Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Video: See Young Charles Schulz in ACADEMY FOR ARTISTS!

Here's a 2 minute promotional short for the Art Instruction Incorporated, in Minneapolis, MN, the school that Charles Schulz attended. His cameo, with a shot of him at his drawing board, creating a new PEANUTS strip is at the end.

You can tell by looking at the way Mr. Schulz draws the characters that this is in the early years of the strip. Of course, the B&W film and schmaltzy music plunks this film in the 1950s.

The comment at the end is at once a tribute to a successful graduate who has been solely spotlighted in the short, as well as a damning comment on the art form.

Oh -- also, a note to stupid 1950s filmmakers: the comic strip PEANUTS does NOT have a character by that name in the strip. Talk about sloppy research! Doofuses.

Here's the quote at the end of ACADEMY FOR ARTISTS!:

"One such graduate who has built a highly successful career is the cartoonist Charles Schulz, who created the comic strip character 'Peanuts.' It may not be art with a capital 'A,' but it provides an awful lot of pleasure and it pays."

The woman at the end of the film is reading a Sunday PEANUTS from February 7, 1954. (Page 173 of your COMPLETE PEANUTS 1953-1954.)

If anyone can cite the "this ball is in miserable shape" PEANUTS panel that Mr. Schulz is drawing at the beginning of his segment, I would be interested to know.


Bob Buethe said...

April 8, 1954

John Reynolds said...

This is ridiculous, Mike, thanks for posting. Wasn't that Schulz's biggest fear in naming the strip "Peanuts"? That the readers would think Peanuts was the name of the dog or something?

Mike Lynch said...

One of the syndicate execs thought up the name "Peanuts," citing that kids were sometimes called "peanuts." This was during HOWDY DOODY days and the kids in the TV audience were referred to as the "Peanut Gallery." At least that's the tale I have been told. Schulz, as you know, hated the title.

Mike Lynch said...

Oh, thanks Bob, for the research! Wow!

Bob Buethe said...

No problem. It wasn't too hard. I guessed that the video only took a day or two to make, so after you pinpointed the date of the newspaper strip, I figured the strip Schulz was working on was probably published 2 to 3 months later.