My son recently took out a book from the library on Charles M. Schulz, the creator of Charlie Brown. The book was written a number of years ago and, is a reflective look on the previous 35 years of his comic strip called “Peanuts”.
Charlie Brown was one of my favorite comic strips when I was a kid, it was always the key section to grab, when the newspaper landed upon your doorstep-the big race for who got to the comics first.
The book my son borrowed is interesting, as like the original cartoons, they give you an unusual glimpse into what makes Schulz tick.
What I found fascinating, was when Charles told of being “discovered” on his first day of kindergarten; his teacher gave them huge sheets of white paper and large black crayons, and they spent the morning drawing. When she came around to look at the pictures that each of them created, she said: “Charles, you are going to be an artist.”
It was an amazing gift, that this teacher discovered and encouraged at such a young and vulnerable age. What if his teacher had been critical and condemned the work that he created that day?
What would have happened if Charles hadn’t had the courage to do what he loved to do? I wondered where would the world be without Charlie Brown. What specials would we watch at Christmas? What comic strips could possibly take the place of the endearing and wise Charlie Brown and his love and hate relationship with Lucy? Where would Snoopy the dog live?
I think the reason that cartoon figures are so popular, is that they often define feelings that are difficult for us to express ourselves. I loved Charles’ definition of a cartoonist: “A cartoonist is someone who has to draw the same thing day after day after day without repeating himself.”
I wonder what it would look like if we handled our lives and careers with that approach.
You’re a good man Charlie Brown…
Along the road with you…