Press Room Archives

For Immediate Release — September 16, 2010

“Searching Out New Territory”: Experiments in Peanuts

at the Charles M. Schulz Museum & Research Center
September 22, 2010 through February 21, 2011


“When I first started [to create] Charlie Brown, I didn’t know he was going to lose all the time … He was slightly flippant … a kind of bouncy little character. He was able to come back with a wise saying to other characters.” – Charles Schulz

(Santa Rosa, CA) As Peanuts readers, we take some things for granted after 60 years of reading the comic strip. Wasn’t Charlie Brown always the lovable loser, Snoopy a wonderfully versatile fantasy character, and didn’t the Peanuts Gang always ponder big issues over the brick half-wall? It is surprising to find out that the Peanuts comic strip evolved. It was fluid and changing as its creator, Charles Schulz experimented to keep the strip fresh and funny.

As Schulz said, “A comic strip…has to grow. The only way you can stay ahead…is to search out new territories.”

“Searching Out New Territory”: Experiments in Peanuts, the newest exhibition at the Charles M. Schulz Museum, delves into the characters, techniques and themes that Schulz explored. The exhibition, which runs September 22, 2010 through February 21, 2011, gives visitors a unique look Schulz’s innovations and experiments in his comic strip. Sixty original Peanuts comic strips survey its evolution, highlighting the tests that succeeded and those that failed. For instance, adults, cats, and loud-mouthed Charlotte Braun were introduced into the strip, before they quickly disappeared when Schulz realized that they just didn’t work.

The exhibition sheds light on some of the reasons Schulz made changes in the strip. It explores the development of Charlie Brown’s character, from a flippant and witty little guy to the strip’s loveable loser. Snoopy was introduced to the strip on all-fours and acting like a dog before he took to the top of his doghouse and forever changed into a fantasy character. Among other transformations in the Peanuts strip are the settings where the Gang could discuss important topics. Originally they would be found sitting on a curb while exchanging funny banter, but Schulz, concerned for the safety of his own children, was sensitive to the dilemma in his comic strip as well. After playing with a few different ideas, he eventually settled his cast of characters behind the safety of a brick half-wall.

If you would like any of the images from “Searching Out New Territory”: Experiments in Peanuts to print in a publication, contact Gina Huntsinger at or (707) 284-1268.

Copyright and image instructions:
Copyright for all Peanuts image should be:   Peanuts © (year of strip) Peanuts Worldwide LLC

FOR USE OF ALL IMAGES IN THIS RELEASE. This art may not be altered in any way. You may not crop, flop, compress or squeeze the images. You may enlarge or reduce its size to fit your publication; and you must do so proportionately. You may not create or change words or thought balloons for the characters.

Peanuts—May 15, 1953 Charlie Brown sitting on a curb and Snoopy acting like a real dog (notice how he is walking on all four legs) in this Peanuts strip, though neither scenarios appear in Schulz’s later work.

Peanuts—December 8, 1954 Loud-mouthed Charlotte Braun did not last long in the Peanuts strip after Schulz received input from his fans asking for her dismissal.

Peanuts—June 6, 1961 Cats were something Schulz did not feel he could draw well. This is one of the last times a cat is actually drawn within the panels of the comic strip.

Peanuts—May 23, 1954 Showing adults in the strip was “something I never should have done.” “But,” Schulz concluded, “it was an experiment.”

The Charles M. Schulz Museum opened in August 2002 to fulfill its mission of preserving, displaying, and interpreting the art of Charles M. Schulz. The museum carries out this mission through changing exhibitions and programming that: build an understanding of cartoonists and cartoon art; illustrate the scope of Schulz’s multi-faceted career; communicate the stories, inspirations and influences of Charles Schulz; and celebrate the life of Charles Schulz and the Peanuts characters.

The Charles M. Schulz Museum is located 50 minutes north of San Francisco by car on Highway 101. The Museum is located at 2301 Hardies Lane, Santa Rosa, California, 95403.

Weekdays Monday thru Friday (except Tuesdays*) 11am – 5pm
Saturday & Sunday 10am – 5pm
Closed Tuesdays*
*Open everyday throughout the summer (Memorial Day through Labor Day)

Free – Museum Members, Children 3 and under
$5.00 – Children 4-18, college students with valid I.D. card, and Seniors 62+
$10.00 – Adults

For more information consult the Museum web site:
Charles M. Schulz Museum & Research Center
2301 Hardies Lane Santa Rosa, CA 95403