Before finding some small success as a cartoonist, Charles M. Schulz began his career as one of the instructors at the Art Instruction School in Minneapolis. But the greatest of correspondence courses for illustration and cartooning was The Famous Artists School in Wilton, Connecticut. Among its faculty was my favorite classic illustrator, Jon Whitcomb. As stated in the video, he specialized in drawing pretty girls, which is probably why he is my favorite classic illustrator.
As a kid I rode my bike countless times to buy comic books at a shopping center that was two miles away, in Wilton. As a teenager I came to realize what, and who, I had left behind by moving to Massachusetts. I had been living in the midst of many cartoonists and illustrators! With absolute certainty, I can say that if my family had remained in Norwalk, Connecticut, I would have pursued an art career, most likely starting as an assistant to an established cartoonist or comic book artist.
Santa came through once again with the latest box set of “The Complete Peanuts”. It’s been ten years since Fantagraphics began publishing the collection, and they’re now up through 1994, which means the next two-volume set will leave only 1999 and the nine strips from 2000 to be done. Yesterday was the 15th anniversary of the final daily “Peanuts” installment.
Next Christmas will see the premiere of the first “Peanuts” animated feature in many years. It’s spear-headed (not block-headed!) by Craig Schulz, and I think the final look of the computer animation is very appealing. Here’s hoping the movie will do well in theaters and on video, so that the Peanuts gang — a perennial favorite in TV rerun ratings — will gather new generations of fans and continue to be popular when the characters are 100 years old, in 2050.