Schulz, Snoopy Bid Readers Farewell in Last Daily ‘Peanuts’
Snoopy, perched on his doghouse in front of his typewriter, looks over a farewell message from creator Charles Schulz in the last “Peanuts” strip, running in newspapers Monday.
Schulz, 77, who has written, drawn, colored and lettered every “Peanuts” strip for almost 50 years, decided to retire after being diagnosed as having colon cancer in November. His contract stipulates that no one else will ever draw the comic strip, which appears in more than 2,600 newspapers in 75 countries.
The single-panel farewell strip is primarily a text message, over Schulz’ signature, with the Snoopy drawing in the lower right corner.
“Dear Friends,” Schulz writes. “I have been fortunate to draw Charlie Brown and his friends for almost 50 years. It has been the fulfillment of my childhood ambition. Unfortunately, I am no longer able to maintain the schedule demanded by a daily comic strip, therefore I am announcing my retirement.
“I have been grateful over the years for the loyalty of our editors and the wonderful support and love expressed to me by fans of the comic strip.
“Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy . . . how can I ever forget them . . .”
A final Sunday strip by Schulz will run in newspapers Feb. 13. After that, United Feature Syndicate will publish “Peanuts” reprints.
Schulz, who is focusing on his health and family at home in Santa Rosa, Calif., never expected the support he’s seen from readers, who have been sending him 400 to 500 pieces of mail a day, his secretary, Edna Poehner, said Friday.
“He just drew pictures. It’s overwhelming for him,” she said. “I take a bundle to him each day, and he can go through them as he feels up to it. It’s unbelievable to him.
“For the most part, people are saying they’re going to miss Charlie Brown, but ‘you’ve earned the right to retire and enjoy other things.’ The letters are beautiful.”