Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography

Melancholy.

That seems to sum up Charles Schulz’s life in one word. For a man known as “Sparky” who created so much joy for millions through Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Woodstock, Lucy, Linus and the gang, he himself was never very happy.

This book covers the cartoonist’s whole life, loves (yes, including an unattainable little red-haired girl), highs, lows and all.

There really is a sadness to his life that comes through this book. It grounds him and gives the reader sympathy for him, but it’s an unrelenting sadness that makes sometimes makes for difficult reading. I guess that means it was true to his life – although some of Schulz’s kids apparently have taken issue with his portrayal in the book.

But back to Peanuts – you’ll learn how he encountered not one but three Charlie Browns in his life, one Linus, and a dog named Snupi. And a little person at his work that seems to be the inspiration for the iconic look of his characters.

Toward the end, Sparky may have found if not happiness at least some measure of contentment. But it didn’t last as cancer quickly took his life.

Peppered with comic strips (some duplicates too, oddly), this is an enlightening read.

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