U.S. # 5024
2015 49¢ Peanuts Gang
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Nicknamed “Sparky” by an uncle, Charles M. Schulz (1922-2000) was a cartoonist who gained fame with his Peanuts comic strip. Schulz became one of the most influential cartoonists in the world, winning the Reuben Award twice and also receiving the Congressional Medal of Honor.
In 1947, Schulz had his first cartoon series published at the age of 25. Entitled Li’l Folks, it featured a character named Charlie Brown.
When the syndicate failed to renew the strip, Schulz showed another publishing group a new, four-panel format he had developed. They accepted Peanuts, debuting the comic on October 2, 1950, in seven newspapers. Eventually, Peanuts would appear daily in 2,600 papers in 75 countries and 21 languages.
Unlike many cartoonists, Schulz never used assistants to produce his comic strip. Instead, he began his day with a jelly donut and went through his mail. Then he sat down and developed his idea and began drawing it, a process that took up to three hours.
Unsteady hands and a series of small strokes forced Schulz to retire in Peanuts’ 50th year, with the last strip appearing the day after his death. But Schulz’ work continues to entertain new generations each year with holiday specials like A Charlie Brown Christmas.
Each of the Charlie Brown Christmas stamps features a still taken from A Charlie Brown Christmas. Art director Antonio Alcalá designed the stamps.
Value: 49¢ 1-ounce first-class letter rate
Issued: October 1, 2015 – 1 day before the 65th anniversary of the first Peanuts comic strip
First Day City: Santa Rosa, CA – at the Charles M. Schulz Museum
Type of Stamp: Commemorative
Printed by: Banknote Corporation of America for Sennett Security Products
Method: Offset printing in double-sided booklets 20
Perforation: Serpentine Die Cut 10 ¾
Quantity Printed: 50,000,000 stamps
In addition to marking the 65th anniversary of the first Peanuts comic strip, these stamps marked the 50th anniversary of the first airing of A Charlie Brown Christmas in 1965. This set was the second issue to honor the Peanuts. The first came in 2007 (#3507) and pictured Snoopy atop his doghouse dressed as a World War I fighter ace.
These stamps were also issued for National Stamp Collecting Month and continued the long tradition of non-religious Christmas stamps. The very first U.S. Christmas stamp was issued in 1962.