How Peanuts got its first black character. Come for an interesting back-and-forth between Charles Schulz and a reader. Stay for a jaw-dropping example of what another strip was doing at the same time.
Charles Schulz: "I finally sighed and said, 'Well, Larry, let’s put it this way: Either you print it just the way I draw it or I quit. How’s that?'" We don't usually think of Peanuts as given to political statements but this great post at Edge of the American West makes the case for Schulz's progressive racial politics. [more inside]
Bill Watterson comments on Peanuts as part of a review for David Michaelis's new biography of Charles Schultz. [more inside]
"For ordinary books are like meteors. Each of them has only one moment, a moment when it soars screaming like the phoenix, all its pages aflame. For that single moment we love them ever after, although they soon turn to ashes. With bitter resignation we sometimes wander late at night through the extinct pages that tell their stone dead messages like wooden rosary beads."
Three great interviews in Salon: Former Senator and Vietnam veteran Max Cleland on the stonewalling of the 9/11 commission and the situation in Iraq, author Jessica Stern (previously discussed here) on the recent bombings in Istanbul and Riyadh, and executive director of Amnesty International USA William Schulz on why the left must confront terror with the same zeal that it battles Bush, or risk irrelevance.