Good grief day takes place annually on 26 November. Good Grief is one of the main catchphrases of the cartoon character Charlie Brown and Good Grief day celebrates the anniversary of the birth of Cartoonist Charles M. Schultz who created the comic strip Peanuts and the character of Charlie Brown. Charles M.Schultz was Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota 26 November 1922 and grew up in Saint Paul. His uncle called him “Sparky” after the horse Spark Plug in Billy DeBeck’s comic strip, Barney Google. Schulz loved drawing and sometimes drew his family dog, Spike, who ate unusual things, such as pins and tacks. In 1937, Schulz drew a picture of Spike and sent it to Ripley’s Believe It or Not!; his drawing appeared in Robert Ripley’s syndicated panel, captioned, “A hunting dog that eats pins, tacks, and razor blades is owned by C. F. Schulz, St. Paul, Minn.” and “Drawn by ‘Sparky'” (C.F. was his father, Carl Fred Schulz).
Schulz attended Richards Gordon Elementary School in Saint Paul, where he skipped two half-grades. He became a shy, timid teenager, perhaps as a result of being the youngest in his class at Central High School. One well-known episode in his high school life was the rejection of his drawings by his high school yearbook, which he referred to in Peanuts years later, when he had Lucy ask Charlie Brown to sign a picture he drew of a horse, only to then say it was a prank. A five-foot-tall statue of Snoopy was placed in the school’s main office 60 years later.
In February 1943, Schulz’s mother Dena died after a long illness. At the time of her death, he had only recently been made aware that she suffered from cancer. Schulz had by all accounts been very close to his mother and her death had a big effect on him, Schulz was drafted into the United States Army And served as a staff sergeant with the 20th Armored Division in Europe during World War II, as a squad leader on a .50 caliber machine gun team. His unit saw combat only at the very end of the war. Schulz said he had one opportunity to fire his machine gun but forgot to load it. He said that the German soldier he could have fired at willingly surrendered. Years later, Schulz proudly spoke of his wartime service. In 1945, Schulz returned to Minneapolis. He did lettering for a Roman Catholic comic magazine, Timeless Topix, and took a job at Art Instruction, Inc., reviewing and grading lessons submitted by students. Schulz took a correspondence course from the school before he was drafted. He worked at the school for several years while developing his career as a comic creator until he was making enough money to do that full-time.
Schulz’s first group of regular cartoons, a weekly series of one-panel jokes called Li’l Folks, was published from June 1947 to January 1950 in the St. Paul Pioneer Press, with Schulz usually doing four one-panel drawings per issue. It was in Li’l Folks that Schulz first used the name Charlie Brown for a character, although he applied the name in four gags to three different boys as well as one buried in sand. The series also had a dog that looked much like Snoopy. In 1948, Schulz sold his first one-panel drawing to The Saturday Evening Post; within the next two years, a total of 17 untitled drawings by Schulz were published in the Post, simultaneously with his work for the Pioneer Press. Around the same time, he tried to have Li’l Folks syndicated through the Newspaper Enterprise Association, however Li’l Folks was dropped from the Pioneer Press in January 1950. So Schulz approached United Feature Syndicate with the one-panel series Li’l Folks, and the syndicate became interested. By that time Schulz had also developed a comic strip, usually using four panels rather than one, and to Schulz’s delight, the syndicate preferred that version.
Peanuts made its first appearance on October 2, 1950, in seven newspapers. The weekly Sunday page debuted on January 6, 1952. After a slow start, Peanuts eventually became one of the most popular comic strips of all time, as well as one of the most influential. Schulz also had a short-lived sports-oriented comic strip, It’s Only a Game (1957–59), but he abandoned it after the success of Peanuts. From 1956 to 1965 he contributed a single-panel strip, “Young Pillars”, featuring teenagers, to Youth, a publication associated with the Church of God. Between 1957 and 1961 he illustrated two volumes of Art Linkletter’s Kids Say the Darndest Things, and in 1964 a collection of letters, Dear President Johnson, by Bill Adler. At its height, Peanuts was published daily in 2,600 papers in 75 countries, in 21 languages. Over the nearly 50 years that Peanuts was published, Schulz drew nearly 18,000 strips. The strips, plus merchandise and product endorsements, produced revenues of more than $1 billion per year, with Schulz earning an estimated $30 million to $40 million annually. During the strip’s run, Schulz took only one vacation, a five-week break in late 1997 to celebrate his 75th birthday; reruns of the strip ran during his vacation, the only time that occurred during Schulz’s life. The first collection of Peanuts strips was published in July 1952 by Rinehart & Company. Many more books followed, greatly contributing to the strip’s increasing popularity. In 2004, Fantagraphics began their Complete Peanuts series. Peanuts also proved popular in other media; the first animated TV special, A Charlie Brown Christmas, aired in December 1965 and won an Emmy award. Numerous TV specials followed, the latest being Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown in 2011. Until his death, Schulz wrote or co-wrote the TV specials and carefully oversaw their production.
Schulz tragically died in his sleep at home on February 12, 2000, at around 9:45 pm, from colon cancer. The last original Peanuts strip was published the next day, Sunday, February 13. Schulz had predicted that the strip would outlive him because the strips were usually drawn weeks before their publication. Schulz was buried at Pleasant Hills Cemetery in Sebastopol, California. As part of his contract with the syndicate, Schulz requested that no other artist be allowed to draw Peanuts. United Features had legal ownership of the strip, but honored his wishes, instead syndicating reruns to newspapers. New television specials have also been produced since Schulz’s death, with the stories based on previous strips; Schulz always said the TV shows were entirely separate from the strip.chulz was honored on May 27, 2000, by cartoonists of more than 100 comic strips, who paid homage to him and Peanuts by incorporating his characters into their strips that day.