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News in Youth Services

Monday, October 23, 2017

Peanuts comics first newspaper appearance 1950

My favorite comic of all time has been  Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz.  Every Sunday when our newspaper arrived, I would tear through it looking for the comics section (the Sunday comics are always in color!).  There on the first page was the latest adventures of Charlie Brown and Snoopy!  Peanuts was first published in 1950 (no, I was not born then!) and continued until February, 2000, when Schulz had to retire due to failing health.  It is one of the most popular and influential comics strips in our history and continues on today in reruns for other generations to fall in love with Snoopy and the gang.

Very first Peanuts comic strip
The strip focuses entirely on a group of young friends in a world where adults exist but are rarely seen or heard (and if you hear them, you definitely cannot understand them). Charlie Brown, the main character, is a meek boy who is nervous and lacks self-confidence.  It first features Charlie Brown, Patty (not Peppermint Patty) and Shermy.  Snoopy came to life in the third strip. 

The 1960's is known as the "golden age" for Peanuts with its characters' interactions forming a tangle of relationships.  Some of the most well-know characters appeared such during this time, such as Peppermint Patty, Snoopy as the "World War One Flying Ace, Frieda and her "naturally curly hair, and Franklin (Violet, Schroeder, Lucy, Linus, Pig-Pen, and Sally were introduced in the 1950's).  Marcie and Woodstock were introduced in the 1970s.  Interestingly, Snoopy's best friend was introduced in 1967, but was not given the name of Woodstock until 1970.

Also during this period, the cartoon television specials were created.  Two of them won or were nominated for Emmy Awards - A Charlie Brown Christmas and It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.  The Peanuts holiday special is still seen through the holiday season on ABC.  In 2015, a computer-animated feature film based on the strip, The Peanuts Movie, was released in theaters.  People of all generations like this movie, so much so that at the library the DVD can be found in the adult and children's departments.

Charles M. Schulz drew the strip for nearly 50 years, all by himself.  He did not want assistants.  He never liked the title Peanuts.  He said, "It's totally ridiculous, has no meaning, is simply confusing and has no dignity-and I think my humor has dignity."  Because of his dislike for the title Peanuts, the books that he published containing his strips were titled either Charlie Brown or Snoopy. Books featuring the gang are found both in Youth Services and the Adult departments.  Youth Services has picture books, easy readers and graphic novels featuring Charlie Brown, Snoopy and friends.  Plus you will find a lot of DVDs featuring the whole crew.  So check out the Peanuts gang and I think you will enjoy them as I much as I do.  I leave you with these words from Charles M. Schulz:

Charles M. Schulz biographies 
Peanuts books

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