Past Entertainment Articles.

Article for the week of 10/24/07

The secrets of Charles M. Schulz
By, Cozmic

“Peanuts” creator Charles M. Schulz had more than a few secrets, something not easily believed when one views the life of the cartoonist, but we here at RPP have always been fond of how we excel at investigative reporting, and that man I met in the alley by the trash-container certainly would not lie. It is known that Schulz was rather shy and withdrawn when he was a child. People have attributed this to him being the youngest in his class, due to skipping grades, but the truth is Schulz did not want anyone to know about the secret and forbidden rituals he was trying to learn, in order to raise a giant pumpkin that would let him conquer the world, the moon, and also have the coolest Halloween-decoration on the street. And yes, this was before the whole role-playing games thing happened and every kid started tying to summon horrible beasts in their basement (those imps are a pain to try and chat with, by the way). However, he did not entirely hide this fact, as is evidenced by the non-appearance of the Great Pumpkin in the comic, mirroring his failure in real life. There is a lot of his disappointment in his work, for instance when he always failed to make his house fly and go back to WW I and fight the Red Baron, something ancient and evil rituals simply were unable to let him do.
They did, however, let him get really good at drawing all sorts of weird lines, which would allow him to work as an art instructor after a quick go at fighting Germans and hiding Nazi gold everywhere.
Another little known fact is that Schulz's first comic, “Li'l Folks” was actually based on people he knew and kept locked up in his basement until they provided him with material. Since he only did a strip a week, this was, he considered, an efficient way of working. Of the “Li'l hostages” themselves, only the dog that looked a lot like Snoopy refrained from loudly objecting until Schulz picked up the hose. However, after two years, the water bills were getting too expensive and Schulz abandoned the idea, killing it off by requesting a pay-raise and to be moved to the actual comic-section of the paper he was published in, opting instead to start a brand new strip. That a lot of the characters were mixes of Schulz's own terrible past and those of his old characters was merely to be expected.
For instance, Linus is largely an example of the author's spiritual side, albeit not the one that tried to summon giant pumpkins to rule the world, while Charlie Brown represents the melancholy he used to hide himself behind, the unseen “little red-haired girl” was inspired by the woman he never won, and of course the inability of the baseball team to ever win a game was inspired by the fact that Schulz's first wife simply could not ever get past first base quick enough. This can all be taken to prove that while many artists use their real life as inspiration for what they do, Charles M Schulz might have perhaps gone a bit overboard, and then tried to swim as far away from the ship as possible while he was at it.

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