The way Charles Schulz spoke of the 'Peanuts' proved he was never in it for the money

What did he think of his major successes with the comic strip? 'I don't know. It's O.K. I guess.'

The Everett Collection

Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy, Patty, Pigpen and so many others wouldn't be household names, across multiple platforms today without illustrious creator Charles Schulz. 

What started out as one simple comic strip in 1950, turned into thousands more, which turned into television specials still thriving today, which turned into several feature films of the Peanuts gang. 

The legendary crew listed above became one of the most influential comic strips ever. The commercial success that followed and still lives on today is proof. 

Though the comic strips he created, along with the subsequent television specials and movies, turned into an abundant amount of success, Schulz didn't like to sit under the bright lights of it all. He insisted he wasn't in it to become famous and cash in. He was only in it for one reason. 

"I like to leave people with a little something every day, if I can," the cartoonist said in a 1969 interview belonging to the Chicago Tribune Service. "How long does it take to read a strip, three seconds? People race through it... but I think in that time I like to leave them with something, just a little something."

Schulz says the beauty of his comic strips are they're relateable. It isn't a clear-cut message in every comic. The comics allow, through the story, the readers to interpret what they want and take away whatever message may be in it.

He's clear though, whatever that message may be, the readers are creating it, Schulz isn't implanting one. 

"I draw. Things come to me and I draw them, that's all. All I ever wanted to do was draw characters and have them say and do things I feel are real. No hidden motives or meanings. Whatever people get out of them, that's what's in them."

And really, that was always enough for the artist. When asked about all of the sheer success with his comic strips, Schulz didn't really know what to say, in the Chicago Tribune Service interview. 

Schulz is asked, "How do you feel... when you consider that at this very moment millions all over the world are reading your material?"

He responds, "I don't know. It's O.K., I guess." 

When pushed further for an elaboration with the stat that his comics are "about 1,000 papers" and have about "90 million readers," Schulz replies, "I don't know. I guess so. Sounds right. Something like that."

The Peanuts creator was always himself and nothing more despite, according to him, outlets wanting him to be something he isn't. 

"They call me everything," Schulz added. "Philosopher, theologian, psychiatrist. But I'm not, or I wouldn't be doing what I do." 

What he did, was create comic strips filled with characters he saw himself in, and lived by his own motto, day in and day out. 

"Charlie Brown is me and I'm him." 

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Runeshaper 6 months ago
That's interesting. Charles sounds very humble, but not super excited. Maybe he was just not showing his enthusiasm in the interview?
justjeff 6 months ago
Some trivia: Charles Schulz drew his strip with the Esterbrook Radio 914 nib (a reissue of the Esterbrook 14 Bank Pen with a different coating). Radio nibs were part of an extensive line of different pen nibs made by the R. Esterbrook company before its demise some years back.

Here's a link to a little bit of information about those nibs:

The story goes that when Schulz learned of the company's closing (or perhaps the discontinuance of the nib), her bought up the entire remaining stock so he would never run out... and they lasted him right up until his passing.

I've often wondered just how many boxes of nibs remained after Schulz passed...
kirkindog 18 months ago
Every time I watch Charlie Brown and the gang, I become a kid again. I grew up reading the daily comic strips and the various TV specials during the 70s and continued doing both all the way to the last strip. In fact, the major reason I subscribe to Apple+ is to watch the old specials as well as the new ones.
johnnyboyjon 18 months ago
No. The sad part is they took Peanuts off of regular television. We, old folks, made Peanuts with our years of dedication. Now, you have to have streaming and Apple+ to watch Peanuts. It appears that Charlie Brown has died, or was killed for a dollar.
The Charlie Brown specials used to be on CBS and ABC every holiday. Now,.... nothing. Thanx..... A lot........ jon
JustGeri johnnyboyjon 18 months ago
So much for Hollywood elite wanting everyone to have access to everything…a bunch of hypocrites.
timothys71 johnnyboyjon 18 months ago
I miss the holiday specials, but mercifully, this year MeTV gave us 2 rarely-seen Peanuts feature films. I thoroughly enjoyed the one this past Sunday evening and am looking forward to the second one.
timothys71 timothys71 18 months ago
On a side note, I am sure this is wishful thinking on my part, but how cool would it be if MeTV could get their hands on some classic holiday specials that are no longer regularly shown on over-the-air TV and do a Sunday block party of them?
LalaLucy 18 months ago
This makes me smile so much." It's ok, I guess." Why is it I could hear Charlie Brown saying it just that way? What a wonderful, unassuming man he was.
bagandwallyfan52 19 months ago
Does anyone know why Charles Schulz
called his comic strip Peanuts ?
Randall bagandwallyfan52 18 months ago
Originally it was to be called WEE FOLKS ( wee is a dated term for small) however the newspaper didn't like the name! Shultz then suggested Peanuts ( as a joke) thinking the paper would cave and go with his idea. Peanuts was used and the name stuck.
top_cat_james_1 Randall 18 months ago
You're thinking of "Li'l Folks", the weekly panel comic Schulz drew for his local paper. He wanted to name the strip "Charlie Brown", but the syndicate execs wanted "Peanuts", which Schulz absolutely HATED, but begrudgingly went along with.
Omega1977 19 months ago
The sad part is that the cancel culture, like ABC, has to edit his work to make them politically correct.
KMT6600 19 months ago
I love The Peanuts all the cartooned some so true to your heart He knew what to say and due
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