November 26, 2020
November 24, 2020
[Authors’ note: 5CP posts generally are informal — and much shorter! — like newspaper press releases. But because of the way this particular saga unfolded, a first-person approach seemed best. As a result, Derrick is stepping out from behind the curtain.]
I spent almost two decades wondering about this.
Very little in the way of Peanuts and Charles M. Schulz lore remains untapped, at this late stage. Thanks to the Schulz Museum’s debut in August 2002 — along with Fantagraphics’ Complete Peanuts book series, David Michaelis’ biography of Schulz, and all manner of other books, articles and essays from numerous quarters — we’ve been blessed with detailed revelations about almost every possible aspect of Snoopy, Charlie Brown and the rest of the gang.
I first learned about the annual Peanuts Christmas countdown panels in late 1997, after signing on as a desk editor at my hometown newspaper. At that time, they were distributed on slick pages, multiple panels to a page, as shown at left:
The panels themselves were lifted from existing Peanuts newspaper strips, but the word balloons were amended with a holiday-themed sentiment; alternatively, “silent” panels were assigned holiday-themed “titles” above the artwork. (My understanding is that selecting and captioning each year’s panels was something of a contest among various United Feature Syndicate staffers; they were not done by Schulz.)
By the 21st century, the panels also were available digitally — in both monochrome and full color — via various Internet delivery systems. The panels were sent, at no additional charge, to all client newspapers that published the daily Peanuts strip. The idea was to add a bit of holiday cheer to the season, starting the Friday after Thanksgiving, and concluding on Christmas Day.
But our local paper didn’t use them, and — for that matter — I don’t recall ever having seen them in any of the newspapers that commonly came to my attention. They weren’t in the Los Angeles Times, or the San Francisco Chronicle; even the Santa Rosa Press Democrat declined to run them (which seems odd, given that Schulz lived in Santa Rosa for so many years).
November 18, 2020
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving & Christmas specials to air on PBS on November 22 and December 13, 2020, respectively
November 15, 2020
Save the date!
On November 26th, the 94th annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will air from
9 am to noon, all time zones, on NBC-TV.
Due to COVID19, this will not be the typical crowd-filled, two-and-a-half-mile route starting at West 77th Street. The balloons will not be flown by handlers; they will be driven by utility vehicles and joined by floats gliding just one city block down 34th Street, near the flagship department store, and without an audience. Marching bands will not be included, but the casts of four currently shuttered Broadway shows will perform instead.
Astronaut Snoopy will return, continuing his record as the longest-running balloon character.
For a complete history of the various Peanuts character balloons that have flown in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, see here.