(The second part of a series on how not to spend Comic-Con week at Comic-Con)
After spending most of the week in San Diego, but only one day at the actual con itself, it was off to the Bay Area for the previously-discussed Miyazaki festivities at Berkeley. But before seeing the director, the previous day was spent making the trip from San Francisco Airport to Santa Rosa to visit the Charles M. Schulz Museum.
(For the super-nerds: Not only did I want to go to Santa Rosa to see the Schulz Museum, but wanted to drive around town, since it was the setting for my favorite and perhaps the most underrated of all the Hitchcock movies, SHADOW OF A DOUBT.)
It’s fair to say that anyone coming to California for Comic-Con really should make a detour to the Schulz Museum, as it’s one big love affair to Schulz and all the lovable characters (and Lucy) that populate the world of PEANUTS.
Obviously, it goes without saying there is tons of Schulz artwork in and around the museum, from the giant mural in the lobby to comic stripped tiles in the restroom (bathroom reading has never been so appealing).
While I was there in late July, there were two featured exhibits in the museum. The one that was nearing its run featured a number of strips and memorabilia commemorating the 65th anniversary of D-Day. The exhibit had both PEANUTS strips done by Schulz over the years related to the anniversary, as well as personal artifacts from Schulz’s time in the army during World War II.
The other exhibit, which had just opened the day I was at the museum, was the second of three under the heading “The Language of Lines.” This one is called “How Cartoonists Create Characters” and is filled with original art from the Golden Age up until the present. Sure, it was great to see a BARNEY GOOGLE strip from the 1930s or a page of PRINCE VALIANT art, but, given my age, nothing was cooler to see than an original CALVIN AND HOBBES strip.
The neatest thing among the permanent exhibits may be a re-creation of Schulz’s studio, complete with his longtime drawing board. Eagle-eyed visitors will want to be on the lookout for the NHL’s Lester Patrick Award, which Schulz was given in 1981 for his contributions to hockey, as well a Peabody Award, given for A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS.
Any visitor to the museum will also want to venture across the street and have lunch at the Warm Puppy Café, which is part of Snoopy’s Home Ice, the ice rink Schulz had built in 1969 and was opened by a skate by Olympic darling Peggy Fleming.
Although the museum was set up at Comic-Con (you could have easily missed them, like everything else that wasn’t a movie booth), it’s certainly no substitute for a visit to the real thing.
Posted by Mark Coale