When America's most influential cartoonist of all time and a West Coast footwear icon meet.
Well over sixty years since Charles Schulz’s first Peanuts comic strip hit the newspapers, Snoopy and the Peanuts Gang remain some of the most well loved and famous cartoon characters of all time.
Originally entitled ‘Lil’ Folks’, the cartoon never achieved a permanent spot in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. A few years later, Schulz compiled his strips and sold them to editorial giant United Features Syndicate, who, much to Schulz’s reluctance, changed the comics name to Peanuts. ‘I wanted a strip with dignity and significance. Peanuts made it sound too insignificant’, Schulz proclaimed in 1965.
By 1960, in the space of ten years, Peanuts was in the pages of hundreds of newspapers and won Schulz numerous awards. Multiple characters were introduced during the 1960’s, including Franklin, Peppermint Patty and Woodstock, Snoopy’s yellow feathered companion, named after the music festival.
Peanuts’ fame was growing outside of the printed world too. During the 60’s the gang infiltrated the world of television and theatre and even went to the moon, after the Apollo X crew named several spacecraft after them.
Above: Original Vans x Peanuts Shoe
In 1983, Knotts Berry Farm Amusement Park in California opened Camp Snoopy, a section of the 160-acre park dedicated entirely to Peanuts. To commemorate the opening, Vans created an all over print exclusively available on Vans footwear at the park, featuring the full Peanuts gang including Snoopy’s alter ego, Joe Cool.
By the eighties, as the comic continued to grow and grow, it was being printed in its 2000th newspaper and being read by 355 million people worldwide.
Above Left: Charles Schulz at the opening of Camp Snoopy / Right: Peanuts Cover Time
As Schulz’s health began to deteriorate in the 90’s, his drawing abilities became impaired, making his lines wobblier than usual, and eventually his lack of motivation to draw meant he retired in 1999. He passed away the day before the final Peanuts daily strip was published.
For the AW14 season, Vans Vault have reissued the original two prints, unchanged, across a range of classic Vans originals era’s, authentics and Sk8-Hi’s in a subtle pastel colour palette. Iconic artwork on classic footwear, what better way to pay homage to one of the most iconic set of cartoon characters of all time.
Above: Early Peanuts Newspaper Advertisements
Above: Camp Snoopy, Knotts Berry Farm Amusement Park