Saturday, 13 February 2010

On this day...

'Peanuts' the comic strip made its last appearance in 2000, the day after writer Charles Schulz's death. First published in 1950, the comic strip actually found its origins two years earlier, published under the name 'Lil' Folks'. After confusion between names of similar comics, it was rebranded 'Peanuts', a name which Schulz hated, saying of it; 'It's totally ridiculous, has no meaning, is simply confusing, and has no dignity'.

Yet it became a major success. Debuting in eight newspapers, its popularity grew exponentially. At its peak it was published in over 2,600 newspapers, courting a readership of 355 million in over 75 countries, and was translated into 21 languages. Schulz often used it as a medium for social criticism, touching on religious, gender, and equality issues, as well as the Vietnam War. The birthplace for Snoopy and Charlie Brown, both highly succesful commercial entities, the comic strip received critical acclaim, even debuting on the cover of 'Time' magazine.

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