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The Funnies Without Snoopy?

When the world's most successful cartoonist puts down his pen, we say "Good grief, Charles Schulz! Charlie Brown always bounced back!"

Lucy, please, give back his football. Snoopy, act like a hero and make him draw again. Pigpen, clean yourself up. Schroeder, play a tune.

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We lovers of the "Peanuts" gang always thought happiness is a warm comic strip that will go on forever.

For nearly 50 years, Schulz spoke a universal language of wit, hope, and friendship that reached a global audience of over 300 million a day. The 20th century needed a smiling, fantasizing, floppy-eared Snoopy.

"Peanuts" spawned hit TV shows, a Broadway musical, and many books. In this age of "Dilbert" and "Doonesbury," Mr. Schulz's comic strip showed how humor about human vulnerabilities can also display love and honesty - played out among kindergartners - without bite or bitterness.

Charles Schulz is right: No one can replace him. Someone could imitate his art, but not his unique wisdom and humanity.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society