Charlotte Braun: The Forgotten Peanut

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.

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Charlotte Braun

Charlotte No 1

Charlotte appears on Nov. 30, 1954

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Two additional Charlotte strips

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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.

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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:

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Tapioca Pudding, daughter of Joe Pudding, a marketer, was concocted for a single story line.

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José Peterson, who showed up briefly when Peppermint Patty was introduced.

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“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.

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2 responses to “Charlotte Braun: The Forgotten Peanut

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