Not a generation, but a number of generations, grew up under the influence of Charles Schulz and his drawings – those of the Peanuts characters of Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Peppermint Patty, and Lucy. These weren’t average characters in an average comic; they became household names, beloved by kids and adults alike for the 50 years the strip was published. Peanuts continued to live on even after their creator’s death in 2000.
The Art and Culture Center of Hollywood (a Knight Arts grantee) has opened a summer show featuring 70 original cartoon strips from Schulz, highlighting the impact and commentary on pop life that the Peanuts comic had. It’s interesting to remember how sophisticated the strip was. Gentle and funny, but also heart-warming and heart-breaking at times – all those personalities were real reflections of real people (ok, dogs too), from the shy and awkward to the overbearing and just goofy. Throughout the five decades that Schulz brought them to life, they also revealed the pop culture world that they lived in – while they stayed the same age, the America around them changed dramatically. The so-called innocent world of the 1950s ran into the more radical times of the ’60s and ’70s, and then the era of Harry Potter.
For the very young ones who might not have been as exposed to the world of Peanuts, the center would like to change that with this exhibit. There is a play area in which you can create your own cartoons, and there will be a Florida Comic Strip Challenge in July, open to ages five and up. Those amateur strips will then be shown in August. Good summer fun in a kid-friendly but grown-up way.
This item was reprinted with permission from the Knight Arts blog. “Charles M. Schulz: Pop Culture in Peanuts” runs through Sept. 1, with a Comic Strip Challenge on July 28, at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood, 1650 Harrison St., Hollywood; artandculturecenter.org.