"Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown," animated Peanuts spoof by Simpsons director Jim Reardon

In 1986 while a student at CalArts, Jim Reardon, who went on to direct numerous episodes of The Simpsons, created this fantastic faux trailer for "Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown," a bizarro world TV special starring the Peanuts gang.

The creator of this picture wishes to state that he does not in any way wish to tarnish or demean the beloved characters of Charles M. "Dutch" Schultz's comic strip, "Peanuts". No malice or damage to their goodwill was intended. So please don't sue me, because it will drag through the courts for years, and I haven't got a lawyer - and besides, you've already got half the money in the world, and I haven't got any. OK?

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Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown

From Wikipedia:

Bring Me the Head of Charlie Brown is an animated short directed and animated by Jim Reardon, who would later become director and storyboard consultant for The Simpsons. The cartoon was made in 1986 while he was at CalArts.

Probably apocryphal anecdote from the YouTube comments:

According to someone I know in the animation trade, Charles Schulz was shown this on video at an animation convention. Jim Reardon and friends supposedly managed to talk Schulz into watching the film to get his opinion. He reportedly sat silent and motionless as he watched it. After it was finished he stood up, cleared his throat, and said, "Very clever, very funny, but just don't do it again, okay?" That was it.
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Stephen King's Peanuts

Illustrator Hal Hefner created this great double homage to Charles Schulz and Stephen King. It does seem as if he missed an opportunity to put Marci in a denim jumper and holding a sledgehammer, though. Read the rest

How "A Charlie Brown Christmas" almost wasn’t

A Charlie Brown Christmas won the 1966 Emmy for Outstanding Children’s Program. Half of US viewers watched it when it aired. But the project was under threat of being killed every step of the way. From Jennings Brown's article in The Vindicated:

Lyrics or not, the CBS executives didn’t think jazz belonged in a cartoon. They also challenged Schulz’s decision to use untrained children instead of professional adult voice actors. They especially couldn’t understand why children would use such big words. (Lucy: “We all know that Christmas is a big commercial racket. It’s run by a big Eastern syndicate, you know.” Charlie Brown: “Don’t think of it as dust. Think of it as maybe the soil of some great past civilization. Maybe the soil of ancient Babylon. It staggers the imagination. Maybe carrying soil that was trod upon by Solomon, or even Nebuchadnezzar.”) This, despite the fact that for about 15 years, “Peanuts” characters had spoken with advanced vocabularies.

Schulz even got pushback from his own team. Mendelson suggested a laugh track would save the show and Schulz responded by standing up and walking out of the room. When Schulz, a Sunday school teacher, said Linus should recite from the Gospel of Luke, Mendelson and Melendez protested. “We looked at each other and said, ‘Well, there goes our careers right down the drain,’” Mendelson recalls. “Nobody had ever animated anything from the Bible before, and we knew it probably wouldn’t work. We were flabbergasted by it.”

Of course, now Mendelson realizes that Linus’s segment probably made the entire project work.

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Only What's Necessary – A whole lot of Peanuts and Schulz stuffed into one volume by Chip Kidd

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

Only What's Necessary: Charles M. Schulz and the Art of Peanuts by Chip Kidd (author) and Geoff Spear (photographer) Harry N. Abrams 2015, 304 pages, 12 x 9 x 1 inches $27 Buy a copy on Amazon

Here’s a quick list of everything to be found in Chip Kidd's Only What’s Necessary: Charles M. Schulz and Peanuts:

Intro by Jeff Kinney Foreword by Jean Schulz “Behind the Door” by Karen Johnson (Director of the Schulz Museum in California) Preface by Chip Kidd Brief biography of Sparky Schulz, including pictures of his first published drawing in Ripley’s Believe it or Not Photos & drawings of and from Schulz’s WWII Sketchbook Early cartoons Schulz drew for the Saturday Evening Post Schulz’s first printed comic strips (1947) Li’l Folks strips Peanuts strips Process of drawing Peanuts Rare, unfinished strips Subscriber promotions for newspaper editors Ads for Peanuts coloring books, viewmaster collections, color by numbers kits, candy bars, etc. Pictures of the Peanuts board game Vinyl dolls Covers from the first collections Advertisements featuring Peanuts characters Braille editions Correspondence with Harriet Glickman resulting in the creation of Franklin Unpublished watercolors & other art Intros and backstories for other characters (Spike, Woodstock) "The Last Strip" by Paige Braddock (Creative Director at the Schulz Studio in California)

There is, in other words, a whole lot of stuff packed into this one single volume of ephemera. And it’s a heck of a package. Heavy, glossy pages bring out the differences in color between hand-drawn strips and their pasted-on title cards as well as the fine printing notes scribbled in the margins. Read the rest

Recreating a classic Moebius comic with Peanuts characters

Jesse Orion writes, "This is Jean 'Moebius' Giraud's '40 Days in the Desert B' recreated page by page with characters from Charles Schulz' 'Peanuts'!" Read the rest

A place for Peanuts fans to go wild

Roppongi Hills is a very hoity-toity shopping area in Tokyo. You have to buy tickets to get into the mall! But a seven minute walk from the Roppongi subway station you will find the brand new Snoopy Museum. Now, it may be called the “Snoopy” Museum, and from the outside it looks like the Snoopy Museum …

… in fact it’s really a “Peanuts” Museum. If your response to that is “Good grief,” then please hit the back button and all of Boing Boing awaits you. But, if you’re like me and you’ve been reading “Peanuts” your whole life, this is a sublime pleasure and I look forward to visiting in October.

The museum has just opened on April 23, and its English language website says that tickets sell for a measly 1,800 yen ($16.50) if you buy them in advance, which I would since the Japanese are very well organized and obsessive about this kind of stuff:

Visitors will have the opportunity to view unique original cartoons from the collection of the Charles M. Schulz Museum. This will include large-scale works created by Mr. Schulz himself, featuring popular characters like Snoopy and Woodstock.

Every six months, the Snoopy Museum will introduce new exhibitions curated by the Charles M. Schulz Museum. These will include early comics that were drawn before Peanuts, such as his Li’l Folks cartoons, animation art, Vince Guaraldi’s jazz music from animated Peanuts cartoons, and rare vintage Peanuts memorabilia. In addition, unpublished sketches and artwork will be displayed in a section highlighting an unknown side of Schulz sure to surprise and delight even his most loyal of fans.

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Peanuts Every Sunday: The 1950s Gift Box Set is a collection absolutely worth having

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

On October 2, 1950 a boy named Charlie Brown first appeared in American newspapers. Peanuts popularity grew steadily and on January 6, 1952, the strip’s first Sunday edition debuted. For the next 48 years, Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy, Schroeder, and all the other players appeared in full color on the comics page.

But I wasn’t there for any of that. Rather, I found Peanuts in the early 1980s, when comics pages had already started to shrink and the famous characters of the strip were more readily accessible to kids through specials. Even then, I didn’t read the comics page as much as I did the dusty paperback collections with titles like Happiness is a Warm Puppy and A Boy Named Charlie Brown.

Growing up as a fan, the single greatest headache was trying to find all the strips. I wanted to know when Snoopy changed from being a dog to being another kid in a funny costume. I wanted to know when Charlie Brown first fell in love with the Little Red Haired Girl. But it couldn’t be done. Although most had been reprinted in one collection or another, there was no single resource that had all the strips.

Enter Fantagraphics Books. Beginning in 2004, Fantagraphics collected and published The Complete Peanuts. While this series collected all the daily strips, the Sunday strips were spun off into a second series, Peanuts Every Sunday, the third volume (of ten) of which has just been released. Read the rest

Peanuts Every Sunday: The 1950s Gift Box Set

See sample pages from this book at Wink.

On October 2, 1950 a boy named Charlie Brown first appeared in American newspapers. Peanuts popularity grew steadily and on January 6, 1952, the strip’s first Sunday edition debuted. For the next 48 years, Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy, Schroeder, and all the other players appeared in full color on the comics page.

But I wasn’t there for any of that. Rather, I found Peanuts in the early 1980s, when comics pages had already started to shrink and the famous characters of the strip were more readily accessible to kids through specials. Even then, I didn’t read the comics page as much as I did the dusty paperback collections with titles like Happiness is a Warm Puppy and A Boy Named Charlie Brown.

Growing up as a fan, the single greatest headache was trying to find all the strips. I wanted to know when Snoopy changed from being a dog to being another kid in a funny costume. I wanted to know when Charlie Brown first fell in love with the Little Red Haired Girl. But it couldn’t be done. Although most had been reprinted in one collection or another, there was no single resource that had all the strips.

Enter Fantagraphics Books. Beginning in 2004, Fantagraphics collected and published The Complete Peanuts. While this series collected all the daily strips, the Sunday strips were spun off into a second series, Peanuts Every Sunday, the third volume (of ten) of which has just been released. Read the rest

The Today show hosts dressed in terrible, scary Peanuts costumes

This morning, the hosts of the TODAY show dressed as ridiculously bizarre and frightening interpretations of the Peanuts characters.

"I'm actually Charlie James Brown!" Al Roker said.

"TODAY goes nuts for Halloween: 'Peanuts'! See our Charlie Brown and the gang" (Thanks, Kelly Sparks!)

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Wah wah, wah, wah wah: Peanuts text-to-adult speech translator

The Wah Wah Machine translates your text into the unintelligible trombone vocalizations of all adults in the Peanuts movies. It's a very clever promotion for The Peanuts Movie out next month.

(Bonus special message when it catches what may be profanity!) Read the rest

Snoopy vs. Peanuts

Peanuts was an often-mordant strip about childhood angst. Over the years—like many other newspaper comics subjected to the relentless burden of production—it was sanded smooth and soft, and Kevin Wong blames Snoopy. Read the rest

Charlie Brown after the apocalypse

I love Cynthia "Thea" Rodgers' fantastic contribution to a 2012 challenge to draw comic characters in post-apocalyptics scenarios. Read the rest

Charlie Brown, 1958 misogynist

Peanuts went downhill after Snoopy became a biped. Read the rest

May Contain Peanuts: grim philosophical remixes of Charles Schulz funnies

A tumblog of greatness.

Video: Charles Schulz draws Charlie Brown

"We all need reassurance that some people really do like us." (via Devour) Read the rest

New Peanuts movie represents three generations of the Schulz dynasty

A new Peanuts movie will come to the big screen on November 6, 2015, produced by Charles Schulz's son Craig Schulz with a screenplay co-written by his son Bryan Schulz.

"It's about a round-headed kid and his dog, and that's about as far as I'm willing to go," Craig Schulz told USA Today. Read the rest

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