Gannett Cartoonist Profiles Series, Part Two: Charles Schulz

Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz returns to The Canton Repository today as part of the USA TODAY Network’s comics pages standardization resolution, the strip is a component of their Group 2 of comics. As today is also the anniversary of Peanuts’ October 2, 1950 debut, The Repository found it fitting to highlight the comic strip and cartoonist as they welcome the comic strip back after a number of years.

above: January 20, 1958 – The Canton Repository adds Peanuts to its comics page

When the Repository introduced it in 1958, “Peanuts” already had generated a large following for the humorous artwork Schulz had been drawing for several years.

The “Peanuts” strip had earned the Schulz the 1956 Cartoonist of the Year award from the National Cartoonist Society.

At the time his strip started in the Repository, the newspaper interviewed the artist, who said it was perfect for Canton – and any other community, for that matter – because “your city is full of peanuts!”

Gary Brown, for The Repository, welcomes Peanuts back to eastern Ohio.

above: November 6, 1960 – Peanuts joins The Repository’s Sunday Funnies © Peanuts Worldwide

During years that followed, “reruns” of “Peanuts” comics were printed in many newspapers. Eventually, many publications dropped the strip.

“I was so disappointed,” said Dorothy Steiner of Dalton, who avidly had read the strip with other comics each day in The Massillon Independent after reading her daily devotional and completing the crossword.

Her plea to “bring it back,” finally was realized. The Independent joins The Canton Repository and Alliance Review among the USA Today Network properties to again begin republishing old “Peanuts” strips as those papers independently transition to revitalized comics pages in coming months.

17 thoughts on “Gannett Cartoonist Profiles Series, Part Two: Charles Schulz

    1. To be fair, Mike, “Peanuts” wasn’t a very well known or popular comic strip, and Charles Schulz was a pretty obscure cartoonist that most people hadn’t heard of, much less know anything about. So I’m sure this profile was an important step to give him some recognition.

      1. “To be fair, Mike, ‘Peanuts’ wasn’t a very well known or popular comic strip, and Charles Schulz was a pretty obscure cartoonist that most people hadn’t heard of, much less know anything about.”

        (suggestion: some proof with this sentence)

      2. I dimly remember some guy who started a comic strip a long time ago that changed the style of comics and had a huge influence on future comic artists and other people. Can’t remember his name, though. And who’s this Schulz guy? Never heard of him.

        (There’s this concept called a “joke” that some folks might want to look into.)

    2. I’m with ya, Mike! Sparky was legendary – now, who is the new creator tapping into something most folks can relate to?
      Now that I think of it – there’s routinely a “look back” by institutions and organizations in place to support creators. As if to say – ‘Hey, look everybody! Look how AWESOME Alex Raymond and Hal Foster were! Yeah, we don’t support ANYTHING like that these days!”

      Back when spring started, a friend sent me the KFS ad informing everyone they had the “finest comics in all the land”… and right there, up front, were Flash and Dale (Raymond art) ….. hey, KFS do you offer ANYTHING that looks like that? Don’t blame dying newspapers – truth is, that type of strip hasn’t been promoted in DECADES!

      1. D.D. Degg, the Raymond article was wonderful!
        Now, who/where is the NEW creative person churning out multiple top notch strips?
        KFS ads would lead one to believe Raymond was still kicking; nose to the grindstone, pumping out strips. Then you go to their site and find NOTHING like that (except maybe in their oldies section). If that type of strip/art commands prominence in their ads, why not offer new, cutting edge excitement along those lines? WHY?
        At a time when TV will offer ANY kind of “entertainment” (I saw a show – a Hells Kitchen approach to making cupcakes … FRIGGIN’ CUPCAKES!!) … damned near anything will appear on TV, but comic strips? No, no – strips have gone the other way!!

      2. D.D. Degg, it’ll be interesting to see KFS market the new Flash to the current newspaper market. The Gannett cuttings are hitting creators, right now.
        I know folks that are considering hanging it up!
        I wish the new guy all the best.
        Hopefully KFS plans to do more with it than just add it to their portal … there are several portals online.
        For me, the portal didn’t pay much at all.

      3. D.D. Degg , the more I think of it ; I’m not surprised. I wondered where the “new” thing is. Syndicates are scared to try anything new. They’ll rely on established properties. If they already own it, they won’t have to split the pay 50/50 with an unwitting new artist.
        If they like a new artists style, rather than gamble their papers on the new persons strip, they may hire the new person and have them “twist” an old established strip into something that barely resembles the original. (I could mention a few strips proving this approach)
        I wouldn’t fault the artist – they just want to make a living. I would place the blame on the editor for the “new direction”.

  1. (suggestion: newspaper sections just for past cartoon series and newspaper sections just for current cartoon series)

  2. As much as I enjoyed reading Peanuts as a kid (I own the first 20 years in book form), it is time to move on. Reruns do not belong in newspapers: give that space to worthy NEW comics. I don’t like zombie profiteering by replacement artists, either, but I’m willing to make an exception for legacy comics passed down to direct descendants of the original author. Walt Kelly, Charles Schulz, and Ernie Bushmiller were (and are) irreplaceable. When they died, their strips should have been buried with them immediately. Unfortunately, only one of those features was lucky enough for that to happen.

Comments are closed.