Hello reddit! I'm the president of the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, California (http://schulzmuseum.org/) which opened in 2002 and we've received visitors from all over the world. Talking with them is one of the happiest aspects of my life.

Museum visitors tell me about their connections with the Peanuts characters and what they meant to them all of their lives, and I enjoy sharing with them comments about the characters and about living with Charles Schulz for 26 years. I'm here to do the same with all of you on reddit, and Victoria from reddit is helping me.

Ask away!



This has been so much fun for me because the questions have been REALLY interesting and the comments are heartwarming! The questions have made me think and search around some good answers for people. We believe that Sparky's spirit is in the museum, so all of you lovely fans, I do hope you come to the museum. You can always ask if I'm around! I'm often there hiding upstairs in my office.

Thank you, this has been fun. I would enjoy doing it again.

Comments: 1745 • Responses: 28  • Date: 

anjumahmed1928 karma

Greetings Jeannie, I’m a moderator of /r/peanuts, I’ve very much given my life and soul into that subreddit styling the CSS to the specific pallette, Schulz's style of minimalism, and pumping it with content from all over the web as a dedication to my most loved comic strip. I also want to appreciate the work you and others done maintaining the integrity of Peanuts after Charles Schulz’s death, there’s small things which I love about the current maintenance of the franchise. How there’s only a special palette and hue of colours used for colouring, similar to Bill Melendez’s bold colouring work.

“Happiness is a Warm Blanket” was brilliantly done, reminiscent of the 1960s specials, having a calm tone and palette standing a distance from luridity while retaining dissonant silences, converse to the more hyperactivity of modern cartoons. All over relaxing and thought provoking. This is just one example of how I feel the brand is being maintained, I could further rant about Fantagraphics collections.

Now, a question, was Schulz really as bitter as I've apparently heard him to be?

I was walking to school one day, eleven years old. Schulz had opened an ice arena in my town years prior. The parking lot and front grounds were part of my route to school. I was walking through a small stand of redwoods and I heard a voice behind me saying, "Hey what you doing in there?" I told him I was on my way to school. Realizing who I was talking to I said, "I know who you are, can I shake your hand?" He was all gruff and said, "No, get out of here, you will probably give me some disease." I was shocked horrified and amazed. My little heart was crushed because I admired his comics so much. I stood there for a moment longer trying to comprehend what was happening and he yelled again, "get out of here!" It still angers me to this day that that man would treat a child like that.

Passage of text from /u/graverubber some time ago.

JeanSchulz1805 karma

Yes, he could be cranky particularly if he had person after person after person interrupting him from things. It seems to me that I've read this story somewhere too, and obviously this would have been back in 1969, and I'm not sure whether this made it into something but it does sound familiar, the boy on the way to school wanting to shake hands and the no I will probably get sick, it all sounds like there was a period when we had ice shows in December and we would both have colds. We would be greeting people ALL DAY LONG. two shows a day, for two weeks, and we would always get sick. So Sparky said I am not going to shake hands, or hug, at the ice show because I always get a cold. But that was different, and a different thing, just no don't shake hands because I have a cold. But was he as bitter as that? No, that was a very bad day, poor kid and I can see why he would remember it. You would feel really rebuffed by that. But he was overall a pleasant person. If he had come off the golf course and had a lousy round, he would not want to talk to anybody. However, he loved to laugh, and when he was visiting his friends, or when he was on the golf course, they would laugh and joke and tease. So he was probably was LESS cranky than a lot of people because he truly liked people. He was interested in people and in observing them and what they were like.

Thank you also for your earlier comment because I am delighted to know that we are doing a good job. We do try.

cew07191291 karma

I'm 53 years old and for nearly all of my life, "Peanuts" has been a source of cheer to me. I learned to read the comic strips very early and the holiday specials have never gotten old (I still watch them!). I think one of the under-appreciated characters has been Woodstock, especially his relationship with Snoopy. Growing up, I had neighbor kids, two brothers, one of whom had Down's Syndrome. As I grew older, I often thought of them like Woodstock and Snoopy... Woodstock was just a little different but Snoopy stood by him and protected him. I don't really have a question, I just wanted to share that with you and thank you and your husband for a lifetime of happy thoughts. Peace be with you both.

JeanSchulz1142 karma

Thank you for that image because whenever I think of Woodstock and Snoopy now I will think of that. It's lovely.

DI_CEO980 karma

I'm wondering why Camp Snoopy at the Mall of America couldn't stay that way when your husband passed. Was there some agreement that ended due to his passing?

I loved that place. Seeing the characters and all.

JeanSchulz1174 karma

You know, I'm going to clip that out and send that to the people at Mall of America because it was not a decision in their favor. But these are business deals that it's just difficult to even describe. And I've actually forgotten what happened, but typical american business deals. It had nothing to do with him passing, it really had to do more with contractual terms and my husband never owned the copyright to his comic strip, it was owned through United Media, but there was a contract for X number of years with Camp Snoopy and it's so convoluted I can't even remember. So they probably were unhappy that they did let it go, but it's big American business these days.

heyrobscott655 karma

Hi Jeannie,

As a life-long Peanuts fan, I have mixed emotions of excitement and hesitation over the upcoming Peanuts film in 2015.

I love that the world may come to appreciate Charlie Brown and Snoopy and the gang the way I did as a young child, but I feel that the majority of the movies and TV shows were special because Charles Schulz held creative control and was able to stay true to the characters. I sincerely hope that the filmmakers will respect this legacy while presenting Peanuts for a new generation.

Do you have any feelings or thoughts on the upcoming film?

JeanSchulz1015 karma

You know, I have to say that I really appreciate your perspective and sensibility because obviously we have the same feelings. And that is one reason that it's taken so long before we did a movie. After my husband passed away, we just felt that nobody else could do it. There were several half hour specials taken mostly from the strip and kept very close to the strip without Charles Schulz individually inputting on them, but the team that is working on it, you couldn't have said it better because they are very sensitive to the tradition they are working in and believe me, they want to make this as close to Charles Schulz' sensibility as possible. We can't imagine what he would have thought or inputted or created for it, but I am very hopeful that it is going to be a movie that fans will truly enjoy and feel that we have put our 110% best effort into keeping it in the tradition. But it's a risk, I think we all knew that there was a certain risk to doing something new. Yet we eventually (it took a long time) wanted to do this. The original script and idea came from Sparky's son Craig Schulz who's in his 50s and his son Bryan who is a scriptwriter and his writing partner Neil Uliano, and they've written and sold several scripts, so the 3 of these family members did the script. And the BlueSky team that is working on it is very very sensitive. But the director, Steve Martino, is very very sensitive. I cannot speak more highly about his sensitivity to the material he is dealing with, and I think that's the best we can hope for, so I am certainly feeling that the question is right on and they are working their hardest. And it's more than just working hard, you also have to open up your heart and mind to let the right stuff come in.

ronearc652 karma

No question. I just wanted you to know that as a child, I slept on Peanuts sheets. My pillowcase was a tough, nightly choice for me. Because on one side, it had maybe the coolest character ever, Snoopy.

But on the other side, there was Linus (my personal favorite) with the caption, "Happiness is a thumb and a blanket."

Peanuts cushioned my sleep and my dreams for many years.

I thank you and your late husband profoundly.

JeanSchulz559 karma

Well that is sweet, and thank you, and you know what I have to say too is that I hope that all of these people who have cared enough to write in will have an opportunity sometime to come to the Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa. Because I love the exhibition in Japan, but when you're in our museum next to the ice arena where he skated and the studio where he worked, you get a sense of him. There is a spirit here that we have, so I hope that all of you get to come sometime. And I hang around here a lot! Sometimes you run into people and they never expected to see me, like I happened to be in the ice arena and 2 couples were having lunch and one came up to me and said "I'm Judy" - she was the 2nd wife of someone I knew in San Francisco in 1957-1958 and I had COMPLETELY lost track of her. So we just happened to get re-acquainted!

truth_hertz398 karma

Were the characters in the strip based on real people/children?

JeanSchulz908 karma

They're based on Sparky's (my husband's) observations of the world and of children in the world. But the names of the characters come from real people. There was a Charlie Brown in art instruction schools in Minneapolis when he worked there (he worked there as an instructor that looked at the lessons that came in through the mail - it was a correspondence course. He took the course when he was about 18 and then he went back to work for them when he came out of the army. This friend of Sparky's said that people never called him Charlie, they always called him Charlie Brown.) There was another fellow named Linus, and Lucy had her name early on, but she got her last name about a year later when Sparky and his wife Joyce moved to Colorado SPrings and he ran into a fellow who rented an office in the same building walking up the stairs and this fellow was called "Van Pelt" and he was someone that Sparky had been in the army with, so he used that name, but at first Linus and Lucy did not have a last name.

Shermy was there a lot in the early part of the strip, but sort of faded away and you see Shermy appear when they need a lot of characters. He sort of has a brush cut. Sometimes it's hard to identify the characters when there are a bunch of them... anyways Shermy was a friend of Sparky's and they knew each other from 12 on, played a lot of baseball together, and Shermy was a violinist and went on to have a career there and his mom taught piano. Sparky said he used to sit on the back porch waiting for Shermy to finish his piano lesson so he could come out and play, and he heard Beethoven in her house, which was probably (because he didn't come from a cultured family) quite a big discovery, that there are people who have this higher culture.

Schroeder who ends up playing Beethoven was a caddy - I've forgotten at the moment whether it was his last name or his first name, but they called him Schroeder. He was a caddy at the golf course when Sparky was a teenager who also caddied. He said they got 25 cents a bag. Not a lot for carrying a bag all day.

RueDBaga396 karma

Hello Mrs. Schulz! Your husband is still an inspiration to myself and millions of others. What is your favorite scene in "A Charlie Brown Christmas"? Thank you.

JeanSchulz888 karma

Well I love the whole theme, and then some of the scenes around it of Snoopy decorating his dog house, and then Charlie Brown saying "my dog's gone commercial!"

It's just because it's such a funny juxtaposition with the kids and the school play and the Christmas tree and then you have a sidestory where even your dog is disappointing you.

zaikanekochan386 karma

What was your favorite thing about your husband?

JeanSchulz1545 karma

Well I think I have to say that he was SO complimentary and so loving to me. it didn't matter what I did - if I found him at the office, that evening he would say "I just loved hearing your voice on the telephone today" and then he would say "every time you walk into the room I fall in love with you again." I'd cook an ordinary dinner and he would say "Thank you so much."

In the back of my mind I would think "Did he learn that somewhere? Is he just saying that because he read somewhere to compliment your wife once a day to have a happy marriage?"

But he was so sweet. And it was so wonderful to feel that adored.

And I can still feel that from him.

He also helps me find things. I would always lose things, and would think "Sparky will help me find it." And he has. So he's still taking care of me.

cirrocco353 karma

If the characters had been allowed to age and grow up, what do you think they would be doing for a living?

JeanSchulz717 karma

Oh boy! That's a good question. You know, it's funny but there is a play, I may go down and see it in June, I think it's called "Utterly Filthy", where the hero of the play is Pigpen, which is a great title. It's 40 years later and all the characters have grown up. But I haven't seen it yet, so I can't tell you what the playwright is imagining.

But you sort of think Linus is probably teaching at some level. Lucy is probably running a software company (I'm making this all up, I have no idea) and Schroeder might be a conductor. I'm anxious to see this play and see what he proposed, though, because Pigpen is his favorite character.

And Charlie Brown? He's such a soft, easy, guy that he'd be doing something like being an oceanographer or studying marine mammals or something? He has so much compassion. He might run the Humane Society. That would be perfect because one of the people Sparky truly loved was the person who ran the Humane Society in Santa Rosa. He would take in all the spray pets that nobody would want, and Sparky admired him so much because of his level of compassion for the animals. We live out in the country and we have rattlesnakes, and I would ask him to get rid of them and he would say "that rattlesnake isn't hurting anybody". So yes, Charlie Brown is going to run the Humane Society.

twistedfork250 karma

How do you feel that much of your husband's work are classics?

Halloween isn't Halloween without the Great Pumpkin, Thanksgiving needs the gang drawn as Pilgrims to put me in the mood, Christmas always has Charlie contemplating the meaning of Christmas while shopping for a tree.

JeanSchulz352 karma

I think it's amazing that all of those things have become part of our culture. He did not set out to write the great American novel, or to do a comic strip that will last 100 years, but I'm used to it now, especially because we have the museum and that's what I have to focus on now. I think when people asked him "did you ever think your characters would become part of the culture" it puzzled him a bit too and he didn't have a very good answer for it. Of course you're surprised because you didn't intend to write a novel that would describe the world, but I think his answer was something like "I just tried to put everything I had into the comic strip and do the best I could every day." Also, I think that he had a real respect for his readers, he never wrote "down" to them, and you'll notice when he did silly puns it was always Snoopy who could get away with silly things. I think the fact that he respected his readers and wanted to write the comic strip at the highest level that he could. So I think that all those things kind of make up it. But as far as it becoming a classic, all of those things are pretty magical in a way.

SithLard221 karma

Hello Mrs. Schultz. Thank you for doing an AMA. Your husband's work has had a tremendous imprint on memories of my youth. I have read that "Peanuts" was a title unilaterally selected by an editor for the comic strip and your husband did not care for it. Any truth to that and, if so, what was his title of choice?

JeanSchulz442 karma

Well that is true. Absolutely true. He would have liked it to be called "L'il Folks." He had done a panel comic for a year and a half in the St Paul Pioneer Press and I'm sure that's what he submitted this as when he submitted the 6 weeks of strips to the Syndicate in New York, but they didn't want to use that because there was a previous comic artist, Tack Knight, was still living and he hadn't drawn the strip in a long time but he still owned the name "Little Folks."

Also there was a time when you used the word "Peanuts" to describe little kids. So a Syndicate editor came up with that. The editor said that he couldn't use "L'il Folks." Sparky suggested "Good Old Charlie Brown" and they said no.

I think they were probably right. I've had people ask me, 40 years after the comic strip started, thinking that Peanuts was the name of one of the characters. But as a conglomerate word, Peanut captures that gang of kids in a way that "Good Old Charlie Brown" would not have. Because it is more of the gang, the grouping that is important. Charlie Brown is the main character (although Snoopy has become a linchpin) but Peanuts really captures it. And he still didn't like it! So there he gets the cranky.

CAN_ZIGZAG199 karma

Ms. Schulz: Was your husband a (deeply) religious man? What inspiration did he get from living in that way? Was (a god) important to have in his life? Why? How so?

Thank-you and Have a Charlie Brown Christmas!!

JeanSchulz512 karma

I think that he was a deeply thoughtful and spiritual man. Sparky was not the sort of person who would say "oh that's God's will" or "God will take care of it." I think to him that was an easy statement, and he thought that God was much more complicated.

When he came back from the army he was very lonely. His mother had died and he was invited to church by a pastor who had prepared his mother's service from the Church of God. Sparky's father was worried about him and was talking to the pastor and so the pastor invited sparky to come to church. So Sparky went to church, joined the youth group and for a good 4-5 years he went to Bible study and went to church 3 times a week (2 bible studies, 1 service). He said he had read the bible through three times and taught sunday school. He was always looking for what those passages REALLY Might have meant. Some of his discussions with priests and ministers were so interesting because he wanted to find out what these people (who he thought were more educated than he) thought.

When he taught Sunday school, he would never tell people what to believe. God was very important to him, but in a very deep way, in a very mysterious way.

angelfromthecoast151 karma

What other comic strips did you or your husband enjoy? Calvin & Hobbes fans?

JeanSchulz279 karma

Oh absolutely! If you read the comics and were fortunate enough to have it in your paper, and some papers still have Calvin & Hobbes now (I've seen it in international papers). Of course Sparky liked older comics. He loved Popeye and he could draw a really good Popeye when he was in highschool. And Li'l Abner, and he said that when Li'l Abner and Daisy Mae got married, that was a big mistake because you need that tension. Part of movies and plays and books is tension between characters and they sort of lost that tension. Maybe they became a crabby couple, I can't remember. All cartoonists love Lilttle Nemo, but the comic strips that he liked - Cathy (not so much for the drawing but for her situations), THE FAR SIDE (he thought it was so funny), he liked a lot of the New Yorker cartoonists too. Lynn Johnston he thought was a beautiful artist with a current comic strip that kept up with day to day and the kids were growing older, and Mutts by Patrick McDonnel, and there were many more. We have a friend whose strip is not widely syndicated, Drabble is the name of the strip, and LuAnn. And he might have read other comic strips that he might not have said much to me about.

JeanSchulz192 karma

He used to love Prince Valiant, and he would say that he wanted to draw an adventure strip like Prince Valiant. And of course he ended up drawing the complete opposite.

masteractor135 karma

What did you think of the musical Snoopy?

I personally love it. It's got such great songs.

JeanSchulz235 karma

I love it too! I think in some ways it's better than "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown." I have a record of it in italian and I love to listen to it in italian because I know the words in English too. It's WONDERFUL. You're right on. Snoopy is great.

G-Note129 karma

Is Linus' attachment to his blanket based on a real observation or rather something that many children have. I know my son takes his all over the place. He is three.

JeanSchulz207 karma

Yes, Sparky always used to say that Linus' blanket came from the fact that their youngest daughter Jill who was born in '58 could not go anywhere without her blanket, so it absolutely came from his family.

Nuroman128 karma

Hello, Mrs. Schulz. Thank you for taking the time for this AMA. With the 50th anniversary of A Charlie Brown Christmas coming up in 2015, are there any plans in the works to mark the occasion?

JeanSchulz180 karma

Oh you bet there are but I just don't know what they are! Somebody wrote to me and said that there are plans for performing A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Play with additional group singing next Christmas which I thought was wonderful news. I believe they are doing it a little later this month at Carnegie Hall. It's a fuller version I believe, I don't know exactly, but that will be done in 2014, it may be on the road in 2015. I said to the person who told me "I'm going to forget this, so when you tell me this again it will be like new information." But you bet they will be celebrating it!

KaylaChinga99 karma

Thanks for sharing your husband with us for so many years, Mrs. Schultz.

Here's my question - Do you think the Peanuts themes from the past are relevant today? How do you think a 21st century Peanuts would be received?

JeanSchulz207 karma

Oh absolutely! I still think people struggle with self-worth issues, my goodness yes. Even more now because everybody is picking at you, it seems. I lover her, does she like me, that is never going to stop. Even if you get to something like the trickster Lucy, we think of her as pulling the football but she's also the crank who's bursting your bubble all the time, I think those themes are universal. That is something that I don't know if he ever said "I'm going to make a group of characters and themes that will last for 100 years" but because they came SO MUCH from his heart and his unique Midwest background in the Depression when things were tough and everybody worked hard and people came together- those themes are still valid. Even though the world has changed and become much more materialistic than when he was a boy and everyone is much more worldly, all of those universal human characteristics aren't going to change. But people are talking about how our short term thinking is evolving because everyone is thinking in bytes. But not for a while.

PeppermintPatty_92 karma

I adore the Peanuts comic strips very much. They ended before I was born but when I was very young, I discovered the comics and instantly fell in love with them. I have grew up dreaming of continuing your husband's amazing work. I think it would be amazing if I could. I am only fourteen years old but I aim to be a cartoonist in later life. Is there anyway I would be able to carry on his work in memory of him? I have drawn a few cartoons based on Peanuts if you would like to check them out on my twitter here: pic.twitter.com/QtXchw5xm5 and pic.twitter.com/sZEsVucTVK If you have the chance, please check them out. It would mean so much. Thank you x

JeanSchulz139 karma

First of all, I am just so touched that you said that they mean a lot to you! That answers the last person's question about being relevant. People will come to Peanuts at all different ages. In answer to your question about carrying on, I think that you as an artist and as a cartoonist, you carry on what you get from him by creating it in your own work and that's the way we all carry on the things we love, we carry on our parent's ideals and goals in what we do in our life.

Your drawings are very cute! Sparky would say to you "Keep on drawing. Eventually you will find your own characters!" But you've done a good job!

Weddsinger2989 karma

Who was your personal favorite Peanuts character and why?

JeanSchulz217 karma

Well, it's very hard to have a favorite character but what I always tell people when they ask me that is I associate with Sally. I don't think I'm quite as dingy as her, but I call myself "clueless" so it may really be that I'm more like her than I know.

But maybe the reason I associate with Sally is because I used to call Sparky my sweet baboo - you say baby and baboo came out - and Sally torments Linus with that. So then I stopped calling him that, but he probably should have regretted that because it was a pretty nice term of endearment.

But the characters are all so well-rounded. Even Lucy even though she is so mean also has a very vulnerable side. And sometimes philosophical side! But it's hard to pick one character, but I associate myself with Sally.

rexella87 karma

The Twin Cities love Charles Schulz! But did he like us? Did he enjoy his childhood in St. Paul, and did he ever come back to visit as an adult?

JeanSchulz117 karma

Yes I think he felt he had a perfect childhood. He was an only child, and his parents did not go beyond the third grade, but his father had a barbershop and was able to keep the shop open, so I think it was a wonderful example for Sparky to live with, someone who had to manage his own shop and several employees. His mother did not work and they had quite a bit of family around so even though he was an only child, they had enough of a circle of family who he remembers that he probably learned a lot from. He enjoyed going on the streetcar with his mother, and playing in the neighborhood, and playing hockey in the backyard. He did go back sometime in the 60s before we were married. After we were married there was an around the world and back again exhibition of comic strips and memorabilia that took place in the old train station which had been refurbished into a public area and that was a lot of fun. I think that would have been in 1995, and he did go back then and met up with a bunch of his old friends. More friends from high school and the Church of God. So he had a good time then.

ashmcam8375 karma

Snoopy was always writing versions of "it was a dark and stormy night", was that based on something else Mr. Schulz wrote?

JeanSchulz213 karma

No, that is a famous line from a novel "Paul Clifford" and the author has 3 names - Edward Bulwer-Lytton - and all literature people know it, it's been used again and again. He simply picked it up and had Snoopy do it, and now people think it's Snoopy's line. He somehow came across it, and used it for Snoopy, and when people would say "how did you come up with the Great Pumpkin and Dark and stormy night" he came up with the Great Pumpkin, that holidays came along so quickly in the fall, what if a kid got confused about the holiday and thought what if the pumpkin was like Santa Claus and bringing them something? And he tried it and people liked it. He would say the same thing about "it was a dark and stormy night" - obviously he liked it and it suited Snoopy because it's such an overblown expression, you are going to think it's something dark happening, and sometimes Snoopy is writing really silly things. So that juxtaposition appealed to him, and people liked it, and of course literature people would immediately know where it came from. People were always writing to him saying that they were glad he had picked up that bit of reality and put it in his comic strip. When he drew the musical notes for Schroeder, he always used actual musical notes, and the first time he did that somebody wrote him and said "I can't believe you put a little bit of Beethoven's something symphony" (*it wasn't always Beethoven, there were a lot of musical strips) - he realized that when that person wrote to him, people recognized and appreciated authenticity and you are writing for them. You are writing those Beethoven notes in your silly little comic strip for that person who is a musical expert. Appreciating your audience is important. It shows respect for them.

friedpikmin74 karma

Hi Jean! I love Peanuts. How did Charles come up with the idea for handling adults... particularly the "wha wha wha" voice.

JeanSchulz169 karma

There were no adults in the comic strip. If you go back to the VERY early comic strips, you'll see an offstage voice where an adult is obviously saying 'time for dinner' (I'm making that up) but there were no adults in the strip, and Sparky used to say when people would ask him why there would be no adults he would say "the panels are too short and they wouldn't fit." But the truth is that it's abstract, it's not reality, and the minute you put an adult it in it, it becomes a real strip. And so when they did the first Christmas show, Sparky and the team would talk all these things out and they talked about adult voices. Sparky would say "no we can't have adults in it" and Bill Melendez made up a trumpet with mute on it, and he got someone to do that and thought that was a great sound, and it's funny how that sound has become iconic. Because you hear people say "oh wha wah" because it's the voice you don't want to listen to.

Bill also made Snoopy's voice. He made some noises on the tape, and then sped it up. So it was all seat of the pants stuff. And then it became classic, because it worked.

katietd2173 karma

Snoopy's face has evolved over the years into a rounder face. What's the reasoning behind the decision to revert back to the longer face from earlier days?

JeanSchulz150 karma

So when Sparky started, Snoopy was VERY very angular. And he just became rounder and rounder just naturally. It wasn't anything that Sparky said he looked better rounder, it was just his drawing. When Sparky was alive, he never liked what he drew yesterday (and other artists will understand this). So when licensees who make the toys were making product, he wanted them to continually update the design with what he was drawing currently. So licensees did that. But we all loved the old Snoopy, not the REALLY early Snoopy but the 60's Snoopy. And I can remember saying to him once "I think it's cute" and he said "I didn't like it" in reference to those earlier designs. It was his creation and he had the right to do that. But after he passed away, and it's been 12-13 years now, we have slowly come to an agreement that most of us like that 60's or 70's model with a slightly longer nose, and our audience likes it, so that's what we've reverted to for the most part. Personally I don't mind it being rounded but I think it's very important that the nose has definition between the forehead and the snout so there's a crease there. But he wanted the product to keep up with what he was drawing, and his drawing changed just naturally because that happens, you would not be an artist if you copied the same thing year after year for 50 years. Part of being an artist is trying to evolve. But sometimes you'll see the 60's or 70's model being labeled "vintage Peanuts" - that's what it is.

uberlad67 karma

What's your very best life advice?

JeanSchulz210 karma

I guess (it sounds so trite) but I think that it would be this whole thing (which would have sounded so impractical to me 40 years ago - I would have said "it's so easy for you to say") but I think that you have to follow your passion.

That is 90% of it. Because if you don't like where you are and what you're doing, you're not going to do it very well and it is not going to work out well for you. But in general, I think that people are afraid to let themselves go and even think what is it that they would really like to do. But I think that has to be it. That has to be what the life advice is, because by being happy and being positive, you are creating a world that is different and better. And I know that sounds really saccharine, but I mean it in a really practical way.

joelcrowservo65 karma

Hello! I've always wondered: what music did Sparky enjoy? Did he listen to any music while working?

JeanSchulz121 karma

he did occasionally. And I wasn't always in the studio, but he had an old record player and a big selection of records. He didn't always listen to music, sometimes he listened to talk radio and sometimes he had the television on, but not always, but he liked the old honky tonk country westerns, you know Merle Haggard and Scruggs. He also did like classical music. And the thing about classical that was so interesting was that we have letters in the museum from Sparky to Frank (one of his army buddies) that say "You won't believe it Frank, but I'm learning to like classical music." Apparently when he was in the army he would make fun of or razz people who liked classical but at art instruction school, his coworkers were all college educated and so they read literature, and one of them said to me "He didn't know anything about classical music, but once he started listening to it, he amassed a bigger record collection than any of us." He had the ability to focus and concentrate that I can't understand. He used to be able to whistle classical pieces and guess what people were whistling, and there are probably 4 classical themes that I could say or semi-sing. He must have had a dozen. He had an amazing focusing ability.

therealjwhi38 karma

What is your favorite Peanuts holiday special and why? :)

JeanSchulz72 karma

Well I suppose that I'd have to say the Christmas one. Although I think we've done some follow up Christmas shows - Charlie Brown's Christmas Shows and It's Christmas Again - but what amazes me about the Charlie Brown Christmas is if I don't watch it for a while because I don't tend to watch it on DVD, I like to watch it on television, I'm amazed all over again because I will say "oh! I had forgotten that." I think that's nice, that 40 years later that something can still be a little bit surprising to you. But I like all of them because I have memories for all of them. I was not married to Sparky when the first 2 were made, but the Thanksgiving one I can remember going to Los Angeles for a screening somewhere, and when they were doing the other shows, I remember other things about them. The Christmas show still makes me think it must have been a good show because it can still surprise me.

guideguy196935 karma

do you have any plans to have exhibits from the Museum to tour the country?

JeanSchulz72 karma

Yes, we do have many, and I believe (I'm not a website browser) but I believe on our website we have a traveling exhibitions page or section. And if you go to it you can see where they are and where they are coming. Currently we have at least 4 different shows traveling, many of them are made up of reproductions of strips that are very high quality so that you can see on them linework that's drawn over and corrections and so forth. It's impractical to travel originals because of the requirements of the building they are in and the cost. We have one that's called "Peanuts naturally" that has lots of hands-on elements for children and adults, and we have a show of originals in Hollywood, Florida which I believe is just finishing up. Typically works on paper can be out in the light for 3-4 months, so that's why a lot of shows in galleries will be there six weeks or 2 months. The Hollywood Florida one should run through the holidays.

And then we have a very wonderful show in Tokyo. And that is in a museum with 15,000 square feet, the Mori Art Center, and it's in an area of Rappongi Hills, and the building and the art gallery are on the 53rd floor of this wonderful building. They have over 100 originals and probably 1000 artifacts - Sparky's baseball glove from when he was a kid, Hockey sticks, hockey clothes, they've reproduced his studio in a smaller version - so that people get a wonderful view of his life and history. Peanuts is very popular in Japan, so it was worth it for them I think to pay that money because they are able to share it with so many people and have lots of admissions.

There's a "Merry Christmas Charlie Brown" show in the gardens of Columbus Ohio, and "To the Moon: Snoop Soars with NASA" and it's in Greendale, South Carolina. That show talks about the Apollo mission, when the modules were called Snoopy and Charlie Brown, which is taking people back 40 years.

And then the "Peanuts Naturally" one that I was telling you about is in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, and there's a smaller version of that show at Canton, Ohio, so they are ALL over. There are different venues.