A Press Democrat Blog


Dan Taylor on the fine arts scene.

6th Street Playhouse stages reading of play based on ‘Brenda Starr’ cartoonist

Laura Rohrman grew up in Sonoma County, devoted to her grandmother, so when Rohrman moved to New York in 2000 to become an actress and playwright, it was natural she’d write about her grandma. What makes the story unusual is that Rohrman’s grandmother was Dale Messick, America’s first syndicated woman cartoonist and creator of the comic strip “Brenda Starr, Reporter.” The 6th Street Playhouse in Santa Rosa will present a staged reading of Rohrman’s play, “Reporter Girl,” directed by longtime… Read More »

‘Peanuts’ animated feature film scheduled for 2015

A new feature film starring the late Charles Schulz’s “Peanuts” comic strip characters is scheduled for release in 2015. The Iconix Brand Group Inc., based in New York, announced today (Oct. 9) that the animated film, as yet untitled will be produced by Schulz’s son, Craig Schulz of Santa Rosa. “The screenplay is almost done. We’re working on rewrites today. Obviously, the story is top secret,” Schulz said. Craig Schulz’s son, Bryan, and Cornelius Uliano have written the screenplay for… Read More »

Billie Jean King to visit Schulz Museum

Famed former tennis pro Billie Jean King will appear Jan. 15 at the Charles Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa. Her visit will come during the “Leveling the Playing Field,” an exhibit of 86 original “Peanuts” strips by Schulz, celebrating women in sports. After meeting King, Schulz  highlighted the issue of females in sports with a multi-day storyline in 1979. And he continued to focus on the issue. Schulz died in 2000 after writing and drawing his comic strip for nearly… Read More »

It’s all a game, Charlie Brown

See good ol’ Charlie Brown and the whole “Peanuts” comic strip gang at play in “Games Children Play,” an exhibit of 50 original cartoons by Charles Schulz, opening Wednesday, July 13, at the Schulz Museum, 2301 Hardies Lane, Santa Rosa. For the nearly 50 years that Schulz drew the strip, the kids built sand castles, jumped in piles of leaves, made mud pies and played hide and seek. (And they did it mostly without adult supervision, since grownups never appeared,… Read More »

Star cartoonists at Schulz Museum

The Schulz Museum will host appearances by three prominent women cartoonists this month. Hilary Price, creator of “Rhymes with Orange” will teach a master class for adults interested in cartooning, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Sunday, March 20. Cost: $32 for museum members; $40 for non-members. Advance reservations required: (707) 284-1263. Price, a Reuben Award winner for best newspaper panel cartoon, also will meet with the public at the museum, at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 20. And at 1 p.m… Read More »

Goodbye, Brenda Starr

The idea of making a woman newspaper reporter a comic strip heroine was still novel, when a feisty woman named Dale Messick started “Brenda Starr” in Chicago in 1940. Now that some are ready to write an epitaph for the entire newspaper industry, the whole notion seems a little quaint. And while newspapers are still here, the Brenda Starr strip is ending after a 70-year run, it was announced this week. The event means something extra to those of us… Read More »

Is it art, Charlie Brown?

Responses to my recent “Art or Not?” blog, about public art on display in Sonoma  County, suggested an interesting sidelight. People really seem to like those “Peanuts” character statues scattered around Santa Rosa. “I enjoy seeing the Charlie Brown statues everywhere, each with their respective theme connecting them to whatever business or dwelling they sit outside of;  it lends itself to whimsy and fun, and also highlight the connection Sonoma County has to Charles Schulz and his life’s work,” one… Read More »

Schulz Museum welcomes red-haired girls

All fans of the “Peanuts” comic strip recall how good ol’ Charlie Brown pined in vain for the cute little-red haired girl. He sat alone on the playground at lunchtime, choking down his peanut butter sandwich and wishing he had the courage to speak to her. Alas, his ardor went unrecognized and unrequited, but we all cherish a tragic love story. The Charles M. Schulz Museum will celebrate Valentine’s Day on Sunday, Feb. 14, by offering free admission to all… Read More »

“Peanuts” look-alike photo contest

Do friends tell you that your child looks just like Charlie Brown, Lucy or Linus? Or even Snoopy? (Good grief, some friends.) Anticipating the 60th anniversary of the “Peanuts” comic strip next year, a panel of celebrity judges has agreed to jury entries in the “First Official Peanuts Look-a-Like Contest.” Moms and dads across the country are invited to submit photos of their children looking like one of these Peanuts characters: Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, Sally, Schroeder, Franklin, Peppermint… Read More »

‘Pickles’ cartoonist comes to Schulz Museum

Cartoonist  Brian Crane, 60, of Reno, creator of the “Pickles” comic strip, has made stars of his two wily, white-haired, main characters, Earl and Opal. The strip now appears in 600 newspapers, and four book collections have been published so far. He’s coming to Santa Rosa this week, and took time to talk about his work in a phone interview last week. Here are a few samples of what he had to say: Q: How much of the strip is… Read More »