Friday, January 20, 2012

Charles Schulz: Fierce Competitor

Dave Astor writes about Bil Keane, Stan Lee, Jerry Robinson and Charles Schulz, all born the same year (1922) and all men who made a mark on 20th century cartooning.

Dave, who interviewed all of these professionals multiple times during his Editor & Publisher days, shares an anecdote about each of them in his The Complexity of the Fantastic Four Huffington Post column.

There are aspects to these men that you may not know. For instance, Mr. Schulz was not just

 " ... a very nice, insecure, mild-mannered man -- all true! But there was also a confident and competitive side to the 'Peanuts' creator, as this anecdote illustrates:

"In 1995, the people behind 'Garfield' announced that Jim Davis' cat comic might have surpassed 'Peanuts' in worldwide sales. I checked with the 'Peanuts' camp, and it turned out Snoopy and friends still had an edge: 2,595 newspapers to 2,547. So I wrote a story to that effect, and thought the matter ended there. But several months later, Schulz tapped me on the shoulder at a meeting.

"'How are you, David?' he asked in his congenial way.

"'I'm fine, Mr. Schulz.'

"Then his voice became less congenial. 'You know 'Garfield' never had more newspapers, don't you?'

"'I wasn't sure,' I replied nervously. 'That's why I checked with your syndicate.'

"'Are you sure now?' he continued, with a stern expression that contained a hint of a smile.

"'I guess I am.'

The entire column is here.

This is an excerpt from Dave Astor's recently completed memoir titled COMIC (AND COLUMN) CONFESSIONAL. I'm ready to buy my copy now.

No comments: