Goodnight Charlie Brown – Charles Shulz, Peanuts and Collecting

Charles
M. Schulz died on February 12th of complications from colon cancer
in Santa Rosa, CA. He was 77 years old. His legacy is the most
famous cartoon strip in the world ‘Peanuts’ whose main characters
have become household names Charlie Brown, Snoopy & Woodstock
– not forgetting the rest of the gang Peppermint Patty, Linus,
Lucy, Pig Pen and Schroeder.

Peanuts
appears in some 2,600 newspapers in 75 countries and is translated
into 21 languages. United Feature Syndicate started the strip
in syndication on October 2, 1950 and it has run continuously
for fifty years with every strip penned by Charles himself. The
strip has also spawned nearly 1500 edition of peanuts books, feature
films, a musical, 40 television specials and a wealth of associated
merchandise.

Charles
Schulz was born on November 22nd 1922 in St. Paul, Minnesota.
He had a talent for art from an early age which was recognised
by his teachers and his family. A correspondance course in art
was interrupted by the Second World War where Charles served as
an infantryman and later as a leader of a machine-gun squad. On
his return he worked for Timeless Topix a Roman Catholic magazine
and after sending samples of his work to publishers he was commissioned
to a comic feature called L’il Folks and so Charlie Brown was
born. The cartoon was an instant success but really took off when
the strip went from a single panel to a four panel strip. One
name change later to Peanuts (another cartoon strip called Little
Folks already existed) and the rest is history. Pictured
above right is a limited edition Wade set of Snoopy and Woodstock
commissioned by C&S Collectables.

For
collectors the ultimate is an original strip or drawing, failing
that limited edition lithographs and sericels. Original pen and
ink strips are valued at anywhere from $2500 (£1500) upwards.
Pictured right is an original drawing from
the animation series costing $195.

Price
very much depends on who is featured in the drawing, the content
of the strip and age. Strips featuring the main characters Charlie
Brown and Snoopy are the most collectable.

Lithographs
and sericels and considerably cheaper.

Pictured above is a current limited edition lithograph of 500
called Hero costing $425. In this classic strip Charlie Brown
finally hit’s a home run and wins the game.

Pictured right is a cuurent limited edition sericel of 500 called
Dark and Stormy costing $325. It depicts the scene from “Snoopy,
The Musical” when Snoopy, the Literary Ace, is pounding out yet
another novel and his editor, Woodstock, listens.

In
accordance with the wishes of Mr. Schulz, United Feature Syndicate
will not ask another artist or writer to take over the creation
of the Peanuts comic strip. However, a select group of artists
approved by Mr. Schulz who had already been drawing limited art
for licensed items will continue their work under the direction
of United Media and Mr. Schulz’s family.

For collectors it means that Peanuts products will continue to
be produced. Pictured above left is a set
of plush Peanuts toys currently available.

For more information about Charles Shulz and Peanuts visit The
Official Peanuts Web Site
.