Peanuts (comics)



Peanuts header 1952
Peanuts header from the first Sunday strip (January 6, 1952)

Strip title: "Peanuts"

Category: Comics

Genres: Gag-a-day, Humor, Satire

Author: Written and illustrated by Charles M. Schulz

Country of origin: USA

First format: Daily strip on newspapers

First issues: October 2, 1950 (dailies) - January 6, 1952 (Sundays)

Last issues: January 3, 2000 (dailies) - February 13, 2000 (Sundays)

First editor: United Feature Syndicate

Main characters (in order of appearance):
FIRST CAST
--- Charlie Brown, first appearance on October 2, 1950. Charlie Brown is the lovable loser who never gives up (even though he almost never wins), and can’t muster the courage to talk to the Little Red-Haired girl.
--- Shermy, first appearance on October 2, 1950. Shermy originally served as Charlie Brown's closest friend, until Linus replaced him in this role.
--- Patty, first appearance on October 2, 1950. Patty (often confused with Peppermint Patty, see below) has a love interest of Charlie Brown.
--- Snoopy, first appearance on October 4, 1950. Snoopy is Charlie Brown's pet dog, an imaginative, master of disguise, poor writer beagle.
SECOND CAST
--- Charlie Brown (see above)
--- Snoopy (see above)
--- Violet Gray, first appearance on February 7, 1951. Violet Gray has a love interest of Charlie Brown. She was initially a major character, until she began to fade into the background.
--- Schroeder, first appearance on May 30, 1951. Schroeder is a musical genius, rarely separated from his toy piano; he has a love interest of Lucy.
--- Lucy van Pelt, first appearance on March 3, 1952. Lucy van Pelt is Linus' older sister; crabby and bossy, she can often be found dispensing advice as psychiatrist; Lucy has a love interest of Schroeder.
--- Linus van Pelt, first appearance on September 19, 1952. Linus van Pelt is Lucy's young brother; blanket-clutching philosopher, he has a love interest of Sally.
--- Pig-Pen, first appearance on July 13, 1954. Pig-Pen happily travels in his own private dust storm: he is completely comfortable in his own dust-streaked skin.
--- Sally Brown, first appearance on August 23, 1959. Sally is Charlie Brown's little sister; always on the hunt for answers, she has a love interest of Linus.
--- Woodstock, first appearance on March 17, 1966. Woodstock is Snoopy's sidekick, a fluttering little yellow bird.
--- Peppermint Patty, first appearance on August 22, 1966. Peppermint Patty is a fearless born leader and a natural athlete; she has a love interest of Charlie Brown.
--- Franklin, first appearance on July 31, 1968. Franklin is Charlie Brown's quiet friend and confidant.
--- Marcie, first appearance on July 20, 1971. Marcie is Peppermint Patty’s best friend, loyal follower, and complete opposite; she secretely has a love interest of Charlie Brown.

Features: Schulz's career as a cartoonist reached a milestone with the weekly publication of a panel comic called Li’l Folks, in the St. Paul Pioneer Press newspaper, from June 22, 1947 to January 22, 1950. This panel contained characters and themes which were to reappear in the later strip: in 1950 Schulz sold his Li'l Folks to United Feature Syndicate; due to a conflict with an earlier comic strip that had a similar name, (Tack Knight's Little Folks), before the strip was published the syndicate opted to rename the strip Peanuts. On October 2, 1950, the first Peanuts comic strip debuted in a four-panel format in seven newspapers nationwide: The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, The Allentown Call-Chronicle, The Bethlehem Globe-Times, The Denver Post, and The Seattle Times. On January 6, 1952, Peanuts Sunday comic strips were introduced.

Interesting facts: "Peanuts" was chosen by the United Feature Syndicate, but it was a title Schulz never liked. In a 1987 interview ("The Seattle Times"), Schulz said of the title Peanuts: "It's totally ridiculous, has no meaning, is simply confusing, and has no dignity - and I think my humor has dignity".

Quote (Charles M. Schulz): «A cartoonist is someone who has to draw the same thing day after day without repeating himself».

Property: © United Feature Syndicate, Inc.

Official website: http://www.peanuts.com

Li'l Folks by Charles M. Schulz
Peanuts before Peanuts: Li'l Folks, the weekly comic panel where it all began (this panel was published on October 31, 1948). Published from June 22, 1947 to January 22, 1950, Schulz's Li'l Folks strips are noteworthy for their use of characters and themes that later reappeared in Peanuts: a well-dressed young man with a fondness for Beethoven, a dog with a striking resemblance to Snoopy, and a boy named Charlie Brown, among others. The signature "by Sparky" derived from Schulz nickname: his uncle called him "Sparky" after the horse Spark Plug in Billy DeBeck's comic strip, Barney Google.

First daily strip of Peanuts
Peanuts, first daily strip (October 2, 1950). From left: Charlie Brown, Shermy, and original Patty

First appearance of Snoopy in the Peanuts comic strip
Peanuts, first appearance of Snoopy in the daily strip (October 4, 1950)

First Sunday strip of Peanuts
Peanuts, first Sunday strip (January 6, 1952)

Snoopy birthday
Peanuts, Snoopy celebrates his birthday (August 10, 1968)

Peanuts characters
Peanuts, the complete cast of main characters in the final version.
From left: Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Woodstock, Lucy, Linus, Sally, Schroeder, Pig-Pen, Franklin, Peppermint Patty, Marcie.

Peanuts' last strip ever
Peanuts, the last strip ever (February 13, 2000), published on the Sunday strip a day after the death of Charles M. Schulz: «Dear friends, I have been fortunate to draw Charlie Brown and his friends for almost 50 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 Schulz
Charles Monroe Schulz
(Minneapolis, Nov. 26, 1922 - Santa Rosa, Feb. 12, 2000), the cartoonist who created the Peanuts

Peanuts 65th anniversary 2015
Peanuts celebrate their 65th Anniversary (1950-2015) with a special exhibition at the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California.