Good grief! Peanuts comic strip turns 60

Thu Sep 30, 2010 2:29pm EDT
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By Bernd Debusmann Jr.

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Peanuts, the iconic comic strip that charmed hundreds of millions of people worldwide with the antics of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy and Linus, is celebrating its 60th anniversary on Saturday.

The original strip, drawn by Charles M. Schulz, first ran on October 2,1950 in seven newspapers and continued until February 13, 2000, the day after Schulz's death at the age of 77.

It has appeared in more than 2,000 newspapers in 72 countries and 21 languages and still continues in reruns.

Its lovable characters, Linus with his trademark security blanket, bossy Lucy at her lemonade stand, anxiety-prone Charlie Brown and Snoopy with his typewriter and fantasies of being the Red Baron, appealed to children and adults of all ages and appeared in books, plays, TV shows and in films.

Schulz's daughter, Jill, attributes the phenomenal success of Peanuts to its universal themes.

"The subject matter and characters hit on issues that people from every single generation can relate to, such as winning and losing. No matter how advanced we become as a society, everybody can identify with them," she explained.

The characters became like family to her.

"They were like siblings, but couldn't argue back."   Continued...

<p>The first Peanuts comic strip is seen in a handout image. REUTERS/&copy;2010 Peanuts Worldwide LLC/Handout</p>