The creator of ‘Peanuts’ only once had the need to fire his machine gun during WWII, and that one time he forgot to load it!
Charles M. Schulz was the creator of the famous and beloved comic strip Peanuts. On October 2, 1950 Peanuts made its first appearance in seven newspapers.
This was seven years after Schulz was drafted into the United States Army. He was a staff sergeant with the 20th Armored Division in Europe and a squad leader on a .50 caliber machine gun team.
His units did not see much action during the war and got involved in combat only at the very end.
Ironically, being the squad leader of the machine gun team, he only had one opportunity or reason to fire his weapon, and when that moment arrived he realized he forgot to load his machine gun!
He came face to face with a German soldier when he realized his predicament. He was holding an inadequate weapon!
Luckily for him, the German soldier didn't know that and surrendered, making firing unnecessary. Schulz must have been extremely relieved!
Peanuts (the comic strips plus merchandise and product endorsements) earned more than $1 billion per year, of which Schulz received about $30 million to $40 million per year!
In all the years he produced Peanuts, he did it all by himself and never had any assistants. In 50 years he only once took a five week break, which was the only time there were reruns of the comic strip before he passed away in 2000.