Go to Fantagraphics and get The Complete Peanuts to revisit them and to read about their significance and influence. I won’t try and encapsulate that here.
Peanuts was also in our newspaper. I began to cut out the strip each day. I did this for a couple years. When a pile got to about 3 inches thick, I would wrap it in a rubber band and start another. They yellowed quite quickly.
These stacks were very satisfying to have and hold. They contained little universes in pictures. I had them until the great New York City apartment fire of 1983 (another story).
I loved the world of Peanuts – reading them was a totally immersive experience. Because it was a visual world, the way I could get closer to it was to draw it myself.
It took Charles Schulz a couple years to nail down the look of the strip, but when he did it was like nothing else. The line work – oh, man – it’s so beautiful.
We had this big pad of yellow paper at home – 18” X 24”. It wasn’t newsprint, though it was’t much heavier, but it had a bit of tooth to it.
I loved that the paper was so big. I wanted to draw big things on it – not lots of little things – but big shapes. For some reason I decided that Peanuts characters – drawn quite large – would be the perfect thing to fill this pad of paper.
Those characters are hard to draw. Just try making that round head of Charlie Brown’s.
I think I was 9 or 10 when I did these. This first image gives you an idea of the current condition of the pad. It is very brittle. Hey, it’s really cheap paper!
Her are a couple of Lucy. Those figures are 12 or more inches high! What was I thinking?
Photographing these was difficult – lots of glare. But, if you look closely, you can see where I erased lines – and then covered them with a white pencil to try and obscure the erased lines. Yeah, obsessive at an early age.
There’s a lot of white in the one of the pumpkin patch. Funny that I felt the need to identify each character. Like, who wouldn’t know?
Even more “correction” in these (bad photos, sorry):
Here it’s a year or so later and I’m working smaller. Another Snoopy:
And snoopy again:
You can see the date on the Charlie Brown above – 1967 – so, I was 11 (Go ahead, do the math). They are 8 ½” X 11”. For some reason I went over parts of them with marker.
One more. I was certainly older when I did this. The line work is more confident and it is a more accurate rendering. Again, I’m fascinated that I felt the need to move the baseball, And why are there musical notes floating around?
It was significant that, as I got older, I recognized the quality of the drawing in those comics. I admired the weight of the line, the thick and thin of it, and the beauty of the shapes. Charlie brown’s head is a remarkable thing!
Oh – and they’re pretty funny, too.This entry was posted by davidwiesner. Bookmark the permalink.