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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Birthdate of a ‘Great’ icon

 Well, it’s Oct. 26th and you know what that means?  Yep, it’s the anniversary of Charles Schulz’ creation of The Great Pumpkin.


The Great Pumpkin was first referred to on this date in 1959 and went on to become an annual feature of the Peanuts comic strip and later as the focus of a 1966 animated television special “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” still watched by more than 10 million viewers each Halloween season.

The Great Pumpkin, of course, is an unseen figure that only Lucy’s brother Linus believes in and patiently waits for each Halloween night.  He sits in a pumpkin patch – not unlike this one near our home in Colorado – waiting for the “magic” that he knows will happen once the Great Pumpkin arrives.   Invariably, the Great Pumpkin fails to turn up, and a humiliated but undefeated Linus vows to wait for him again the following Halloween.

During his lifetime Schulz drew nearly 18,000 Peanuts strips.   Most people think of cartoonists just for their art, yet much of what Schulz wrote for his strips lives on vividly through the words he created for his cartoon characters to say.

“I think anybody who is writing finds he puts a little bit of himself in all of the characters,” Schulz said in a 1984 interview.   And, he said, when you are drawing and writing a cartoon strip, “You have to put yourself, all of your thoughts, all of your observations and everything you know into the strip.”

Including waiting patiently for The Great Pumpkin to arrive.

Linus and Sally waiting for The Great Pumpkin 

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