Excerpt: Why Jeff Kinney loves ‘Peanuts’

1 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ stamps show us what the holidays are all about.

Jeff Kinney, author of the hugely popular Wimpy Kid series for kids, is, like lots of people, a big fan of Peanuts and the comic strip’s creator, Charles M. A Charlie Brown Christmas, the 50-year-old animated special that taught generations of Peanuts fans the true meaning of Christmas and how to make any Christmas tree look special is now being immortalized in U.S.In celebration of both the 65th anniversary of Charles Schulz’ classic Peanuts strip (Oct. 2) and to launch October as National Stamp Collecting Month, the U.S.

Postal Service has issued postage stamps for the holiday season to honor the 50th anniversary of “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” which aired for the first time on December 9, 1965, CNN reports. Postal Service stamps. “It will be a great joy to see these iconic images when I open my mailbox this holiday season,” said Peanuts creator Charles Schulz’s widow, Jean Schulz. Each stamp will feature an iconic image from the show, including Charlie Brown bringing home the world’s saddest and most famous Christmas tree, Pig Pen’s dirty snowman and Snoopy’s over-decorated dog house.

By the time creator Charles Schulz passed away in 2000, the comic strip appeared in over 2,600 newspapers around the world and his “Peanuts” book had been published in upwards of 21 languages. The stamp images include:Charlie Brown holding his holiday sapling; Charlie Brown and Pigpen with a snowman; Snoopy and children ice skating; the whole crew around the Christmas tree; Linus with the tree; Charlie Brown checking his mailbox; Charlie Brown and Linus against a snowy wall; Charlie Brown and Linus by the tree; a frustrated Charlie Brown in front of Snoopy’s doghouse; and Charlie Brown decorating the tree in front of Snoopy’s lit-up doghouse. Last year, the second airing of the special on CBS beat NBC’s “Elf: Buddy’s Musical Christmas” and was the no. 1 television show for children ages 2-11. And for you fans, Kinney’s been busy on that front, too. , the 10th book in the series starring middle-schooler Greg Heffley, comes out on Nov. 3 from Amulet. “That’s the question Greg Heffley is asking as his town voluntarily unplugs and goes electronics-free. But modern life has its conveniences, and Greg isn’t cut out for an old-fashioned world. “With tension building inside and outside the Heffley home, will Greg find a way to survive?

Charles Schulz couldn’t have known that by agreeing to his syndicate’s request to shrink the size of his comic strips down to a layout-friendly “space saver” format, he would reinvent the art form. Schulz Museum and Research Center, Santa Rosa, California) By using only what was necessary in his own strip, Schulz transformed people’s understanding of what comics could be.

There’s an oft-told story about a cartoonist who worked in the late 1800s who was once asked by his editor to produce more-detailed drawings like the work of his contemporaries. In creating Macbeth, William Shakespeare embodied a single character with a full and often contradictory range of human traits — ambition, weakness, gullibility, bravery, fearfulness, tyranny, kindness. From a touring musical to multiple bestselling books, a multitude of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons, a truly unfathomable array of merchandise, and Emmy-winning animated television specials, the characters of Peanuts are perhaps the most recognizable and beloved in the world.

Virtually every successful comic strip feature that has followed Peanuts owes a huge debt of gratitude to Schulz for getting to the very essence of what makes comics a powerful medium.

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