Q&A with Jill Schulz about Peanuts 60th anniversary and more
Jill Schulz, daughter of Charles Schulz, talked to The Oklahoman about the Peanuts comic strip and the plans for the 60th anniversary.
Matt Price: What do you think accounts for the enduring popularity of the Charlie Brown characters?
Jill Schulz: My Dad was a great observer of people throughout his entire life and I know he had great empathy for children and how cruel they can be to each other on the playgrounds and neighborhoods. I know my Dad had a great understanding and very clear memories of what it is like learning to fit in and negotiate social interaction even as a child, which is something we all go through whether we were a very shy child or the leader of the group. In the comic strip we are always seeing the challenges between the characters, their personalities ,and situations which are so familiar to us all, it gives us a chance to relate and say “oh, yeah, my sister is crabby” or “yes, I feel alone at lunch time,” … and of course who doesn’t experience the Little Red Haired girl or some other kind of rejection in their lifetime. These are issues that have been and will always be there for everyone ,which I believe is why Peanuts has become such a timeless strip for all of our generations.
MP: What kind of events are planned for the 60th anniversary?
JS: Because my Dad created over 18,000 comic strips touching on so many themes and covering every season of the year—from Charlie Brown’s lovelorn Valentine’s Day to Snoopy as the Easter Beagle, from baseball season to Peppermint Patty’s dread at the beginning of the school year, from Linus and the Great Pumpkin right through Christmas and Charlie Brown’s pathetic little tree—we decided to celebrate for a full year. We’ve kicked things off with the look-a-like contest this fall. We’re also celebrating at various baseball stadiums around the country. Earlier this month, we celebrated with The Mets at Citifield. Next spring, we have stadium events planned with the Twins, the Giants and the Angels. In November, the Gaylord Opryland Resort will unveil ICE! A Charlie Brown Christmas, which is a colorful, interactive ice sculpture experience. My Dad’s beloved story will be told with two million pounds of ice!
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