Schulz's Beethoven: Schroeder's Muse
page 147 of 156

Charles Schulz
Peanuts •  11/05/1951

On Creativity - Part 1

How did Charles Schulz create the characters who became so beloved and who speak to our fears and joys and make us laugh at ourselves as well as at their antics? Schulz -known by his nickname "Sparky" to family and friends -himself couldn't describe it, but we do know that it came from a keen observation of everyday events that passed through the extraordinary filter that is the artist's sensibility.

There is a dramatic contrast between the first few years of Peanuts and how the strip changed after six or seven years. The first years were filled with children making mud pies, building forts, playing Davy Crockett, creating single-gender "cluby-ness," riding in wagons, skating, etc. In other words, a series of jokes based on the activities of small children. We recognize these traditional "kid jokes" - like wearing clothes that are too big (see the strip from November 5, 1951, for example) - but even in the early strips readers spotted the differences between a Peanuts strip and its predecessors.

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