AAUGH.com newsletter: Charles Schulz, R.I.P.

Charles "Sparky" Schulz, creator of the Peanuts comic strip, died in his sleep at 9:45 PM, February 12th, 2000. He was 77.

Today (Feb. 13), his final Peanuts strip will run in the Sunday newspaper. As with his final daily strip (January 3rd), this one is a farewell note to his fans. In the weeks before his death, he had been shown many thank you notes from his friends a peers, thousands which appeared via the mail and hundreds which arrived via the Internet. For a brief biography of Sparky, see:
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/nat/schulz.htm
When I got on the computer, I was ready to write a standard AAUGH.com newsletter, alerting you to various changes on the site and pointing out some minor newly-listed books. Then I see the news, and that seems so unimportant. What follows is a message I wrote to share with my Internet friends.
================================================================

Sparky has passed on.

At this point, it doesn’t pay to be too sad. He had a full life, with wives and children, and a career so successful that it completely redefined both creative and commercial success in his field. He seemed to know this was coming, and had time to say goodbye to his friends.

And I owe him a big thanks. It wasn’t until I really thought about it that I realized how much his work has shaped my life. I don’t mean just my out-of-control hobby of collecting Peanuts books, or the online Peanuts bookstore I run in my spare time. I mean, it got me into comics, and set me on the path to my career as a comics writer. It got me reading, and set me on the path to becoming a writer in general. It taught me what it means to be a friend, and informed the comic delivery which is still a lot of how I deal with people.

In recent weeks, I’ve had to write Schulz-oriented articles for various publications. One of the toughest parts of that work has been keeping it abstract, dealing with what he did rather than how it effected me. He and his work are not things I can view dispassionately.

He did great things with funny pictures, entertaining millions with an amazing quantity of high-quality material, crafted single-handedly. He did what he loved, and he loved what he did. He was respected by his peers and loved by his fans, and has a permanent spot in the history of his artform.

There is no reason to be too sad.

But I am.

–Nat Gertler proprietor http://AAUGH.com

General
Long fordgotten

A post from¬†Hogan’s Alley editor Tom Heintjes reminded me of something that I meant to discuss. As many of you know, in the 1960s, Ford licensed the Peanuts characters to advertise their affordable family car, the Falcon. But I’ve seen some people say that the characters advertised¬†only the Falcon, and …

General
Peanuts books or by Charles Schulz

I am amused by this ad from the Feb 19, 1965 Newark (Ohio) Advocate offering “Peanuts Books by Charles Schulz”. The first one is a Peanuts book… but not by Schulz, it’s an analysis of Peanuts by Robert Short, although it does include some strips in it. Two by Fours …

General
Flying into Santa Rosa

If you’re taking a flight to go visit lovely Santa Rosa, California, you will likely be going to the former Santa Rosa Army Airfield, which has long since been rebranded the Charles M. Schulz -Sonoma County Airport. My brother (recently retired as Congress’s expert on military aviation – yes, I …