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My interview with Charles Schulz

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I’ve met some big-time cartoonists in my day. I’m talking big, big-time cartoonists. But some of the biggest stars can turn out to be some of the biggest assholes. I’ll give you just one such example. Charles Schulz. He was a total prick. Yes, that’s right, Charles M. Schulz himself. Good ole’ Sparky. He was a right bloody bastard. I actually met the dude back in 1983. I got his personal home address from a friend of a friend. So I figured I’d drop in uninvited and interview him for a fan- zine I was thinking of putting out. Ya know? Two fellow cartoonists; a meeting-of-the-minds kind of thing. Well, Schulz answered the door himself. But he didn’t seem pleased to see me. “CHUCK! CHUCK!” I said. “I’m one of your BIGGEST fans!” I wrapped my arm around his shoulder and gave him a big, manly hug. “I used to read your comic strip every day when I was a kid. Charlie Brown and Snoopy and all that!”

This seemed to temporarily placate him. But then I said, “So what are you doing nowadays, Chuck? Are you still working on that comic strip of yours? That Peanuts thing?”

His whole demeanor towards me changed after that. In fact, he acted like he wanted to kill me. He said something about how he had to get back to work; some bullshit about a pressing deadline or something like that. Ya know? Like he’s such a big hot-shot he doesn’t have any time to spend with his fans – the ones who made him who he is!

I asked him if he would autograph this cocktail napkin I brought with me. “Make it out to my girlfriend,” I said, “and draw a cartoon of Charlie Bown kicking Lucy in the butt, with Snoopy and the Red Baron flying around in the background.” He complied. Grudgingly.

But the cheap fountain pen he was using bled the ink all over the napkin. I was giving Schulz some good tips for how he could improve his drawing ability when he went completely berserk. With no provocation on my part, he suddenly lunged at me and kneed me hard in the groin area. Twice. I crumpled to the floor. Then he grabbed me by the collar – this is Charles “Mr. Nice Guy” Schulz. “The Gospel According to Peanuts” Schulz. Good ole’ Sparky – he grabbed me by the collar and slapped me hard in the face, twice. When I looked up from the floor, Schulz was standing directly over me with a big two-by-four, ready to finish me off. “NO, SPARKY, NO!” I cried. I deftly side-stepped his attack and responded with a maneuver that I call the Ace Backwords Karate Chop of Doom - a good solid chop to the back of Schulz’s neck. He went down like a sack of shit. I maced him in the face for good measure. That temporarily subdued him.

But as I was making my exit amidst a cloud of mace, Charles Schulz tearfully spat out those words that would cut me like an X-acto knife. “YOU BASTARD!” he hissed. “YOUR COMIC STRIP WILL NEVER BE NATIONALLY SYNDICATED! YOUR CARTOONS WILL NEVER APPEAR ON HALLMARK GREETING CARDS AND HOSTESS TWINKEES! YOU ARE NOTHING! I AM CHARLES M. SCHULZ!”

I punched him in the head and knocked him unconscious. For an old guy, he really wasn’t all that tough. But the worst thing of all was, in the ensuing melee I ended up losing that stupid doodle he drew for me. I bet that thing would be worth a lot of money today if I sold it on eBay.

So don’t let nobody tell you different. Charles Schulz was a total asshole.###

All contents © 2011 by Gene Mahoney