#528 Lenny Schwartz: Comics and the Theatre, Act III

Co-Creator

While we’ve talked before with Austin Tichenor and John Roberson about adapting comics to the stage, we’ve never talked about (or even thought about!) adapting the lives of comics creators to that stage! But Lenny Schwartz has done it, and more than once, writing and directing “Co-Creator” (about Bill Finger and his claim to the Batman legacy) and “The Man Who Saw Snoopy” (about Charles Schulz, of course!). And he has another in the works on Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko.

This week Lenny tells Tim about writing these plays, just how much credit Bob Kane and Stan Lee may actually deserve, how Schulz used Peanuts as his diary, and much more.

#482 Peanuts: A Twentieth-Century Classic

Lucy pulls away the football

Charles Schulz’s Peanuts is one of the most beloved comic strips of the 20th century. But while some prefer the hilariously cruel and despairing tone of the first half of the series, it seems that the public perception of Peanuts is more in line with the cute, commercial tone it took on in its second 25 years.

This week Tim and Kumar come back to Peanuts, more than seven years after reviewing the Schulz bio, to delve more into the strip itself. What is the nature of the Peanuts kids? What motivates them? How does Peanuts (especially in its first half) fit an existentialist view of the world?

Also discussed: the recent movie — what was good or bad. Was showing the Little Red Haired Girl a good idea? Plus, a nod to a few of Schulz’s more interesting panel compositions, and, what Peanuts strip does Tim want on his wall?

“The Peanuts Movie”: So, that happened

peanutsmovie
A couple of years ago, when BOOM!’s imprint for kids, KaBOOM!, announced they would be publishing a Peanuts comic book of new material, I vowed not to touch it with a fifty-foot kite string. Never mind if it was good or not; that wasn’t the point. I just had no more interest in reading Peanuts-not-by-Schulz than I did in reading Watchmen-not-by-Alan-Moore.

This wasn’t just because I assumed that a great creation carried on by someone other than its original creator was just not going to be the same. I also knew that Schulz did not want any more Peanuts strips created when he was gone. (The family agreed to the creation of the KaBOOM! series by splitting hairs: Sparky wanted no one to make further Peanuts STRIPS, but nobody said anything about Peanuts COMIC BOOKS. Um, OK.)

So when The Peanuts Movie was released last year, my first impulse was to go no where near that, either. At first.

Continue reading “The Peanuts Movie”: So, that happened

#155 Schulz and Peanuts, part 2

Snoopy omlette at the Snoopy Cafe, YokohamaFLASHBACK! Monte Schulz, son of Charles, claims to have been “horrified” by the David Michaelis bio of his father. Should he have been? (Originally published November 24, 2008)

#154 Schulz and Peanuts, part 1

Schulz and PeanutsFLASHBACK! Leading into our review of David Michaelis’ controversial Schulz biography, “Schulz and Peanuts,” Tim and Kumar talk about the strip itself, how it influenced what came after, and how, in politics and social issues, it took no sides — and all sides. (originally published November 17, 2008)

#261 Little Lulu

Little LuluYou’ve probably heard of Little Lulu. Perhaps you’ve read one of her comics, or maybe you saw the ’90s cartoon series on HBO. But did you know that, in the mid-20th century, Lulu was a merchandising juggernaut? Tim and Kumar discuss the background of the character, and review the Dark Horse book Lulu Takes a Trip.

Little Lulu at Harvard

#238 Laika

In 1957, the Russians were winning the space race. After the successful launch of Sputnik, the Russian space program was under pressure to further embarrass the U.S. by launching a living thing — a dog — into orbit. This is the story of Laika, who made a historical splash big enough to get a vague mention in Peanuts. Nick Abadzis’ graphic novel on the topic reaches even higher thematically, and delivers. Tim and Brandon review.

#155 Schulz and Peanuts, pt. 2

11/24/08 Schulz and Peanuts pt. 2

Snoopy omlette at the Snoopy Cafe, YokohamaMonte Schulz, son of Charles, claims to have been "horrified" by the David Michaelis bio of his father. Should he have been?

#154 Schulz and Peanuts, part 1

11/17/08 Schulz and Peanuts

Schulz and PeanutsLeading into our review of David Michaelis’ controversial Schulz biography, “Schulz and Peanuts,” Tim and Kumar talk about the strip itself, how it influenced what came after, and how, in politics and social issues, it took no sides — and all sides.