Feb 23rd 2016 The Kite-Eating Tree
I’m a little late to Sparky’s wake, 2016. There’s been a lot online the past couple of weeks as Charles Schulz was memorialized again on the 16th anniversary of his death. I drew this cartoon 10 years ago, at this same time of year. I don’t have a lot of Schulz stories, but I have a few. The National Cartoonist Society held its 1988 annual convention, highlighted by the Reuben Awards, in San Francisco. One evening, United Media hosted a private dinner for its talent, great and small. That included Schulz and me, respectively. Of course, he attracted a knot of youngsters such as myself, basking in his aura. He was praising one of his favorite cartoonists, James Thurber.
“Why,” he asked in a Socratic manner, “were Thurber’s cartoons good?” There were several eager guesses from others. Because they were simple. Because they were different. I thought to myself, “Because they were funny.” No sooner had the thought died than the old master explained, “Because they were funny.” Honest! I did think that! I just wish I’d said it out loud.