Sparky Schulz Centennial Celebration – July Notes

Later this year will be the 100th anniversary of Charles M. Schulz’s birthday.

AP photo

“Peanuts” was America’s favorite comic strip. At its peak, there were 100 million readers each day.

Charles Schulz drew it for almost 50 years, through the relatively complacent but anxious Cold War 1950s, the tumultuous 1960s, the Vietnam War, the civil rights movement and the rise of feminism.

Blake Scott Ball, educated at the University of Alabama and now an assistant professor of history at Huntingdon College, has done a thorough and graceful job of showing how the comic strip “Peanuts” generally reflected the shifting issues and concerns in American society and only on rare occasions got ever so slightly out in front.

Don Noble, for The Tuscaloosa News, reviews Charlie Brown’s America.


Franklin Armstrong and Robb Armstrong


The cartoonist behind JumpStart received a phone call one day in 1994 from his friend, Peanuts creator Charles Schulz. He was working on a new special, You’re in the Super Bowl, Charlie Brown, and realized he was in a pickle.

“‘There’s a portion of the footage where Charlie Brown and all his friends are being announced over a PA system. And the announcer says, ‘And now coming to the field … Charlie Brown, Linus Van Pelt,’ and then it comes to this point when Franklin’s gotta run out,'” Armstrong remembers Schulz saying. “‘And that’s when I realized that the character had been done a great disservice,'” Armstrong recalls Schulz adding.

It turned out that since Franklin’s debut in 1968, Schulz had never given him a last name. And he was calling to ask Armstrong a favor: Would he allow Schulz to give Franklin his last name?

Matt Keeley, for Newsweek, talks to Robb Armstrong about Franklin and The Armstrong Project.


Celebrating Sparky at The Billy Ireland

It’s Charles Schulz’s 100th birthday, Charlie Brown!

The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum is featuring an exhibit on the Peanuts creator titled “Celebrating Sparky.” Sparky was the nickname Schulz was known as by his friends, family and colleagues.

Lucy Shelton Caswell, the founding curator of the Billy Ireland museum, curated the exhibit around actual quotations from Schulz himself, who died in 2000.

“Celebrating Sparky” has more than 70 high-resolution images of pieces from the museum in Santa Rosa. This type of exhibit is called “fabricate on site.” This allowed Caswell to exhibit the first three editions of Peanuts that were published while the same editions are on exhibit in Santa Rosa.

“It’s a really wonderful use of technology,” Caswell said. “I think that really strengthens our exhibition… I think that it’s very exciting to have been able to work with folks in Santa Rosa, to obtain all these things.”

David Kwiatkowski and The Columbus Dispatch detail the exhibit.

The Billy Ireland Library and Museum and The Charles M. Schulz Museum team up again…

… via Zoomfor a pictorial journey through Charles M. Schulz’s life and career and learn why Peanuts is one of the most popular and influential comic strips ever. This live, interactive experience includes a hands-on, how-to-draw Snoopy workshop at the end (you will need paper, a pencil, an eraser, and your imagination to draw along).

Details at The Billy Ireland.


Peanuts San Diego Comic-Con 2022 Exclusives

The SDCC blog says there will be exclusives at the Peanuts booth:

Peanuts Worldwide is heading to Booth #1635 on the show floor, to celebrate the centennial year of Charles Schulz. They’ll be honoring his spirit with their initiative “Take Care With Peanuts”, which focuses on good global citizenship that draws directly from Schulz’s comic strips for its three pillars: Take Care of Yourself. Take Care of Each Other. Take Care of the Earth.


[W]e’ll have to stay tuned for a look at this year’s exclusives.

There will be exclusives, they just don’t know what it will be.


Barney Google’s Spark Plug was introduced to the world the same year as Sparky Schulz – 1922. The race horse a few months before the cartoonist. Here is Spark Plug as he appeared on Sparky’s birthday, November 26, 1922.


Peanuts and characters © Peanuts Worldwide