The comic strip “Peanuts” and me

By Ahmet Abdulaziz ….

History is made up of events, and events occur every day of the year. Today, as I was surfing through the net, looking for some important events which occurred on 2nd October, I came across an interesting one, which I could correlate with my childhood memories.

2nd October is the day when PEANUTS was first published in 1950. For those who may not know much of them, I must mention that Peanuts is among the most popular and influential in the history of comic strips. It can very well be among the most popular comic strips, which were not just comic or humorous, but usually dealt with philosophical, psychological, and sociological aspects of human lives, all presented in a very simple way with a slight humour.

The World Encyclopedia of Comics explains the theme of strips in the following words.

“The strip focuses entirely on a social circle of young children, where adults exist but are rarely seen or heard. The main character, Charlie Brown, is meek, nervous, and lacks self-confidence. He is unable to fly a kite, win a baseball game, or kick a football held by his irascible friend Lucy, who always pulls it away at the last instant.”

When I was born, Peanuts was 5 years old.  I think  when I started seeing it for first time, it must have been ten or eleven years old. We used to have daily DAWN newspaper, and Peanuts was always there. Of course at that age I could not understand anything out of that strip, but as the time passed by, I developed a close relationship with it. Yes, by the time I started going to primary school, I had started colouring Peanuts with red and blue coloured pencils.

My father had been working as an auditor in a government department, during the early 1960s. As an auditor he was using a pencil half of which was red and the other half blue. He had been bringing home those pencils, after they became so small that they could not be held in the hand. So those red and blue pencils had become my first art instrument.

Peanuts thus are the ones who helped me in the field of art, at a very young age. Although at that time, I had started colouring other photos in the newspaper and magazines at home too. However as the time passed by, I moved up to drawing. Peanuts were not the first which I had started copying on paper, but were among those which I started copying on paper when still in primary school.

As the time passed by and I was growing up,  the “peanuts” remained my partner, though they had not grown up. I was still colouring them, but now I had started using different pencil colours. I had started painting in yellow and green also, besides red and blue. I had started doing some light and dark shades on Peanuts.

My connection with “Peanuts” became less, when I found other cartoons. “Archie” was my next interest. I had found some old comics of “Archie”, and had started drawing and colouring them. Of course I was in middle school by then, and I had also started venturing into other forms of art. Archie remained my interest for quite some time. I remember I had copied innumerable cartoons in those days. I did not draw “Peanuts” after that.

However I never forgot them. Even today when I found them on the internet, the whole film of my childhood interest in them passed through my eyes. I do not miss them, because frequently I find them here and there on internet. .