Snoopy, the World War I flying ace, battles his nemesis the Red Baron over the skies of France, narrated by Charlie Brown. Snoopy is shot down and manages to crawl through the trenches back to the Halloween party.
Putting aside my desire to watch the best “Peanuts” special of them all, we should talk about Snoopy.
The lovable beagle — who looks nothing like any real life beagle I’ve ever seen — has had a heck of a career. You still see him on greeting cards, lounging atop his red doghouse; you see him on sweatshirts, sunglasses on, smiling, beneath the moniker of “Joe Cool”; and you see him still in the comic strips and on TV and, not too long ago, in the theater.
He’s everywhere. He’s not at the Mickey Mouse or Bugs Bunny level, but I’d say Snoopy is right below them, hanging out with Kermit the Frog in terms of iconic characters.
But when he’s on those T-shirts and birthday cards, do you know what he isn’t doing? He’s not writing. That’s my complaint.
Snoopy wrote. He plinked away at his portable typewriter often. No, I don’t think he ever finished his great American novel, but he could churn out query letters like mad. What matters is that this part of Snoopy’s character has been left to the wayside.
Granted, a quick Google search shows me a plethora — a word Snoopy would love — of Snoopy-at-the-typewriter memorabilia. But I don’t have the time or the money to bid on every single item on eBay. The marketplace has made such things too exclusive.
Exclusivity is not what Snoopy wanted. He wanted to be paid well for his work and for everyone to be able to access it — every writer’s dream.
Of course, Snoopy was rejected, sometimes by magazines before he’d even sent them anything. Such is the burden we writers bear.
It seems fighting a war that ended decades before his involvement was easier for Snoopy to accomplish than getting published. The Red Baron could be defeated over and over, but selling a manuscript would forever elude the world famous author.
Just as a T-shirt of Snoopy on his roof at his typewriter has eluded me.
Tranchell is a freelance journalist and author in Moscow. He has never started a story with “It was a dark and stormy night…” but it’s never too late. Are you a Snoopy fan? Fan of “Peanuts” in general? Let’s talk: firstname.lastname@example.org.