It is probably the most identifiable cartoon strip ever created. Millions looked at his renderings of a
beagle sleeping atop his doghouse, a round-faced boy perpetually losing to all of life's challenges, a little piano player, a
small yellow bird, and a girl who tormented the little boy. For 50 years he created these characters, and here the tale of that creation is related.
M. Schulz's drawings became the foundation of an industry worth over $1 billion. Anybody, it
might seem, would have been overjoyed and completely satisfied with a career of that magnitude. But the creator of
Peanuts was a profoundly depressed individual. He engaged in extramarital affairs and was never certain whether what he did had any value - was it any good?
The author has gained access to the main people in Schulz's life, including friends, work colleagues, and boxes of letters the artist
wrote - love letters mainly, they reveal much about the man.
It's impossible to believe how anyone could have doubts with a lifetime filled with accolades, huge bank accounts, and the respect of just about every artist who ever lived. And yet it is all here. Failed marriages, a sense of loneliness, retreating from and running toward various organized religions, and ultimately a severe case of depression.
This is an astonishing tale of a remarkable man. If you want to know more than you might glean from his comic strips alone (though Charles M. said, repeatedly, that everything you need to know about him is contained in his work), read this.