Sunday 2 December 2007


One of the many criticism leveled against David Michaelis'recent biography of Charles Schulz is the author's selectivity in choosing facts, quotes and images to serve the analytical thrust of his arguments.

So, for example, he makes repeated reference to Schulz' supposed obsession with Orson Welles' Citizen Kane, a film that the artist saw, we are told, "as many as forty times" and which he referenced in several of the famous Peanuts strips. Small wonder, argues Michaelis, since the movie had highly significant resonances within Schulz' own life.

According to Michaelis: "Like Welles's hero, Charles Foster Kane, who 'got everything he wanted, and then lost it', Charles Monroe Schulz would succeed on a scale beyond the grandest of his childhood dreams, and yet he would struggle to love and be loved..."

Without subscribing to this theory (and feeling obliged to point out that Schulz repeatedly referenced many other films in his strips that are never mentioned by Michaelis) it does provide an excuse - as a fellow Kane fan - to reproduced one of my all-time favourite Peanuts strips that neatly sums up the utter frustration of having one's anticipated delight in seeing a film for the first time ruined by a mean Plot-Spoiler!

Click to enlarge

And, on the subject of that famous sled, here's Absolut Vodka's take on the Kane-connection.




Images: 'Peanuts', © The Estate of Charles Schulz; Photo of David Weeks © Mandy Davis, 2007


Boll Weavil said...

Happy birthday to David ! Hope you got the card and had a great day !

Good Dog said...


looks like I'll be giving that book a miss, thank you very much. Peanuts always made me laugh. When it came to Charlie Brown's hopes being dashed yet again, I never thought to myself, "Oh, well that's just Mr Schulz obviously projecting his own frustrations..." It was more like: at least I'm not the only one who misses the football each time.

Happy birthday to David. Same day as my sister's. Always great fun trying to find a half decent birthday card this time of year. The shelves seem to be stocked with flipping snowmen and Santas and those darn reindeer. Bah! and Humbug!

(I think I've just replied to three posts in one go).