Cartoonist Ivan Brunetti:
Charles Schulz exposed me as a fraud. Nearly two decades ago, upon hearing of Mr. Schulz’s impending retirement, I drew a clumsy comic strip tribute to Peanuts, fancying myself a halfway-decent mimic. I attempted to copy the strong, fluid lines of his mid-’50s work, which I long admired (idolized), but I quickly realized that I was going to fall far short. I could only scratch the surface of his inimitable drawings—as natural as handwriting, but even harder to forge—much less the emotional content he could pack into every molecule of ink.
above: the cover of Schizo #4 (2006)
The genius of Peanuts is that it seems simple, replicable. But simplicity and complexity are arbitrary categories; where is the a priori boundary that separates one from the other? The true undergirding of lasting works of art is the embrace of contradictions, and Peanuts is no exception: it is at once universal and idiosyncratic, miniature and vast, constrained and infinite, composed and improvised, claustrophobic and inviting, caustic and sentimental, funny and sad.
Another essay from The Peanuts Papers: Writers and Cartoonists on Charlie Brown, Snoopy & the Gang, and the Meaning of Life. Published October 22, 2019, by Library of America.