Charles M. Schulz: Li'l Beginnings
Liíl Folks, the weekly comic panel that Charles Schulz produced before turning his attention to Peanuts,
is the subject of a book released February 21, 2004, by the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center.
Charles M. Schulz: Liíl Beginnings, with a foreword by Jean Schulz and annotations, editorial commentary
and an introduction by Derrick Bang, includes all 135 of the panels that Schulz created for the St. Paul Pioneer Press,
his hometown paper, between June 22, 1947, and January 22, 1950. This is the first time all the Liíl Folks cartoons
have been reproduced in one volume, giving Schulz fans a rare glimpse of the early evolution of the influential
Aside from shedding light on a formative early period of Schulzís creative output, these Liíl Folks
strips also are noteworthy for their use of characters and themes that later reappeared in Peanuts:
a well-dressed young man with a fondness for Beethoven, a dog with a striking resemblance to Snoopy,
and a boy named Charlie Brown, among others.
The 298-page book also includes the two Just Keep Laughing cartoon panels that Schulz produced for the Catholic
comic book Topix; the two Sparkyís Liíl Folks panels that ran in the Minneapolis Tribune (and anticipated
his series in the St. Paul Pioneer Press); and examples of single-panel cartoons that were published
in The Saturday Evening Post in the late 1940s.
Museum Director Ruth Gardner Begell said this about the Museum publication:
"One of the treasures in the Museumís archives is a fragile scrapbook that contains more than two years'
worth of Liíl Folks cartoons clipped from the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Assembled by a young Charles Schulz
more than 50 years ago, each page contains a cartoon panel neatly affixed with strips of clear tape.
Prior to the publication of Charles M. Schulz: Liíl Beginnings, this scrapbook was the most complete
collection of Schulzís first major body of work. All of us at the Charles M. Schulz Museum are excited
to share this collection of rarely seen cartoons in a more accessible format. These published images
of Liíl Folks are further enhanced by the commentary of Derrick Bang, whose broad knowledge of Peanuts
and extraordinary sensitivity to the nuances of Schulz's work are apparent."
Charles M. Schulz: Li'l Beginnings features:
- A two-page foreword by Jean Schulz;
- A 15-page introduction by Derrick Bang, which discusses the events that led to Li'l Folks;
- 135 "facing page couplets," with a Li'l Folks panel on the right, and commentary and related Peanuts cartoons (when applicable) on the left;
- Index of themes and characters
- Endnotes, acknowledgments, bibliography and suggested readings.
Some sample pages (click on each image to enlarge):
- Softcover, with a gold-embossed cover; 298 pages
- First edition printed February 2004
- Printed in Hong Kong through Global Interprint, Santa Rosa, California