You’re On My iPod, Charlie Brown!


A BIG thanks to Comics Reporter for this!

Charles Schultz wrote this entire album, expanding themes that are drawn from the comic strip. The voice-actors are comedy writer Arthur Siegel as Charlie Brown and stage and screen actress Kaye Ballard (later of “The Mothers-In-Law”- thanks, Larry!) as Lucy. The music that surrounds the comedy bits was composed and orchestrated by the great Fred Karlin, famous for his work with Benny Goodman, Harry James, and Raymond Scott. The album was produced by John Hammond and released on Columbia’s Harmony imprint (HS11230). This is one of the toughest “Peanuts” records to find. Unfortunately, my vinyl is hindered by surface noise and a skip on Track 4. Nevertheless, it predates all of the TV specials and was a landmark event in the history of America’s greatest comic strip.

Unless you’re a blockhead, go download it!

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Peanuts Ghost Artist Passes Away

I thought this was interesting, if oddly late (the obit posted last evening)…

Artist and cartoonist Jim Sasseville, who attended art school with Charles Schulz in Minneapolis and worked with him in California for several years, died from Parkinson’s disease at his home in Los Altos, Calif., on Nov. 30. He was 78.

The commercial artist was known for “his wit in his art,” said his niece, Melanie Lesh, of Juneau, Alaska.

Sasseville, a native of Minneapolis, was an instructor at Art Instruction Schools of Minneapolis. There he met Charles Schulz, the creator of “Peanuts.”

In 1958, Sasseville moved to California to ghost-draw Peanuts comic books for Schulz. Sasseville also did the art work for a comic strip that the duo produced for a couple of years in the late 1950s called “It’s Only a Game.” The strip had a sports theme and characters “who appeared similar to Peanuts,” Lesh said. A book Schulz and Sasseville wrote about the little-known comic strip was published in 2004.

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The Little Black Eyed Girl

OK, I’m not a huge fan of The Black Eyed Peas, but I gotta admit that singer/eye candy, Fergie, has gotten my attention.

So I was surprised to learn that as a girl she provided the voice of Sally Brown (2 years) and Lucy Van Pelt (1 year) for various Peanuts shows.

A quick search on IMDB reveals that she voiced Sally in 1984’s “It’s Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown,” and 1985’s “Snoopy’s Getting Married, Charlie Brown.”

Nothing popped up for her Lucy voice work, but I’m betting it’s the little-known Peanuts cult classic, “I’m Going To Grow Up Into a Hottie, Charlie Brown.”

“‘Li’l Folks’ – Charles M. Schulz: Li’l Beginnings” – Review

I think I first ran across this book over at Robot Johnny and ordered it without closing the laptop.

Printed by the Schulz Museum and lovingly edited by Derrick Bang, ‘Li’l Folks’ – Charles M. Schulz: Li’l Beginnings is a treasure not only for fans of Peanuts, but gag cartoon fans as well.

Few are aware of Schulz’ years of gag work (he sold 17 to The Saturday Evening Post) for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, but thanks to Bang and company this collection of previously largely ignored work is now easily accessible and a fascinating read.

The entire Li’l Folks run of 1947-1950 is presented exactly as they appeared in the newspaper, occasional missing eyes and all, and Schulz’ gentle sophisticated humor is blossoming. As good as the cartoons are, however, the editor’s annotations really make this volume shine; commenting on influences, characters, gags that found their way into Peanuts, and other fun asides with a zeal that is astounding.

My only wish would be for this remarkable piece to be rereleased in hardcover.

Please grab a copy while they’re still available.