Few comic strips are more beloved than Charles M. Schulz's Peanuts, and few characters more enduring than Charlie Brown and his irrepressible beagle Snoopy. Schulz, a dog lover, even coined the phrase, "Happiness Is a Warm Puppy,"which provided an ironic counterpoint to the Beatles song, Happiness Is a Warm Gun, and was the title of a self-help book filled with aphorisms with illustrations of the Peanuts gang.
In Swann's upcoming auction of 20th Century Illustration, there are four Peanuts-related lots illustrated by Schulz, including a presentation copy of the 1962 first edition of Happiness Is a Warm Puppy, inscribed and with an ink drawing of Snoopy on front free endpaper.
There is also a copy of the 1967 book Snoopy and the Red Baron inscribed with a drawing of Snoopy as the World War I flying ace on the front free endpaper.
And, there is a full four-panel Peanuts comic strip featuring Charlie Brown and Lucy from 1956 that also displays an inscription--this one with an interesting back story. It offers "sincere best wishes" to Freya Hulmer, a longtime California schoolteacher who befriended Schulz, as described in a local newspaper, "when she began taking her daughter to ice skating practice at Schulz's Redwood Empire Ice Arena in Santa Rosa ... she graded homework and assignments and had occasional coffee and conversations with Schulz himself, with the late cartoonist picking her brain for insight into her young students."
Labels: 20th Century Illustration, Charles M. Schulz, Charlie Brown, comic strip, Lucy Van Pelt, Peanuts, Snoopy