More Coverage of Peanuts’ London Exhibit

Apollo Magazine muses on the “genius” of Charles Schulz as it uncovers more details on the Peanuts Exhibit running through March at Somerset House in London.

From the piece:

The final section of the exhibition looks at the treatment of particular themes in Peanuts. Lucy –  ‘the most terrifying character in the history of comics’, according to the journalist Christopher Caldwell – and the no-nonsense Peppermint Patty are presented as examples of Schulz’s unshowy feminism; Franklin, a new friend for Charlie Brown, who in 1968 became the first African American to appear in a mainstream American comic, as evidence of his engagement with civil rights.

2 thoughts on “More Coverage of Peanuts’ London Exhibit

  1. I doubt that Franklin was literally the “first African-American to appear in a mainstream comic,” but he probably was the first who (a) was an ongoing character and (b) who was depicted as a normal person and not some exotic, ignorant, grotesque buffoon with clownish features and diction.

    And there were a lot of African (as opposed to African-American) characters in things like THE KATZENJAMMER KIDS (set in Africa, with frequent appearances of natives, though I don’t recall if any were continuing, named characters — the local chief may have been) and in adventure strips like TARZAN or THE PHANTOM (where they were still treated as exotic, but generally were exotic menaces rather than exotic clowns).

Comments are closed.