Sunday, October 14, 2007

Watterson on Schultz

A new biography on Peanuts creator Charles Schultz called Schultz and Peanuts is due out this month. The Schultz family is apparently none too happy of the portrayal of Charlie Brown's dad as a melancholy, depressed womanizer. One of his contemporaries begs to differ, however. Bill Watterson wrote a pretty good article for the Wall Street Journal about the book:
"It's a strange and interesting story, and Mr. Michaelis, the author of a 1998 biography of artist N.C. Wyeth, paces the narrative well, offering many insights and surprising events from Schulz's life. Undoubtedly the most fascinating part of the book is the juxtaposition of biographical information and reproduced "Peanuts" strips. Here we see how literally Schulz sometimes depicted actual situations and events. The strips used as illustrations in "Schulz and Peanuts" are reproduced at eye-straining reduction and are often removed from the context of their stories, but they vividly demonstrate how Schulz used his cartoons to work through private concerns. We discover, for example, that in the recurring scenes of Lucy annoying Schroeder at the piano, the crabby and bossy Lucy stands in for Joyce, and the obsessive and talented Schroeder is a surrogate for Schulz."
Check out the article here. Good stuff. Thanks Neil!