Recently, in the North Berkeley Public Library, Charles Schulz who created well-known Peanuts comic strip for newspapers was portrayed by James Froemel who is a reenactor with History Alive at the WV Humanities Council.
He told the story, how the journey of Peanuts started with the imagination of Charles Schulz. He also visited the Musselman-South Berkeley Library and Hedgesville Public Library to attract the imagination of young children and educate them about this wonderful piece of art through the pages of history.
As Schulz, Froemel said, “I drew a few cartoons in my life, 17,897 ‘Peanuts’ cartoon to be exact. The most popular one that I get the most mail about is the one where the kids are laying down in the grass and looking up into the clouds.”
The scene was like this, Linus while pointing out the cloud ask his friends while they were lying on the open field—aren’t the clouds look like a famous portrait or a map? Lucy then asks Charlie brown what does he sees. Charlie replied, “I was going to say that I saw a ducky and a horsey, but I have changed my mind.”
Interaction to ignite the imagination
Froemel told the kids how it got all started; the talent can be seen in the Schulz back in his kindergarten days. He kept doing what he was good at. His work got published in the high school paper. That encouraged him to get enrolled in a cartoon correspondence program in high school.
The artistic journey came to a little halt when he joined the army in the Second World War. He rose to a position of tank commander which was named “Sparky” as it was also his nickname.
After the war, he started to formulate the character of Peanuts, which he himself did not know that going to be a huge success at that point in time. The concept was bought by the United Features and after much suggestion, they named it Peanuts.
The comic was not only a huge hit in the US but also got globally acclaimed. Schulz received an Emmy for it in 1966.
After the storytelling session, Froemel responded to the questions of the audience. He said, although the Schulz is no longer with us, his work is going to keep putting a smile on people’s faces now and in the future as well, as the Peanuts animated content was recently bought in by Apple.