Sunday, October 21, 2007

sparky, aka charles m schulz

as seen by kim scafuro

there is a new biography of charles m schulz out that presents him as a depressed and melancholy man who worked out his issues through his drawings. the ny times reviewer discusses the book in the context of our cultural stereotype of the tortured artist, and suggests that the author:

"(depicts) Mr. Schulz as a much more self-aware and autobiographical artist than has been understood previously, a conduit for his times and the timeless subjects of art: longing, love, heartbreak, disappointment, distrust. (One strip, drawn when Mr. Schulz’s first marriage was breaking up and his wife, suspicious of an affair, was questioning his phone bills, shows Charlie Brown yelling at a lovesick Snoopy: “And stop making those long-distance phone calls!”)"

while, as the reviewer quotes schulz:

"“All the loves in the strip are unrequited; all the baseball games are lost; all the test scores are D-minuses; the Great Pumpkin never comes; and the football is always pulled away.”"

i think i shall have to read the book myself before i may make up my mind. if you are interested in the suffering artist question, please read here.

nb thank you to alison bechdel for the tip re the above pic - below is its inspiration.

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