Skip to content

Only What’s Necessary: Charles M. Schulz and the Art of Peanuts

    The thing I love about Charles M. Schulz’s art is the simplicity. Simple squiggles and lines are sometimes more powerful than complex art. With 50 years of continuous cartooning, the art became shakier with age. His mind and hand still worked together but at a different pace. Every artist like an athlete will wither with age.

    Only What’s Necessary: Charles M. Schulz and the Art of Peanuts celebrates the genius of Charles M. Schulz. I can never say no to Peanuts. Since my first paperback edition, I got hooked. I love to see the rawness of his ideas. Charles M. Schulz was more than a cartoonist, he was a philosopher. Peanuts is universal. It is one man’s inner examination of life through 50 years of panel cartooning. With 17,879 strips. There is so much material to draw from for any generation. As much as I love Calvin and Hobbes, Peanuts will always outshine any comic strip.

    Charles M. Schulz (1922–2000) believed that the key to cartooning was to take out the extraneous details and leave in only what’s necessary. For 50 years, from October 2, 1950, to February 13, 2000, Schulz wrote and illustrated Peanuts, the single most popular and influential comic strip in the world. In all, 17,897 strips were published, making it “arguably the longest story ever told by one human being,” according to Robert Thompson, professor of popular culture at Syracuse University. For Only What’s Necessary: Charles M. Schulz and the Art of Peanuts, renowned designer Chip Kidd was granted unprecedented access to the extraordinary archives of the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa, California. Reproducing the best of the Peanuts newspaper strip,all shot from the original art by award-winning photographer Geoff Spear, Only What’s Necessary also features exclusive, rare, and unpublished original art and developmental work—much of which has never been seen before.