Above: the cartoonist and his creation
David Michaelis’ biography of Charles “Sparky” Schulz has been something of an obsession with this blog: it’s a big book and a challenging one, given the way it mixes facts (or apparent facts) with interpretation. Jeannie Schulz, the cartoonist’s widow, has sent along some comments she has on the Michaelis book (comments that will also appear on the Cartoon Brew site). Anyone interested in the subject should read Jeannie Schulz’s comments very carefully. They are extremely thoughtful and show a very close and attentive reading of the Michaelis biography, bringing to bear not just her 26 years of marriage to Schulz but also her unparalleled knowledge of his life prior to marriage (as an heir, Jeannie has done exemplary service in preserving her husband’s legacy, keeping both his work and memory alive). To my mind, they represent the most serious critique the Michaelis biography has yet received.
JS notes on the BIO
I wanted to get back to this blog when I could with a few more observations on Michaelis’ book.
Part of David Michaelis working thesis in the book appears to rest on the theory that Sparky suffered from his mother’s coldness and lack of attention.
Michaelis portrays Sparky’s mother, Dena, as a typically cold Norwegian and hypothesizes, from this and from an interview comment that as kids they were not invited into the Schulz’s house, that Dena was distant and unfriendly.