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Charles M. Schulz: Working for Peanuts
When Charles M. Schulz was just a few days old, an uncle nicknamed him Sparky, after the horse Spark Plug from a popular cartoon of the period. It seems predestined that this little boy would love to draw and would become one of the most influential cartoonists of all time.
Growing up, Charles spent every Sunday reading "the funnies" in all four local newspapers with his father. In his senior year of high school, he took a correspondence drawing course that focused on comics. He was suddenly drafted into the army, and it was only after his discharge in 1945 that the young artist set his sights on working as a full-time cartoonist.
His first series, Li’l Folks, consisted of single-panel drawings and met with moderate success. By the time United Feature Syndicate gave him his big break in 1950, Schulz had begun to experiment with four-panel comic strips. These later came to define newspaper cartoons. Fearing a copyright infringement on an earlier publication called Little Folks, his syndicate retitled Schulz’s debut in seven newspapers across the country as Peanuts — a then-common term for kids.
Schulz’s dry, intellectual humor appealed to the increasingly educated national readership. Published collections and Emmy-winning TV specials followed and, as they say, the rest is history.
在成長過程中，查爾斯每個星期日都會和他的父親一起閱讀四份當地報紙的「滑稽連環漫畫」。在他高三那年，他修了一門主題為漫畫的函授繪畫課程。後來，他突然被徵召入伍，直到 1945 年退役後，這位年輕的畫家才立志要成為全職漫畫家。
他的第一套系列作品《小傢伙》是單格漫畫，成績差強人意。等到聯合特稿社在 1950 年給他突破的機會，舒茲才開始繪製四格漫畫的實驗。這些作品後來界定了報紙漫畫的格式。由於擔心對先前另一件也稱為《小傢伙》的出版作品構成侵權，他的稿社於是將舒茲在全美七份報紙首度刊登的作品更名為《花生漫畫– peanut 是當時稱呼小孩的常用詞。