California Dreamin’

August 6th, 2012 | Posted in MAD Magazine

Sitting at Charles Schulz’s drawing board

The Lovely Anna and I are on the way back from the west coast to Minnesota (the no coast) after a fun visit to San Francisco, Santa Rosa and the Sonoma wine country. We have family in this area so it’s always a treat to come out to see them and this beautiful part of the country. While there I did a few speaking engagements and a workshop on caricature at the Cartoon art Museum and the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa.

At the Schulz museum, I did an adult class on drawing caricatures, then a presentation on my work and shared a few stories about MAD. Lots of fun. The people at the Schulz museum are wonderful and the museum itself is a a must-visit if you are ever in the Napa/Sonoma area. After my talks Sparky’s widow Jeannie Schulz invited us and a few others over to the studio, which is a building a couple hundred yards away on the property where Sparky’s actual studio was located. It has served a few different purposes since then, but recently his actual studio space was restored to its working arrangement, complete with Sparky’s actual drawing board, chair, etc. Fellow cartoonist Brian Narelle took the above photo of me sitting in the chair where many thousands of Peanuts strips were created. Quite an honor… Charles Schulz was truly a one-of-a-kind cartoonist who was arguably (and few would argue at all) the greatest comic strip creator who every lived. By the way, that scratch across the paneling in the wall behind me is from Sparky turning his chair back and forth and the chair back rubbing the wall.

The Cartoon Art Museum’s MAD 60th anniversary exhibit was terrific, with artists and writers represented from every era of the magazine. I loved it all, but my favorite things were probably the original Harvey Kurtzman art from the cover of MAD #4 (I used to have that actual issue), the Jack Davis pages from MAD #2 (Hex!) a Wally Wood MAD ad and several pieces from Will Elder. The show only hangs for about another month until Sept 16th, so if you are in the area don’t miss it.

Here’s a video courtesy of CAM Advisory Board member Michael Capozzola of me doing a quick Alfred sketch on a canvas for the Museum:


  1. What an awesome feeling it must’ve been to sit where a great artist worked everyday. I can only imagine the energy felt being in the studio. Thanks for sharing.

  2. jailerjoe says:

    What a feeling of reverence…didn’t even know they allowed that! WOW!!! Would’ve loved to have seen your presentation and the Mad exhibit. Nice Gabby sketch, too. We’re all enjoying the Olympics here.


New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550

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