly half a century."
He was honored on May 27, 2000, by cartoonists of 42 comic strips paying homage to him and Peanuts.
Schulz touched on religious themes in his work, including the classic television cartoon, A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965), which features the character Linus van Pelt quoting the King James Version of the Bible Luke 2:8-14 to explain "what Christmas is all about." In personal interviews Schulz mentioned that Linus represented his spiritual side.
Schulz, reared in the Lutheran faith, had been active in the Church of God (Anderson) as a young adult and then later taught Sunday school at a United Methodist Church. But, he remained a member of the Church of God (Anderson) until his death.
I am dedicating this page to all the Charlie Browns on this earth!! C'mon Charlie Brown - let's go play!