the take

Charlie Brown and the Infinite Sadness

Nope, certainly no hints of any depression in today’s “Peanuts” cartoon.Courtesy of

Filling in for Dan Kois today is Fluxblog editor Matthew Perpetua.

According to an article in today’s New York Times, the family of “Peanuts” cartoonist Charles Schulz was shocked to discover that a new biography of the comics legend primarily portrays him as “a depressed, cold and bitter man who was constantly going after different women.” Though it is understandable that a family would be sensitive about this sort of thing, it’s also jaw-dropping that anyone at all could be surprised that the man who wrote and illustrated the most melancholy daily comic strip of all time would actually be, you know, kind of a sad sack.

Really, given that cartoonists work long solitary hours and rarely get any sort of critical respect in their lifetime, it’s sort of a miracle to stumble upon veterans in that field who are not miserable and/or crazy. Even if Schulz was a man given to telling interviewers things like “I have this awful feeling of impending doom” and “I wake up to a funeral-like atmosphere,” he actually seems rather chipper and well adjusted compared to, say, “Cerebus” creator Dave Sim, whose masterwork gradually devolves from a nuanced political satire to a seemingly schizophrenic rant against women. Look on the bright side, Schulz family — at least your paterfamilias isn’t that guy. Good grief! —Matthew Perpetua

Biography of ‘Peanuts’ Creator Stirs Family [NYT]

Charlie Brown and the Infinite Sadness