Posted by Tessa Heywood
On 2nd October 1950 “Peanuts”, the comic strip created by Charles M. Schulz, was published for the first time in seven newspapers. This successful cartoon continued until 13th February 2000, the day after Schulz died.
An incredible 17,897 strips were published in all, and at its peak, Peanuts ran in over 2,600 newspapers, with a readership of 355 million in 75 countries, and was translated into 21 languages. It helped to cement the four-panel gag strip as the standard in the United States ,and together with its merchandise earned Schulz more than $1 billion. reprints of the strip are still syndicated and run in almost every U.S. newspaper.
Charles “Charlie” Brown (occasionally called Chuck by certain characters) is the main character. He is a lovable loser, a child possessed of endless determination and hope, but who is ultimately dominated by his insecurities and a “permanent case of bad luck”. He is often taken advantage of by his peers.
In early 1988, Schulz abandoned the four-panel format in favor of three-panel dailies and occasionally used the entire length of the strip as one panel, partly for experimentation, but also to combat the dwindling size of the comics page.
If ever there is an iconic comic strip, it is Peanuts which has developed into an enduring classic. Whether you’re pernickety like Lucy, a philosopher like Linus, a joyous Flying Ace like Snoopy, or a lovable underdog like Charlie Brown, there is something to touch your heart or make you laugh, whoever you are, in Peanuts.