Charles Schulz Born November 26, 1922

SchulzCharles M. Schulz was born on this day November 26 in the year 1922. I am not sure that many people would list the comic strip PEANUTS as great literature, but I do.  Here is a definition of great literature.  Great literature not only has a great story and great characters but helps teach us something about life that sticks with us. Those lessons can last a life time. Charles Schulz achieved all of this with Peanuts.

Schulz was once asked “If he was Charlie Brown?  His answer quite simple,  He wasn’t Charlie Brown, he was all of his characters.   I think that was the magic of Peanuts.  It was an expression of the complete human experience.   Sometimes we are Charlie Brown frustrated neglected and rejected and on other days we are Snoopy care free and ready for the next adventure. Some days we are as obnoxious as Lucy and on others we are as thoughtful as Linus.

I think all of us that grew up in the 1960s owe a debt to Mr. Schulz as he reminded us of “What Christmas is all about”. What it would be like to have our first crush and that winning isn’t everything. We have taken those lessons and passed them onto our kids. Some of us have passed them on to our grandchildren.

We know that every year we are sitting down to spend Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter with The Peanuts Gang. One evening around Christmas in the 1960s, people were sitting in an off Broadway theater to see a live production of YOU’RE A GOOD MAN CHARLIE BROWN, They were sitting in a movie theater to see A BOY NAMED CHARLIE BROWN. And they were getting comfortable in front of their TV sets to see A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS. Schulz creation dominated stage screen and TV all in one night.  Schulz has affected both the academic and theological arenas.  His comic strips can be found in college text books as well as theological works. What follows is a short biography of a man that I believe has left a legacy for all time.

Charles Monroe Schulz (November 26, 1922 – February 12, 2000).  He was nicknamed Sparky, which was actually the name of his first dog.  He fought in The Second World War and then set out to be a cartoonist.  All of his young life Schulz was fascinated by the funny papers, which were the part of the newspapers where comic strips were published.  In his teens he did comics for his church youth group which reflected much of the humor he would later develop in the Peanuts strip.  His father was a barber , his mother was a housewife who died as Schulz was entering the army.  Later Charlie Browns father would be a barber.

Charles Schulz Peanuts was first published in 1950 but the title was not his own.  The publishing company named the strip which was forever a disappointment to him.   He gave us many things through his strip.  He coined the phrase “security blanket.”  He gave us the Great Pumpkin which gave a new addition to Halloween.  He taught us what Happiness is… as well as giving Beethoven more publicity that he had for over 100 years.

Schulz is widely regarded as one of the most influential cartoonists of all time, cited as a major influence by many later cartoonists. Calvin and Hobbes-creator Bill Watterson wrote in 2007: “Peanuts pretty much defines the modern comic strip, so even now it’s hard to see it with fresh eyes. The clean, minimalist drawings, the sarcastic humor, the unflinching emotional honesty, the inner thoughts of a household pet, the serious treatment of children, the wild fantasies, the merchandising on an enormous scale — in countless ways, Schulz blazed the wide trail that most every cartoonist since has tried to follow.”

Schulz wrote and drew The Peanuts comic strip for 50 years.  He did not have a staff.  He had a drawing table pens and ink.  Many cartoonists use others to draw and write their strips.  Schulz never did this.  His body of work was his own.  If he went on vacation he did two or three weeks of strips ahead of time.  In total, his work consisting of 50 years is approximately 18,600 strips.  And that is also the amount of times he made us laugh.  His complete collection of work comes to 24 volumes of books.  His last strip amazingly was published on the day he died.

With the release of The Peanuts Movie people have decide to look at Schulz life and tell the world what was wrong with him.  This  is wrong in many ways.  Charles Schulz was a private man that gave the world a huge gift.  A private man deserves his privacy even after his death.  Every one of us, to quote a very wise person “has chapters in their lives that we would not wish to be published.  “Good grief!”  So today we honor the man Charles Schulz and celebrate his work.  We raise a mug of root beer, along with Snoopy, and remember a man who both entertained us and taught us about ourselves.

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The Captain America: Civil War Trailer Has Arrived!


(PCM) Disney has released the first trailer for the highly anticipated upcoming film “Captain America: Civil War” which will serve as the kick-off to Marvel’s Phase 3 slate. The film will be directed by Joe and Anthony Russo and from the looks of things will pick up right after the event of “Avengers: Age of Ultron”.

We find Steve Rogers leading a new team of Avengers in a continued effort to safeguard humanity. According to the film’s official synopsis: “After another international incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability and a governing body to determine when to enlist the services of the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers while they try to protect the world from a new and nefarious villain.”

In the trailer we see the riff continue to deepen between Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.) as Captain America is coming to the defense of his friend Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan) when the government is coming after him. Along with the other Avengers we also catch our first glimpse of Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther.

Captain America: Civil War will open in theaters on May 6, 2016.

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November 13 Is Sadie Hawkins Day

Sadie Hawkins is not a real person she was a character created for the comic strip Little Ab’ner by Al Capp.  Sadie was the ugliest girl in the mountain town of Dogpatch and so her father created a day when the women of the town could chase the men, if a man was caught he had to, by Dogpatch law, marry the woman.SadieHawkins2Sadie Hawkins Day became a social craze and Sadie Hawkins Day dances were held.  For this dance the women asked the men.  It was simply a reversal of traditional male female roles.  The Idea of Sadie Hawkins was even recently used in the TV series GLEE.  By 1939 college campuses had embraced the idea much to the delight of the female students and much to the dread of the male population.  It was reported in 1952 that Sadie Hawkins Day was celebrated at over 40,000 different locations.

In our more liberated time Sadie Hawkins Day is not as necessary.  Women have been empowered to break a lot of the old social conventions and one of them is to ask the men out on their own, without a special day to get the privilege.  Maybe the next step will be a Liberace Day, where men can ask men to a dance.

November 13 Is Sadie Hawkins Day was contributed by Pop Culture Fun Facts.

Lift Your Snail Mail Spirits With ‘Charlie Brown Christmas’ Stamps


(PCM) Beginning this October, our snail mail will be just a little bit brighter with the release of a new stamp series based on the classic ‘Charlie Brown Christmas’. The new stamps are available for pre-order now and will be available for purchase at local post offices on October 1.

The set of twenty stamps will feature classic scenes from “A Charlie Brown Christmas” as a way to celebrate the legacy of the classic fifty year old program. Some of the scenes featured include Charlie Brown’s first glimpse of the sapling tree, Snoopy on ice skates and Linus kneeling by the decorated sapling.

The early October release of the stamp coincides with the Peanuts comic strip debut in seven newspapers on Oct. 2, 1950: The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Minneapolis Star-Tribune, The Allentown Call-Chronicle, The Bethlehem Globe-Times, The Denver Post, and The Seattle Times. When Schulz announced his retirement in December 1999, the Peanuts comic strip was syndicated in more than 2,600 newspapers worldwide, with book collections translated in more than 21 languages.

The stamps also come out in perfect time to coincide with the upcoming release of the all-new “Peanuts Movie” which will hit theaters on November 6!

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Captain America: Civil War Trailer And Footage Debuts At D23 Expo


(PCM) Marvel has unveiled the first trailer and footage for the highly anticipated film “Captain America: Civil War” which features The Avengers in action. The trailer and footage introduced by actors Chris Evans and Anthony Mackie at Disney’s D23 Expo which is taking place in Anaheim, CA.

The footage showed a conflict underway between Captain America, Falcon and Crossbones. We then see the rest of The Avengers including  Iron Man, Black Widow, Scarlett Witch, The Vision, Hawkeye and Ant-Man. The clip also appears to show The Winter Solider fighting alongside of Captain America, meaning that he must have been released from Hydra and is now fighting on the side of the good guys.

There is an on-going feud between Iron Man and Captain America that stems from public opinion about whether or not they are all actually heroes or vigilantes. We also get our first look at Black Panther in action and he looks incredible and there is a truly funny moment showcased between Ant-Man and Captain America where Ant-Man has a total fan-boy moment as he is asked to be part of the team.

Not sure how long this footage will be available until the Marvel officially releases the trailer to a wider audience, but check out the fan filmed footage from D23 below:

Captain America: Civil War will open on May 16, 2016

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ANEW And Medavoy Pact For English Language Adaptation Of 6000

image002(PCM) Global entertainment studio All Nippon Entertainment Works (ANEW) is partnering with Mike Medavoy to develop and produce the feature film, 6000.

This English-language film will be based on the acclaimed Japanese horror/thriller Manga series, “6000: Rokusen,” from Gentosha Comics, which is partnering on the project.

This is the first collaboration between ANEW, the international producer with a mandate to build a cultural bridge between Japan’s leading creative companies and prominent Hollywood filmmakers, such as Mike Medavoy, who is behind such hits as Black Swan, Shutter Island and soon to be released The 33. The ambitious project continues ANEW’s efforts to bring fresh and crowd-pleasing IP to the global marketplace. ANEW’s Vice President of Development Tara Billik, is overseeing the project for the company. Edward McGurn and Ben Anderson are producing along with Medavoy.

6000 is set in a deep sea research facility 6,000 meters below the ocean’s surface. A mysterious disaster three years earlier killed the crew and shuttered the station. Now, when a new team is sent down to get the operation up and running again, tension builds as they must struggle against the claustrophobic environment, their own deteriorating minds, and an unleashed danger lurking in the depths.

“Gentosha Comics has, in 15 years that it’s been in business, established itself as the publisher of compelling manga entertainment, as evidenced by 6000, a project that really lends itself to being adapted for the international market,” ANEW’s Senior Vice President of Development, Annmarie Bailey said.

“The expertise and the breadth of knowledge of Mike Medavoy and his team make them a clear match for this intensely mind-bending material, and we look forward to an ongoing partnership with them,” ANEW’s Tara Billik added.

“We were immediately drawn to the tension of 6000, and are looking forward to bringing this psychological thriller to the international movie audience,” Mike Medavoy said. “We appreciate the efforts ANEW made in securing the rights to the original property and then working with us to develop it further.”

“I grew up watching Hollywood Films, which inspired me to become a comic author. So for me, 6000 is a homage to the American Movie culture, and also a horror story for anyone, like me, who struggles through hopeless situations,” the comic book’s author Nokuto Koike said. “I’m very excited to see how these top U.S. filmmakers take my original story and use it to create a film that appeals to an international audience.”

In addition to 6000, ANEW is actively developing a robust slate of feature projects based on original Japanese IP. The company is developing two titles with Chris and Paul Weitz’s Depth of Field: Ghost Train, and Birthright, as well as Soul Reviver, in association with Fields Corp. and filmmaker partners Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz of Bedford Falls Prods., and a live action remake of Toei Animation’s robot anime Gaiking, with producer Gale Ann Hurd’s Valhalla Entertainment, Inc.

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