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Friday, May 6, 2016

From the Midway: Drawn together

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

(Photo)
Yesterday, while driving to work, I was listening to the ‘Morning Edition’ on NPR. On the program was David Michaelis, author of a new biography of legendary cartoonist Charles M. Schulz. The book is titled ‘Schulz and Peanuts’ and in his book Michaelis claims that Schulz used his comic strip to reveal secrets of his private life.

Some of the facts in Michaelis book may change the image of Schulz but I hope it doesn’t change what Schulz had accomplished. It always bugs me when a tell all book comes out about a person’s life after they died and that person dose not have a chance to tell their side of the story.

What I can’t wrap my noodle around is why you would show someone’s dirty laundry and then claim that you are still a fan of the person that you’re trashing. It makes no sense to me. It’s like*

Dear Mr. Smith,

I hear that you like to beat your wife and you cheat on your golf game but I love you in that new movie. Keep up the good work. We’re all behind you.

Your biggest fan

Bob.

You see it makes no sense. In this 24-hour a day, in your face news I really don’t want to know all the little details of everybody’s personal life. What I would like to know is what makes a person want to spill out secrets about someone else. Is it a feeling that our trust has been betrayed?

Or that a person you have idolized may not live up to the level of morality that you put on them. Or is it the “I got you” moment that we all love to do to each other. Whatever it is, if you look back in history many of the greatest men of all time had one or two skeletons in their closet.

Schulz was a man who changed pop culture. Every cartoonist who came after him was affected by his style. For over fifty years, Schulz wrote and drew his strip every day and he never missed a deadline. Over that time period he made millions of us laugh, think and even cry.

You may not realize what it took to do something like that. Thinking of new ideas for fifty years. It shows how truly outstanding Schulz really was.

Of course, he wrote about his life in his strip. That’s the first rule of any writer, write about what you know. I just hope that people can understand that Schulz was just a man like you and me. We all have done things in our life that we’re not proud of. That is what makes it life, you learn from your mistakes and try to better yourself.

I hope people will try to learn more about Schulz, to see all that he truly accomplished. As for Michaelis’ book, it is an example of how Lucy pulled the football away from Charlie Brown just before he kicks it. Sorry Chuck.

Mike Leckband
From the Midway