Had an odd experience last night during my appearance at Pasadena’s ArtNight. There was a girl, maybe 9 or so, looking through one of my books about Peanuts, and she has told me she has eight or nine “Snoopy books”. She sees a picture of Schroeder and says how she likes the “piano guy”, but the person she doesn’t like is the girl who always wants to be with the piano guy (Lucy), but he just wants to be with the statue guy (Beethoven). She goes on telling me about this one story she really likes where the girl takes the statue away and puts a glass jar there to get money, and the piano guy just uses it to get a bigger statue… and I realize what she’s talking about.
That ain’t Schulz. That’s me.
The one Peanuts story she brought up, totally unprompted, is “Bank Notes”, one of the ten short stories that I wrote during my run on the current Peanuts comic book (this one illustrated wonderfully by Stephanie Gladden). I’ve written less than 10% of the total content of the Boom Studios-published Peanuts series, and that comic book is just a drop in the bucket of Peanuts material in the 50 years of original Schulz strips, the various storybooks, the animated TV specials, series, the movies, and so forth. It feels both oddly powerful and somehow inappropriate to have that be a formative piece of Peanuts for her.