The Comicrazys blog has posted some scans from the out-of-print Charles Schulz book What Was Bugging Ol’ Pharaoh?
In Schulz’s Peanuts, the adults were always offstage, so it was easy to assume he never drew adults, teenagers, or anyone over the age of ten. So these cartoons are interesting artefacts from a man who spent 50 years drawing small children. What also sets some of these apart is their overt religious themes.
Schulz was a devout Christian, but in 50 years of Peanuts, he managed to keep references to God out of his strip. There were a few exceptions, such as the Charlie Brown Christmas Special, of course, and this famous example from 1963:
And while these cartoons feature mostly teenagers, we’re even treated to an actual adult now and then. So we can easily imagine how Charlie Brown might look when he grows up.
Most, if not all, of these teenager cartoons have been reprinted recently in a paperback book called Schulz’s Youth. But as books go, it feels like an ugly slapped-together afterthought. Those beautiful captions set in Futura that so perfectly place the cartoons in the late 50s/early 60s are replaced with oversized captions purposelessly set in font based on Schulz’s handwriting from the latter half of his career. And there’s something about that old, yellowed paper that brings a cartoon to life that today’s ultra-smooth bleached-white paper fails to do.
Here’s another of Schulz’s book of teen cartoons, this one from my collection, called Young Pillars: