Schulz Retires ? No More 'Peanuts'

July 7, 2008 - 7:02 PM

( - With his last daily ``Peanuts'' comic strip appearing in newspapers on Monday, cartoonist Charles Schulz had to stifle the tears as he retired, and with it, his famous, syndicated cartoon strip.

``There are so many things I'm going to miss,'' Schulz told his hometown California newspaper, the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, on Sunday. His voice cracking with emotion, Schultz added, "I've been thinking about this, and I think what I'm going to miss the most is Lucy holding the football and looking up and then the big bonk when Charlie comes down."'

Schulz, 77, was diagnosed with colon cancer in November. He said some of his physical problems have left him at a loss, "but the big thing I lost is my job," he said with a laugh.

Monday's final farewell strip is primarily a text message signed by Schulz. In it, he thanks editors and "the wonderful support and love expressed to me by fans" through the nearly 50-year run of "Peanuts." He calls the strip "the fulfillment of my childhood ambition."

In the corner sits a thoughtful Snoopy atop his doghouse, with the typewriter that so often tapped out: "It was a dark and stormy night..."

"Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, Lucy ... how can I ever forget them," the strip reads.

Some fellow cartoonists joined in on Monday in tribute to Schultz and his popular strip. Cathy Guisewite, creator of "Cathy," has the cartoon Cathy responding to the prospect of life without "Peanuts" with an emphatic, "AACK! I can't stand it!!" Garry Trudeau has one of his "Doonesbury" characters lying on a doghouse.

Schulz has written, drawn, colored and lettered every "Peanuts" strip since its debut on October 2nd, 1950. His contract stipulates that no one else will ever draw the strip.

According to wire service reports, Schultz's beloved cast of characters appears in 2,600 newspapers, reaching an estimated 355 million readers daily in 75 countries.
His final Sunday strip is scheduled to appear in newspapers on February 13th.