Uncle Jim, in the late 1970's, wore bright jackets and drove an Audi 80 down the motorway at 100mph. I loved my Uncle Jim!
He also unwittingly introduced me to Peanuts via the bookshelves at the top of his and Auntie Toni's stairs (in Foxgrove Road, Beckenham) which were full to the brim with Peanuts comic strip paperbacks, by someone called 'Charles M. Schulz'.
I didn't really understand what they were, and certainly didn't read them, over and above a quick flick inside one of them; I was too busy drinking Coca Cola and getting up to mischief with my cousins, Catherine and Sarah (twins nicknamed Waff and Wheeze, by Jim). But the books lodged in my head, all the same.
Then, in my teenage years, coming home from school in the early 80's, I would watch the Charlie Brown TV shows (with its fabulous soundtrack by the Vince Guaraldi Trio). And there, watching the telly, is where I discovered Schultz's compelling characters, and those charming narratives, with their heavy dose of realism, subtly preparing me for adult life ahead, maybe. Life is real and, normally speaking, without fairytale endings, after all.
And then, somehow, I pretty much forgot about Peanuts for about the next 35 years! For some reason, it just didn't really show up on my radar all that time until, thankfully, we were reacquainted when, whilst hunting for great products to put in my new shop, I stumbled on a company selling lovely official Peanuts mugs. This gave me the excuse I needed to dive back in to Schultz's world.
The characters came rushing back into my consciousness and I'm in love with it, to the point that I've just bought myself an old copy of 'Peanuts Jubilee' by Charles M Schulz, published in 1975 by Penguin Books (which after a quick google search, seems to be one of the best overview/reference books on Schulz and Peanuts - and easy to find online).
I'm enjoying exploring the comic strips...
Maybe Charlie Brown will find love!
Maybe Lucy won't pull the football away!
Maybe Linus will see the Great Pumpkin rise on Halloween!
More blogs on Peanuts coming soon. For now, here's a Peanuts Character Chronology that I've taken from the Peanuts Jubilee book:
- 1950: The comic strip begins with Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Shermy and Patty
- 1951: Schroeder is introduced
- 1952: Lucy and Linus make their first appearances
- 1959: Sally enters the strip
- 1961: Freida is introduced
- 1966: Peppermint Patty enters the strip
- 1968: Franklin makes his first appearance
- 1970: Woodstock is introduced
- 1971: Marcie enters the strip
And thank you to my Uncle Jim!
Laurence from Treacle George x