Why so Sad Charlie Brown?

I am fairly new to the genre of comics and graphic novels. The only time I ever read them were in a newspaper out of boredom; I never put much thought into how they were stories similar to a novel, just much shorter. The more I started to think about comic strips as graphic novels I saw similarities to different types of media as well. The most obvious being the Saturday comics that played all afternoon.  From there I connected the comics to animated motion pictures, a genre of film I really enjoy.

The most obvious resemblance would be the story board process.  In fact it is easy to look at a comic strip as a story board. A graphic novel such as Watchmen was turned into a film and although it was not made in animation I am sure that before the producers began to film they used the comic images as a story board to portray the scenes they were about to act out.  It certainly makes turning a graphic novel into a movie simpler because everything is already laid out step by step.  For this reason some of the most well-known comic strips have been turned into successful movies and television shows such as Charlie Brown and The Peanuts, a particular favorite of mine.Peanuts Gang

The first strip of the Peanuts comic was published in October of 1950 and became more successful from that point on. The first televised Peanuts special was in 1965 at Christmas time and the Thanksgiving special in 1967, both specials earning Emmy Awards. Charlie and his pals even appeared in an off Broadway play that same year. It is amazing to think that a comic strip about a simple minded boy could turn into a multimedia franchise that is still popular a half century later.


At first glance the comics section in the Sunday paper seemed trivial to me, until I reached the Peanuts and a flood of emotion began. I remembered the tradition of my Aunt Krista playing the theme song on my grandparent’s piano every Christmas Eve, and my brother and I watching Charlie try to kick a football every Thanksgiving. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade even revolves around the large snoopy float. The resonance that this comic has created over time is a testament to how much of a story three panels with minimal dialogue and simple pictures can create. An American icon was born when Schultz drew his first image of Charlie, Lucy, and snoopy. The fame and appreciation The Peanuts received points out the fact that a lot DOES go on in between the panels and once a solid character is created they begin to create memories and connections with their readers no matter how silly that may sound; I know that I love Charlie Brown.