Charles M(onroe) Schulz Charles M. Schulz - Essay

Charles M. Schulz

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

During these twenty years, I have had the opportunity to observe what makes a good comic strip. I am convinced that the ones that have survived and maintained a high degree of quality are those which have a format that allows the creator room to express every idea that comes to him….

[What] is funny in a comic strip today will not necessarily be funny the following week. A good example of this is the character of Snoopy. The mere fact that we could read Snoopy's thoughts was funny in itself when Peanuts first began. Now, of course, it is the content of those thoughts that is important, and as he progresses in his imagination to new personalities, some of the things which he originally did as an ordinary dog would no longer be funny. Snoopy's personality in the strip has to be watched very carefully, for it can get away from me. (p. 73)

[Children] see more than we think they do, but at the same time almost never seem to know what is going on. This is an interesting paradox, and one with which adults should try to acquaint themselves…. (p. 74)

Charles M. Schulz, "The Not-So Peanuts World of Charles M. Schulz, Part II: But a Comic Strip Has to Grow," in Saturday Review (© 1969 by Saturday Review, Inc.; reprinted with permission), April 12, 1969, pp. 73-4.