Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Charles Monroe Schulz-Creator of Peanuts(Post_03)


Biographies have been written about Schulz, including Rheta Grimsley Johnson's  Good Grief: The Story of Charles M. Schulz (1989), which was authorized by Schulz.
The lengthiest biography, Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography by David Michaelis (2007), has been heavily criticized by the Schulz family, with son Monte stating it has "a number of factual errors throughout... [including] factual errors of interpretation" and extensively documenting these errors in a number of essays; for his part, Michaelis maintains that there is "no question" his work is accurate. Although cartoonist Bill Watterson (creator of Calvin & Hobbes) feels that the biography does justice to Schulz's legacy, while giving insight into the emotional impetus of the creation of the strips, cartoonist and critic R.C. Harvey regards the book as falling short both in describing Schulz as a cartoonist and in fulfilling Michaelis' stated aim of "understanding how Charles Schulz knew the world", feeling the biography bends the facts to a thesis rather than evoking a thesis from the facts. A review of Michaelis' biography by Dan Shanahan in the American Book Review (vol 29, no. 6) faults the biography not for factual errors, but for "a predisposition" to finding problems in Schulz's life to explain his art, regardless of how little the material lends itself to Michaelis' interpretations. Shanahan cites, in particular, such things as Michaelis' crude characterizations of Schulz's mother's family, and "an almost voyeuristic quality" to the hundred pages devoted to the breakup of Schulz's first marriage.
In light of David Michaelis' biography and the controversy surrounding his interpretation of the personality that was Charles Schulz, responses from his family reveal some intimate knowledge about the Schulz's persona beyond that of mere artist.


Peanuts ran for nearly 50 years, almost without interruption; during the life of the strip, Schulz took only one vacation, a five-week break in late 1997. At its peak, Peanuts appeared in more than 2,600 newspapers in 75 countries. Schulz stated that his routine every morning consisted of eating a jelly donut and sitting down to write the day's strip. After coming up with an idea (which he said could take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours), he began drawing it, which took about an hour for dailies and three hours for Sunday strips. He stubbornly refused to hire an inker or letterer, saying that "it would be equivalent to a golfer hiring a man to make his putts for him." In November 1999 Schulz suffered a stroke, and later it was discovered that he had colon cancer that had metastasized. Because of the chemotherapy and the fact he could not read or see clearly, he announced his retirement on December 14, 1999. This was difficult for Schulz, and he was quoted as saying to Al Roker on The Today Show, "I never dreamed that this would happen to me. I always had the feeling that I would stay with the strip until I was in my early eighties, or something like that. But all of sudden it's gone. I did not take it away. This has been taken away from me."[cite this quote]In his later years, Schulz also suffered from Parkinson's Disease. As a result, he experienced hand tremors that made his linework shaky. He admitted that the tremors sometimes were so bad that while working, he had to hold onto the side of his desk with one hand to steady himself.
Charles Monroe Schulz died in his sleep at home at around 9:45 pm on February 12, 2000. The last original Peanuts strip was published the very next day, on Sunday, February 13, 2000, just hours after his death the night before. Schulz was buried at Pleasant Hills Cemetery in Sebastopol, California.
Schulz indicated that his family wished for the strip to end when he was no longer able to produce it. Schulz had previously predicted that the strip would outlive him, with his reason being that comic strips are usually drawn weeks before their publication. As part of his will, Schulz had requested that the Peanuts characters remain as authentic as possible and that no new comic strips based on them be drawn. United Features had legal ownership of the strip, but honored his wishes, instead syndicating reruns of the strip to newspapers. New television specials have also been produced since Schulz's death, but the stories are based on previous strips.
Schulz had been asked if, for his final Peanuts strip, Charlie Brown would finally get to kick that football after so many decades. His response: "Oh, no! Definitely not! I couldn't have Charlie Brown kick that football; that would be a terrible disservice to him after nearly half a century." Yet, in a December 1999 interview, holding back tears, he recounted the moment when he signed the panel of his final strip, saying, “All of a sudden I thought, 'You know, that poor, poor kid, he never even got to kick the football. What a dirty trick — he never had a chance to kick the football!'”
He was posthumously honored on May 27, 2000, by cartoonists of more than 100 comic strips paying homage to him and Peanuts.Continue Next Post..... :)



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