1949 Charles Schulz ”Li’l Folks“ Original Cartoon
This is a print or a drawing that came from Charles Schulz that was given to my father we think back in the very early '50s. My father was evidently the family dentist for the Schulz family. Charles Schulz's father Carl Schulz was our family barber until I was a teenager, but we knew the family since we were very young. And this was in our attic, unknown, until a few years ago. Before my father died, he said that he had a Schulz cartoon that was given to him. And my brother looked for it a bunch of times before we figured out that Sparky was Charles Schulz's nickname.
Right, there you go. And Schulz was one of the most famous natives of Minnesota. And this is actually a strip that ran from 1947 to 1950 in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Around 1948, they tried to syndicate this nationally, and unfortunately, the deal didn't go through. And early in 1950, this particular strip was canceled, and a little bit later in 1950, along came Peanuts. So what you have here is the original artwork, which is the predecessor from Peanuts. The character up here has a very strong resemblance to Charlie Brown. The great part about this is it's been hidden away for all of these years. For all intents and purposes, nobody even knows this piece still exists.
The books that we have seen shows that this was the eighth print before the series was canceled in St. Paul. I think November or December '49.
Wonderful thing that I love about it is it's actually inscribed here to your dad, and it's signed, "From Sparky." Today's market, the Schulz market's been very hot and continues to stay very hot as far as cartoon and comic art goes. I would probably place an estimate on this at auction somewhere around $18,000 to $24,000.
And I think that's a fair range. They could sell for a little bit less, they could sell for a little bit more, depending on who's in it, the gag. It's got a wonderful gag here-- "Fascinated by your sparkling personality and intrigued by your amazing collection of comic books."
I mean, it's a great item, and I'm really glad that you brought it here today for us to look at.
Well, thank you.
If it was Peanuts... It would be worth more. With the recognizable characters, it would be worth more.
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