We all have moments of self doubt and wondering what life is all about. One hero of worrying has to be Charles M Schulz, creator of that brilliant cartoon character Charlie Brown, who said: “I don’t know why we are here. I think life is full of anxieties and fears and tears. It has a lot of grief in it. And it can be very grim.” Cheery stuff! Yet his Peanuts cartoons are full of whimsy and have been the cause of some of my deepest belly laughs.
If you want to indulge your inner Charlie Brown, the exhibition Good Grief Charlie Brown! Is on at London’s grand Somerset House until 3 March 2019. Here are some original drawings by Schulz as well as art works that have been inspired by Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the rest of the gang. My favourite character was always Pig-Pen, spraying dirt as he walked along. I don’t know what that says about me, and it’s maybe best I never find out.
Heroes of the world
The characters in Peanuts are amongst the most popular and influential comic-strip heroes of all time. Charles M Schulz produced nearly 18,000 strips which were syndicated to over 2,600 newspapers in 75 countries, and translated into 21 languages. In total his readership was 355 million people.
Snoopy for President!
So it is not surprising that the Peanuts cartoon strip has had a huge impact on arts, the media and society itself. In the exhibition, images and ideas from the cartoon are depicted in film, fashion, street art and sculpture. And when it comes to ultimate social change, I am with the idea of having Snoopy for President! Surely that has to be an improvement.
Charles M Schulz obviously manages to connect with people from all cultures, at some basic level. So what wisdom does he offer us about the meaning of life? Well, to end in his own words: “I do not want to be the one who tries to tell somebody else what life is all about. To me it’s a complete mystery.”