With contributions by:
Leonie Brialey, MJ Clarke, Roy T. Cook, Joseph J. Darowski, Ian Gordon, Gene Kannenberg Jr., Christopher P. Lehman, Anne C. McCarthy, Ben Owen, Lara Saguisag, Ben Saunders, Jeffrey O. Segrave, and Michael Tisserand
The Comics of Charles Schulz collects new essays on the work of the creator of the immensely popular Peanuts comic strip. Despite Schulz's celebrity, few scholarly books on his work and career have been published. This collection serves as a foundation for future study not only of Charles Schulz (1922-2000) but, more broadly, of the understudied medium of newspaper comics.
Schulz's Peanuts ran for a half century, during which time he drew the strip and its characters to express keen observations on postwar American life and culture. As Peanuts' popularity grew, Schulz had opportunities to shape the iconography, style, and philosophy of modern life in ways he never could have imagined when he began the strip in 1950. Edited by leading scholars Jared Gardner and Ian Gordon, this volume ranges over a spectrum of Schulz's accomplishments and influence, touching on everything from cartoon aesthetics to the marketing of global fast food. Philosophy, ethics, and cultural history all come into play. Indeed, the book even highlights Snoopy's global reach as American soft power.
As the broad interdisciplinary range of this volume makes clear, Peanuts offers countless possibilities for study and analysis. From many perspectives--including childhood studies, ethnic studies, health and exercise studies, as well as sociology--The Comics of Charles Schulz offers the most comprehensive and diverse study of the most influential cartoonist during the second half of the twentieth century.
About the Author
Jared Gardner, Columbus, Ohio, is professor of English at The Ohio State University. He is author of Master Plots: Race and the Founding of an American Literature, 1787-1845; Projections: Comics and the History of Twenty-First-Century Storytelling; and The Rise and Fall of Early American Magazine Culture.
Ian Gordon, Singapore, is professor of American history at the National University of Singapore. He is author of Comic Strips and Consumer Culture, 1890-1945 and Superman: The Persistence of an American Icon. He is also coeditor of Comics and Ideology and Film and Comic Books and editor of Ben Katchor: Conversations, the latter two published by University Press of Mississippi.
Table of Contents
Philosophy and Poetics
1 Peppermint Patty's Desire Charles Schulz and the Queer Comics of Failure Ben Saunders 13
2 "There Has to Be Something Deeply Symbolic in That" Peanuts and the Sublime Anne C. McCarthy 29
3 Saying, Showing, and Schulz The Typography and Notation of Peanuts Roy T. Cook 42
Identity and Performance
4 Consuming Childhood Peanuts and Children's Consumer Culture in the Postwar Era Lara Saguisag 65
5 "How Can We Lose When We're So Sincere?" Varieties of Sincerity in Peanuts Leonie Brialey 79
6 "I Thought I Was Winning in the Game of Life … But There Was a Flag on the Play" Sport in Charles Schulz's Peanuts Jeffrey O. Segrave 93
Peanuts and History
7 Footballs and Ottim Liffs Charlie Brown in Coconino Michael Tisserand 111
8 Schulz and the Late Sixties Snoopy's Signs of the Times Joseph J. Darowski 121
9 Franklin and the Early 1970s Christopher P. Lehman 133
10 Making a World for All of God's Children A Charlie Brown Christmas and the Aesthetics of Doubt and Faith Ben Novotny Owen 149
11 Charles Schulz, Comic Art, and Personal Value M. J. Clarke 165
12 Charlie Brown Cafés and the Marketing of Peanuts in Asia Ian Gordon 183
13 Chips Off the Ol' Blockhead Evidence of Influence in Peanuts Parodies Gene Kannenberg Jr. 197