by Michael Vance & Jon Suter
Good Grief. Aaargh! You're a good man, (fill in the blank).
Its unimaginable that you can't fill in the blank.
Of course, he isn't a good man, but Charlie Brown is one of the most popular and beloved comic strip characters in the world.
Charles Schulz had only sold several gag cartoons before Peanuts began in a handful of newspapers on October 2, 1950. He had wanted to title it L'il Folks. It would renew the popularity of humor in strips, change their size, and make thousands of readers believe they could 'doodle' just as well as he.
A football jerked away just before it's kicked, Snoopy's wild daydreams, Charlie's kite 'eating' tree, Pigpen's perpetual dust cloud and many more events in the lives of these little folks have become American icons. But they, alone, aren't what make Schulz world-without-adults so compelling.
Peanuts' gentle humor springs naturally from children with fully developed personalities, histories and faults. Since we were all children, we see ourselves in Linus, Lucy, Sally and even Snoopy.
In particular, Charlie Brown is us at our most vulnerable, seeking a niche in society that we know we don't deserve and can't earn.
Although one of the most marketed characters in comics, Charlie Brown's appearances in comic books have been few. They Include Fritzi Ritz (Dell, '53--), Nancy & Sluggo (Dell,'57), Tip Top (Dell,'50s), Tip Topper (UFS, #26), United Comics (UFS,'50s) and Peanuts (Dell, 4-Color, various issues,'58-64).
Peanuts has probably appeared in over a thousand forms, including toys, animation, clothing and soft and hardbound reprint volumes. Holt, Rinehart & Winston alone has released many such editions, Including, Peanuts, More Peanuts, Good Grief-More Peanuts, Good 0l' Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the Peanuts Treasury.
Charles Schulz work is genius, and highly recommended. Published over many years, these seminal works may be difficult to locate. Price guides or comics dealers will help. Comic shops, mail order companies, trade journals and comics conventions are your best sources.
Prices vary; shop around.
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