Charlie Brown's character mirrors the personality of the "Loveable Loser". His personality resembles the motto- Never Give Up, even though he almost never wins, from managing the world's worst baseball team, and still symbolising motivation and hope by showing up for all of them. By gathering all of his courage in order to speak to the 'Little Red- Haired Girl' but remains hoping that he will actually be able to.
What makes this character relatable, despite his constant optimistic behaviour even after consistently receiving grief from his friends, kite-eating tree and his own dog, is the ray of reality from Charles Schulz's life.
Snoopy's character resembles emotions of optimism, joy and confidence. Just like Joe Cool, he is aloof, unflappable, above the fray, a dog we'd all like to be. I feel is relationship with Charlie Brown plays a big role in his personality. They have a strange but strong relationship. Snoopy, despite being a different species, becomes good friends with charlie brown. He often appreciates all that Charlie does for him and their bond signifies care and love for one another.
However his fantasy life bothers not only charlie brown but also changes my perception, as a reader towards his behaviour.
It is interesting to note that prior to Woodstock being named a "Bird Hippie". Considering that Woodstock is named after the eponymous music festival, which is normally associated with the hippie culture, one must wonder whether there is some sort of connection between these two characters. Woodstock is a major animal character in the Peanuts comic strip, he is best known as Snoopy's sidekick and best friend. He is named after the 1969 music festival in New York state.
Woodstock never speaks normal words.The only non-avian character who can understand Woodstock's speech is Snoopy. When depicted in the comic strip, his speech is rendered almost entirely in "chicken scratch" marks, with Snoopy either directly translating or allowing the reader to deduce Woodstock's meaning in the context of Snoopy's replies.
Day 1- Somerset House Visit
Today we visited the somerset house for the Charlie brown, Good Grief! exhibition. I learnt a lot about Charles Schulz and realised how, at first look when we read a comic strip, we normally assume it to be funny and only gain the surface levelled knowledge of the comic. However, Charles Schulz's Peanuts comic has so much more to it. Charlie Brown is shown to be a pessimistic character with a small amount of hope. However this seems to be a by-product of depression and mental-illness. Snoopy seems to have psychological issues himself, he tends to represent the human behaviour to escape an unwanted situation into fantasy.
The visit was a great opportunity and platform to see the comic literally come to life through Charles school's journey.
I decided to choose Charlie Brown as my Character, after an in-depth character analysis and discussion of all other characters. I chose Charlie Brown not only because I relate to his depression, having gone through a similar mental state myself. However more than the aspect of relating to this character to myself what attracted me towards Charlie Brown the most was my aspiration to be like him.
Initially, when I was doing the character analysis I wanted to focus on Snoopy or woodstock because I thought my love for animals and their common aspect of abandonment caught my interest, and Charlie Brown's accustomed mental-health and depression did not appeal as much to me. However, on doing further research, I began to notice something about Charlie Brown. Despite the common factor of simply relating to his depression and loneliness- A feeling I often cannot get over after moving to London so far away from home, He has the tendency to never give up. Normally a person drowning in pessimism and negativity would never work so hard to achieve something.
This made me realise that Charlie Brown does NOT represent the negative , melancholic nature instead, he actually represents Hope. This intrigued me the most and made me want to reach that level of hope and optimism despite all that goes wrong.
On confirming my character to be Charlie Brown. I had two ideas to represent this in my final 16 page book. I wanted to stick to an actual piece from the comic that perfectly described Charlie Brown's nature of hope despite his failure- Kite-Flying. He is known to be unable to fly a kite as it constantly gets stuck in the 'kite-eating tree', but He does not give up.
So for my design pitch, I wanted to either make a flip with every alternate page acetate paper in the shape of a kite, and every other page a tangled kite string that goes on and on and eventually untangles itself.
However I decided to go with my other pitch, I decided to make a concertina that opens upwards into a tree with a kite string digitally intertwining with the branches of the tree. The Branches of the tree made up of words that describe the obstacles that I face and characteristics that I share with Charlie Brown that normally hinder me from reaching my goals, just like the actual branches act as obstacles for the kite to fly freely. The end of the concertina has a pin and string almost transforming the digital kite into an actual one, leaving it up to the read to either get the labelled kite- "Never Give Up!" out of the intertwined tree or let it succumb to the obstacles and be eaten by the "kite-eating tree".