What do Charles M. Schulz, Mr. Rogers, and Beethoven have to do with one another? Just ask cartoonist Chris Ware, who recently discussed some commonalities in the enduring legacies of these cultural icons.
Ware’s comments in the video below suggest why Schulz’s Peanuts has survived—and indeed flourished—across periods of immense cultural change, just as Mr. Rogers and Beethoven have. He suggests that one reason for the strip’s lasting success is Schulz’s ability to demonstrate “how to be a man who’s not a jerk.”
The clip was taped at Chicago’s American Writers Museum last November 4, at a panel discussion in which Andrew Blauner, editor of the new LOA anthology The Peanuts Papers, asked cartoonists Chris Ware and Ivan Brunetti about the “universal appeal” of Peanuts in American culture. Ware is best known for his award-winning Acme Novelty Library series and his various graphic novels, including Rusty Brown (2019). Brunetti is an associate professor at Columbia College Chicago who has created covers for The New Yorker and authored numerous graphic novels and nonfiction books. Watch:
Video: Andrew Blauner, Chris Ware, and Ivan Brunetti at the American Writers Museum, Nov. 4, 2019 (1:56)
Watch the complete American Writers Museum program with Blauner, Ware, and Brunetti here.