Last year, I revived one of my favorite October traditions by carving a couple pumpkins for Halloween. This year, I wanted to continue that tradition with a pumpkin that reflects a fond, nostalgic memory. The Charlie Brown comic strip was one of the first things that came to mind.
When I was a kid, my favorite book was this giant Peanuts book called Peanuts – A Golden Celebration: The Art and Story of the World’s Best-Loved Comic Strip, which included 256 huge pages of all of the classic Charlie Brown comics as well as information about how the comic strips were created and what inspired Charles M. Schulz in creating the characters.
My favorite plots, both in the comic strips and in the movies, usually involved Snoopy, Charlie Brown’s beagle. Snoopy began his life in the strip as a fairly conventional dog, but eventually evolved into one of the strip’s most dynamic characters and one of the most recognizable comic characters in the world. As the series progressed, Snoopy became a more human-like dog who sometimes forgets he is a dog, which as a kid, I thought was hilarious.
Initially, I wanted to carve Snoopy with his typewriter, from the plot involving Snoopy’s efforts as a novelist– another one of my favorite reoccurring narratives in the comic series. He always began every novel with “It was a dark and stormy night…” which was taken from Edward George Bulwer-Lytton’s 1830 novel Paul Clifford. Almost all his submissions are rejected by potential publishers, whose return letters get increasingly angrier until they eventually resort to rude dismissals and cruel jokes to attempt to prevent being bothered by Snoopy.
I thought this infinitely clever, as the publishers likely had no idea they were rejecting submissions from a dog with a typewriter. I also loved the idea that Snoopy never seemed to let the rejections discourage him from continuing to submit more stories, which appealed to me as a writer. But as it turns out, this proved difficult to carve into a pumpkin (although others have been successful in carving Snoopy with a typewriter; Google it).
Eventually, I decided to keep it simple and just carve the recognizable Snoopy on his doghouse. I did it in a poorly-lit area of my living room, so it’s far from perfect. In fact, I think my Squirtle pumpkin from last year is technically more aesthetically polished. But I love the way it turned out. I never punctured the pumpkin, which was something I decided halfway into drawing the outline. But I think it turned out alright, despite not really looking all that great lit up.
To check out my pumpkins from last year, click the links below: