Li'l Folks, the first comic strip by Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz, was a weekly panel that appeared mainly in Schulz's hometown paper, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, from June 22, 1947 to January 22, 1950. The first two panels ran in the Minneapolis Tribune.
Characters and story
Li'l Folks can almost be regarded as an embryonic version of Peanuts, containing characters and themes which were to reappear in the later strip: a well-dressed young man with a fondness for Beethoven a la Schroeder, a dog with a striking resemblance to Snoopy and a boy named Charlie Brown, as well as a character called Jimmy which was very minor.
Schulz was 24 at the time he drew Li'l Folks, and he was living with his father in a four-bedroom apartment above his father's barber shop. He earned $10 for each submission to the paper, and although the newspaper never returned his original artwork, he clipped each week's strip from the paper and placed it in his scrapbook, which eventually housed over 7,000 pieces of artwork. He quit two years into the strip after the editor turned down his requests for a pay increase and a move of Li'l Folks from the women's section to the comics pages.
In 2004, the complete run of the strip was collected by the Charles M. Schulz Museum (Santa Rosa, California) in a book, Li'l Beginnings, by Derrick Bang with a foreword by Jean Schulz. It is available from the Museum and distributed by Fantagraphics Books.
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