I loved Peanuts™ as a kid. The first collection was published a scant year before I was born, and I learned to read more from Schulz’ work than I did from Dick and Jane. I knew every character by heart, and followed the evolution of the strip until Charles Schulz passed away.
However, recently I learned that there was one character who only appeared in a handful of strips – a loud-talking young lady named Charlotte Braun.
Charlotte appears on Nov. 30, 1954
Two additional Charlotte strips
Charlotte’s 10th and final appearance.
Some of the early characters – Patty, Violet, Shermy and Pig-Pen – gradually faded into obscurity as their rôles took on less significance, to be replaced by Peppermint Patty, Sally Brown, and to a lesser degree, Rerun. But Charlotte seemed good for only a few gags, and in response to a letter from a reader, Schulz agreed to give her the ax.
Letter from Charles Schulz to Elizabeth Swaim
Interestingly enough, Schulz introduced a number of characters along the way who were destined for only a few appearances:
Tapioca Pudding, daughter of Joe Pudding, a marketer, was concocted for a single story line.
José Peterson, who showed up briefly when Peppermint Patty was introduced.
“5”, and his sisters “3” and “4”
All these, and some others, were never designed to be regulars. From the history, it would seem that Charlotte was introduced as a regular cast-member, but that Schulz simply ran out of gags to use her in and she was deliberately sent to sleep with the fishes. What I found interesting is that I never saw her in any of the Peanuts collections which I had or have in my library. I was charmed to make her acquaintance.
The Old Wolf has spoken.