The Creator of Charlie Brown.
The Peanuts comic strip by Charles Schulz is the most popular comic strip ever. People all over the world love Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the other Peanuts characters. Years ago, I talked with Charles Schulz at his studio in Santa Rosa, California.
Jan Black: How did you become a cartoonist?
Charles Schulz: I'm one of those fortunate people who knew what he wanted to do, ever since I was a little kid. I always read every comic strip that was printed. I had this ambition to draw a comic strip and, fortunately, I did.
Jan: Did you create Peanuts to entertain children or adults?
Charles: All you can do is draw what you think is funny. Entertain yourself. Draw what you like yourself and then hope that as many people as possible will like it.
Jan: How would you describe Charlie Brown?
Charles: Charlie Brown is a very nice little kid. He's the sort of boy I would have loved to have had as a neighbor when I was small. He wants to play baseball and enjoy himself.
Jan: Who inspired Snoopy the dog?
Charles: I had a dog named Spike. He had a spot on his back and a great personality. I would say that Snoopy was patterned after this dog. But in the comic strip, Snoopy became almost not a dog. He walked around on his hind legs, so I think he left my dog, Spike, behind!
Jan: How is the Peanuts comic strip different from other cartoons?
Charles: What has made Peanuts different is that it's drawn in a simple style, which is difficult to do. I think the expressions are very important. People should be able to recognize immediately what the character is thinking or worrying about.
Jan: What's your advice for a young person who wants to be a cartoonist?
Charles: You have to draw something every day. You have to sit down with a blank piece of paper and think of something funny to draw. Take some drawing classes, learn how to letter properly, and just be patient!
by Jan Black