Occasionally, I flinch hard at some error I see in writing about Peanuts. It’s always tempting to think “people have gotten real sloppy about such things.” Well, I was just doing some research about Happiness is a Warm Puppy, and I ran into this piece of writing from an issue of The Lutheran, from about when the book was released in 1962:
Some children were asked to define happiness. Carl Schulz, the originator of the cartoon “Peanuts,” gathered together a series of their definitions. Here are a few: “Happiness is a warm puppy.” “Happiness is a thumb and a blanket.” […]
Now, there was a Carl Schulz, that was Charles Schulz’s dad. But he didn’t write the book. And no, that’s not how the book was written. Two sentences, two major errors in fact.
But things still get confused, even today. For example, I’m looking at the Amazon listing for Peanuts Sonntagsseiten 2: Snoopy und seine Freunde: 1971 – 1980, a German collection of Sunday strips. And, as with many books, Amazon has images of the book and from inside the book that you can view.
So the images are the front cover, and what looks like the title page, and… hey, what’s that duplicated image?
A little detective work tells me that that’s Matthias Wieland, freelance comics translator and editor. So yeah, I can understand him having a credit somewhere in the book… but I can’t say that having multiple photos of what he looks like (well, the same photo twice) really tells me much about the book itself!
Ah, the imperfections of life…