The Comics Reporter is reporting the passing of Jim Sasseville last week. Jim was a friend and collaborator of Schulz’s who accompanied him on his move to California. His work can be seen on the earlier Peanuts comic book stories, and he provided the finished art for most of the run of Schulz’s other syndicated newspaper strip, “It’s Only a Game”.
While preparing the book collection of “It’s Only a Game”, I met and spoke with Jim, who was kind, helpful, and obviously frustrated by the limitations that his failing health was putting on him. He was clearly a bright man, disappointed at never having had a strip of his own (he took delight in showing me examples of his strip proposals, as well as some adventure strip samples he and Schulz had collaborated on) but appreciative of the recognition he was now receiving for the work he had done with Schulz. Dealing with him in the days since the book’s release, it was difficult to watch his faculties wane. The Schulz Museum scheduled an exhibition on “It’s Only a Game” and Jim was supposed to go there for a signing, and he kept up the hope that he could make it even when those around him knew the truth, that there was no way his ailing body would permit it. I saw him on the morning that the signing was scheduled for, and it was tragic to see him in that condition.
I’m glad that I got to meet him and to help bring his work to today’s Peanuts fans, particularly since that seemed to have brought him some pleasure in his final year.