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This page contains all of the posts and discussion on MemeStreams referencing the following web page: Oh boy, Charlie Brown: Matt Groening and Jonathan Franzen pay tribute to Peanuts | Books | The Guardian. You can find discussions on MemeStreams as you surf the web, even if you aren't a MemeStreams member, using the Threads Bookmarklet.

Oh boy, Charlie Brown: Matt Groening and Jonathan Franzen pay tribute to Peanuts | Books | The Guardian
by ubernoir at 8:24 am EDT, Oct 11, 2008

Matt Groening

A masterpiece of joy and heartbreak

No one needs any formal introduction to Peanuts.
I was excited by the casual cruelty and offhand humiliations at the heart of the strip. Peanuts seemed emotionally real (and unlike anything else). Occasional sadness comes up (such as Charlie Brown's complaints that no one likes him, and Patty's un-sympathetic explanations of why this is so), but this is offset by a friendly drawing style, great jokes and a sense of childhood exuberance that makes the discouragements of life seem a worthy price to pay.

Oh boy, Charlie Brown: Matt Groening and Jonathan Franzen pay tribute to Peanuts | Books | The Guardian
by dmv at 3:00 pm EDT, Oct 12, 2008

Matt Groening:

...Over the decades we've bought, received, worn, played with and stared at an endless series of Peanuts books, greeting cards, sweatshirts, shoestrings, coin banks, figurines, adverts and TV shows. (Lest you think this is a knock, remember I'm the Simpsons guy, and we've allowed Bart asthma inhaler holders and Duff Beer fishing lures.) But clear away the insurance commercials, billboards, dolls, apparel, stickers, soap dishes and the rest, and we're left with the real thing: the Peanuts comic strip itself, Charles Schulz's brilliant, angst-ridden, truly funny, 50-year-long masterpiece of joy and heartbreak...

We especially loved copying the Peanuts kids, because they seemed simple enough at first glance. But those giant heads and dots for eyes were trickier than they looked. Our Charlie Browns weren't sweet and impassive. In our wobbly hands, Charlie Brown's big, round head turned into a macrocephalic oval, his eye dots drifted apart, and his body got fatter and more squished. No matter how much we practised, our Charlie Browns looked like freaks.

Jonathan Franzen:

But what if Schulz had become a toy salesman rather than an artist? Would he have lived such a withdrawn and emotionally turbulent life? I suspect not. I suspect that Schulz the toy salesman would have gutsed his way through a normal life the same way he'd gutsed out his military service. He'd have done whatever it took to support his family - begged a Valium prescription from his doctor, had a few drinks at the hotel bar.

Schulz wasn't an artist because he suffered. He suffered because he was an artist. To keep choosing art over the comforts of a normal life - to grind out a strip every day for 50 years; to pay the steep psychic price for this - is the opposite of damaged. It's the sort of choice that only a tower of strength and sanity can make. The reason Schulz's early sorrows look like 'sources' of his brilliance is that he had the talent and resilience to find humour in them. Almost every young person experiences sorrows. What's distinctive about Schulz's childhood is not his suffering, but the fact that he loved comics, had a gift for drawing and was the only child of good parents.

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