Charles Schulz, Master Of Fan Relations And ‘Killing’ A ‘Peanuts’ Character
Beloved “Peanuts” creator Charles M. Schulz touched a lot of people over the course of his nearly six decades of professional cartooning, but I gotta say, his letter to a displeased fan shines some serious light on his interaction with readers.
Generally regarded as one of the sweetest guys to ever hold a pen, Shulz’s 1954 correspondence with fan Elizabeth Swaim regarding an annoying female character called Charlotte Braun reaffirms the creator’s reputation while highlighting something of a mischievous streak.
I admit, I had to do a double take to make sure I wasn’t reading the Onion.
In it, Schulz essentially tells the fan he’s taking her advice to ditch the character (unless other fans miss her), but that her and her friends will have the “death of an innocent child on [their] conscience” and asks if they’re prepared for such a responsibility. He even throws in a drawing of the character with an ax in her head! Good Grief!Schulz’s grace and humor seem as admirable as advertised, which is something all of us here in the comic world could stand to emulate.
[Via Evan Dorkin on Twitter]