Friday, March 6, 2009
My Number 1 Fave
Peanuts featuring Snoopy by Charles Schulz
Originally introduced as a secondary character in the Peanuts comic strip by Charles Schulz, Snoopy is arguably the most famous beagle (apologies to Uno) of all time. As Charlie Brown's pet dog, Snoopy was based upon Schulz's own childhood dogs. Snoopy's part in the strip started out silent, but it didn't take long for him to evolve into a beagle with strong opinions and a very active imagination. The public fell in love with Snoopy, and he seemed to virtually take over the strip. And as with many other successful cartoon critters, Snoopy branched out to appear in numerous movie and television animated films, and on just about as many products as you can possibly name.
One of the reasons I love Snoopy is because he saw himself as anything he wanted to be whether it was a World War I Flying Ace, Joe Cool, an attorney, an Olympic ice skater, or (my favorite) a writer. He'd persistently tap on an old manual typewriter while perched atop his doghouse. Each manuscript began the same way. "It was a dark and stormy night." I guess no one told him that this wasn't the best first sentence to use. But not to worry. Snoopy had supreme confidence in his own abilities...a lesson for us all.
The quiet genius behind the strip, Charles Schulz, is someone I sincerely admire as both artist and writer. If you've never read a good biography about the life of Mr. Schulz, pick one up. You won't be sorry. Schulz poured so much of himself into his creation that before he passed away in 2000, he requested that no new Peanuts strips be produced by anyone after his death. His wishes have been honored, but fortunately for us, the strip will continue to live in syndication.
So I give you Snoopy, my number one all time favorite comic strip critter.