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For week ended December 19, 1999 Posted 24 Feb 2001
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Summarized by Kent Larsen

Schulz daughter nuts about 'Peanuts'
Deseret News 17Dec99 P2
By Sharon Haddock: Deseret News staff writer

ALPINE, UTAH -- LDS Church member Amy Johnson got a treat each August 5th, her birthday. Written inside one of the panels in the 'Peanuts' comic strip on that day each year were the words, "Happy Birthday Amy," a greeting from her father, 'Peanuts' creator Charles Schulz. But now that Schulz is retiring 'Peanuts' January 3rd, Amy will no longer get birthday greetings from her father that way.

Amy lives with her husband, John, and their nine children in Alpine, Utah, where they have a ranch and own an LDS bookstore. She is the only convert in her family, and says that while her father was supportive of her decision to join the Church, he wasn't interested himself.

With the strip ending, Johnson was interviewed by the Deseret News on her thoughts about her father and about 'Peanuts.' On her father, she says, "He's an original. He's obsessed with the comic strip, but he likes it. That's why he would never let anyone else draw for him or use their ideas. It's what makes him so unique and what makes the comic strip work. He took it all very seriously."

Growing up, Johnson says that her father was always focused on 'Peanuts.' "Every day for as long as I can remember, he's always had to be home by noon so he can work. He's used the same pen and the same desk for 50 years, threatening not to quit until he'd worn a hole through the wood. He's almost done that."

Schulz decided to stop drawing the strip, despite the unresolved story lines, after he was diagnosed with stage-four colon cancer in November. While he wants to keep creating as much as he can, says his daughter, she's not sure exactly what will happen, "I'm not sure what he'll do with himself once he quits doing the comic strip," Johnson said.

While neither Johnson, nor any of her siblings draw, she does see drawing potential in her son, "My son does. It must've skipped a generation because my son Brian was drawing Snoopy at age 7 and I thought he was tracing them, they were so good. Then I realized he didn't even know what tracing meant."


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