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‘Charles M. Schulz: The Art and Life of the Peanuts Creator in 100 Objects’ (review)

Written by Benjamin L. Clark, Nat Gertler,
and The Charles M. Schulz Museum
Published by Weldon Owen


Rather than straightforward biographical narratives, there’s a relatively recent trend to tell the story of a person in print by emphasizing 100 objects that make up who they are/were. It’s different, creative, clever, and often can give a much more rounded perspective than a traditional chronological life story.

Such is the case with Charles Schulz, The Art and Life of the Peanuts Creator in 100 Objects.

This new book has been put together by Benjamin L. Clark, Nat Gertler, and the Charles M. Schulz Museum. I should point out that Mr. Gertler is a Facebook friend of mine and a recognized expert on all things Schulz.

Quite a few of Sparky’s fellow cartoonists—including Cathy Guisewite, Ray Billingsley, and Jim Borgman—participate here with mini-essays, remembrances, and reminders that Charles Schulz was so much more than just a rank-and-file comic strip creator.

Despite his humility, he was an inspiration for decades.

And not JUST to cartoonists! Peanuts was marketed and merchandised more than just about any strip ever. Thus it was that good ol’ Charlie Brown and friends conquered not just newspapers and television, but also bookstores, Broadway and outer space!

Rare art, rare photos, rare books, and awards abound in this volume but there’s also a charm bracelet, a drawing table, houses, documents, letters, sheet music, newspaper and magazine articles, report cards, cels, and playbills. Best of all, there’s Schulz himself.

Charles Schulz, The Art and Life of the Peanuts Creator in 100 Objects is quite literally a treasure trove for the Peanuts fan…and who isn’t a Peanuts fan?

The strip itself technically ended more than 20 years ago now but Charlie Brown and Charles Schulz made an impact on worldwide culture and pop culture like no strip before it or since. Revisit and celebrate Peanuts anew while you learn its history in 100 easy to take lessons.

Booksteve recommends.

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