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Secret love letters from Charles Schulz heading to auction

Love letters and notes by Sparky

If you’ve read the “Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography”, it’s not a surprise to learn that Charles Schulz, creator of the beloved Peanuts comic strip had an extramarital affair while married to his first wife. The are several media stories now that report 44 love letters and original drawings by Sparky to his mistress Tracey Claudius are going to auction. The letters offer insight into the relationship and some speculate that some details of the relationship are found in Peanuts strips of that time period.

From The Daily Mail:

As for the letters, there are 44 letters totaling 56 pages, including 22 original drawings of some of the characters, primarily Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Lucy. Many are signed ‘Sparky,’ Schulz nickname.
Sotheby’s says it’s the most significant collection of correspondence and drawings by Schulz to come to auction.
The rare letters reveal insight into his love affair, which in hindsight he was flaunting in his comic strip.

Sparky divorced his first wife in 1972 and remarried Jean in 1973.

Community Comments

#1 angelo sherman
December/5/2012
@ 12:01 pm

..and I thought it was Lucy.

#2 Daniel Boris
December/5/2012
@ 12:28 pm

…and I thought the only dog in the strip was Snoopy. Zing!

#3 Mike Cope
December/5/2012
@ 12:46 pm

Quote from the article… “Claudius, who is ill and living outside Philadelphia.”

I’m sorry to hear about her illness, but I’m even sorrier to hear that these love letters need to be auctioned like this. Mmm.. Nothing like some stale Peanuts love letters.

#4 Donald Rex Jr.
December/5/2012
@ 3:52 pm

I would love to own those letters, but I guess I have the same chance to own a Watterson original.

#5 David Jones
December/5/2012
@ 4:12 pm

Good grief….

#6 Mark Mason
December/5/2012
@ 10:30 pm

I don’t own a Watterson original, but I do have a letter in which he responded to questions I had about comic strips, character development, submission package, etc. I mailed it c/o his syndicate and I was floored when I got a response! I value that letter more than I would any love letters that Schulz wrote.

#7 Mike Peterson
December/6/2012
@ 5:37 am

I’d like to see some copies and run dates of the strips cited. Methinks this is like North Korea and China accepting the Onion as a legitimate news source.

The impending “death of newspapers” shouldn’t also mean the death of news judgment and Journalism 101.

#8 Joel Robinson
December/6/2012
@ 7:35 pm

That link from the Alexandra Petri Washington Post blog is a joke, and Daily Mail cites it as their source so we can safely conclude these strips do not exist.
Case in point:
?The one where the Great Pumpkin shows up and it?s just a beautifully rendered drawing of Tracey Claudius?s face.

#9 Donald Rex Jr.
December/6/2012
@ 11:52 pm

The Complete Peanuts 1971-1974 is easily had for about thirty bucks, or better yet try the library if interested.

I read the Daily Mail post and I think I remember most of those examples.

Alexandra Petri’s post is clearly satire.

#10 Mark_Tatulli
December/7/2012
@ 8:45 am

There is something incredibly gross about selling or wanting to buy the mash notes of a middle-aged man to a woman half his age, Charles Schulz or anyone else.

#11 Mike Lester
December/7/2012
@ 9:01 am

A pregnant woman threw up in London recently and major news organizations raced to cover it, so prurient interest in the sex life of a beloved famous passed on cartoonist might be gross but it’s not surprising. That a 47 year old comic strip is still printed in the paper is surprising.

#12 Donald Rex Jr.
December/7/2012
@ 10:30 am

Yeah, being human and old is totally gross.

#13 Joe Engesser
December/7/2012
@ 2:31 pm

‘You’re Not Perfect, Charlie Brown!’ Still the best strip running!

#14 Mark Tatulli
December/9/2012
@ 1:29 am

Really, Donald? Are you just pretending to be that stupid?

#15 Donald Rex Jr.
December/9/2012
@ 9:19 am

Actually Mark, I was lampooning the youthful arrogance reflected in your post. Collecting the correspondence of deceaced artists has value to people for many reasons, from historical to monetary.

It seems clear that you don’t know what a mash note is; an unsolicited proposition, which in this case would be more valuable monetarily to collector than the simple letters of romantic feeling and intent described.

I guess it will be totally gross for you to fall in love or have sex after you reach ‘middle age.’ Sad for you Mark.

#16 Mark_Tatulli
December/9/2012
@ 11:36 am

Ah, Donald, I see you aren’t pretending. My mistake.

#17 Donald Rex Jr.
December/9/2012
@ 2:55 pm

Gee, what is your pretence Mark? I may be stupid to bate mean or illiterate posts, but at least I am not obscure.

#18 John Sanford
December/11/2012
@ 7:37 pm

Almost every strip about dating and longing that Schulz did in the 70’s is suddenly even more profound then ever. PLEASE, someone, make a book out of these.

#19 Joe Engesser
December/12/2012
@ 10:28 am

I find Lio’s mash notes to Eva Rose delightfully grotesque and more worthwhile. Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!

#20 John Read
December/18/2012
@ 9:51 am

Mark, obviously most people agree with you (since the letters didn’t find a bidder):
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/reliable-source/post/in-other-news-your-love-letters-are-worthless-charlie-brown/2012/12/15/78a4a82e-46e6-11e2-9648-a2c323a991d6_blog.html

#21 Donald Rex Jr.
January/11/2013
@ 12:15 am

Hey Mark Tatulli if I had known you are a crappy cartoonist I would have been mean in my posts here rather than condesending. Name calling is not witty but I can respect anyone’s opinion; though perhaps this post is evidence you were not wrong.

Because I have percieved your work is well liked on this board I have to confess I’ve never seen your work. My assumption that your work MUST be crappy is only based on my understanding that it is currently published in the newspaper; I may easily be mistaken.

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