Charles Schulz, the creator of 'Peanuts', is one of the most popular and influential humorist comic artists ever. After he fought in Europe in the second World War, he started drawing the comic 'L'il Folks', a precursor of 'Peanuts'. Soon the United Feature Syndicate bought his stories and sold them to many newspapers. Then it was renamed 'Peanuts' (1950). The main characters are the melancholy Charlie Brown and his clever dog Snoopy, who live in a suburb together with other kids who all have their peculiar personalities.
"Let's get out of here... this gives me the chills!"
Umberto Eco described 'Peanuts' in an introduction of a book:
"These children affect us because they're monsters. They are the monstrous, infantile reductions of all the neuroses of modern citizens of the industrial civilization."
The most successful comic strip in newspaper history, 'Peanuts' appeared in some 2,600 newspaper in 75 countries and was translated into 21 languages. United Feature Syndicate started the strip in syndication on October 2, 1950. 'Peanuts' has sold more than 300 million copies worldwide.
Schulz was still working on new material between golf-matches until he retired at the beginning of the new millennium. He died of complications due to colon cancer at the age of 77 in Santa Rosa, California on February 12, 2000. He will be missed, but his lovable comic characters will live on in our memories.
An early Peanuts, by Charles Schulz
On June 7, 2001, Charles Schulz was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor in the United States.