Schulz’s Youth by Charles M. Schulz

Schulz’s Youth by Charles M. Schulz. As a follow-up to David Michaelis’ excellent biography of Charles Schulz, I was pleasantly surprised to stumble across this collection of cartoons created by Schulz from 1956-65 for “Youth magazine, a publication aimed at teens in the Church of God.” As expected, the single-panel entries have lots of religious references, but primarily focus on Schulz’s view of teenage life. Due to the limitations of working with a single image, Schulz frequently just has two people talking, or rather one person talking while the other listens. The funniest panels usually combine a visual comic element (which, unfortunately, I can’t reproduce here) with a single humorous sentence:

A girl carries a bunch of bowling pins and asks her date, “I knocked ‘em all over … How come I can’t keep them?”

A young man asks a librarian, “Overdue? How could this book be overdue when I’ve only read the first two chapters?”

A young girl complains to her mother that “I’m convinced the telephone is an instrument of the devil. … I haven’t had anyone call me for a date all week!”

A teenager explains to his clergyman that “I hope my investing in a new set of tires doesn’t give you the impression that I don’t believe your preaching about the world coming to an end, Rev. Hartman.”

Of course, Schulz did a number of other books. One of my favorites is a collection of single-panels from another newspaper feature he did from 1957-59 entitled “It’s Only a Game.” Schultz was a huge fan of sports and, working in collaboration with artist Jim Sasseville, produced this excellent series about golf, baseball, bowling, bridge and several other sports and pastimes, including a few on my favorite sport of badminton. If you have an opportunity to spend an evening reading either of these collections, I promise you’ll laugh more often than you would watching today’s network sitcoms.

 UPDATE (Feb. 11): The publisher, About Comics, sent me an email with a link so that those curious to see samples from the book could view them.  Thanks.

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