Schulz, or Schroeder, Was Oblivious to Lucy’s Love

Charles M. Schulz was perhaps the most famous artist in the world. “Sparky,” as he was known throughout his life, was somebody many people thought they knew because they faithfully read his cartoons. A new book called “Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography,” by David Michaelis was reviewed by the Wall St. Journal’s Bill Watterson on Saturday, and I circled some salient points about Lucy and the character Schulz always saw as himself.

“Schroeder’s commitment to Beethoven makes her love irrelevant to his life. Schroeder is oblivious not only to her attention but also to the fact that his musical genius is performed on a child’s toy (not unlike a serious artist drawing a comic strip). Schroeder’s fanaticism is ludicrous, and Lucy’s love is wasted. Schulz illustrates the conflict in his life, not in a self-justifying or vengeful manner but with a larger, human understanding that implicates himself in the sad comedy.”

In the book, we learn that the cartoonist was a lifelong straight arrow…like Jesus, he neither smoked, drank nor swore. He was also prone to bouts of bitter depression, and his miseries fueled his work. He realized this, and he resisted help or change says Michaelis, in order to continue to produce great cartoons.

He died at age 77 on the very last day the strip was published in 2000.