The Globe and Mail has just published my review of David Michaelis’s Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography. I’ll have more to say about this book in the next couple of days, but in the meantime enjoy the review. Here’s how it starts off:
For Snoopy, 1970 was the summer of love. In July of that turbulent year, the canine hero of the Peanuts comic strip went back to the school of his original dog training, the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm, which, like many a real-world campus, was being torn apart by political strife. Protesters objecting to the use of dogs in Vietnam rioted at the Puppy Farm. Amid the ensuing melee, Snoopy met a young “girl-beagle” who was blessed with “soft paws.” To the annoyance of his owner, Charlie Brown, Snoopy kept mooning over the “girl-beagle,” writing her passionate letters and calling her long-distance.
Snoopy’s romantic entanglements with the young “girl-beagle” mirrored the real-life personal tribulations of his creator, cartoonist Charles Schulz. As biographer David Michaelis makes clear in his eye-opening and controversial Schulz and Peanuts, the artist crafted Snoopy’s story as an allegory for his own search for love outside his troubled marriage.