Imagine if the married 48-year-old man who somehow acquired your phone number and texts you a picture of his dick everyday instead texted you a picture he had just drawn of Charlie Brown saying your name. That would be romantic right?
Cool. That's what Charles Schulz did, over and over again, to a woman 23 years his junior in the seventies. It was a groovier time.
Tracey Claudius met Schulz in March of 1970, when she conned a journalist friend into letting her tag along to an interview with Schulz, posing as a photographer. Claudius later confessed to Schulz (via letter) that she had really come along just to meet and thank him in person "for all the enjoyment Charlie Brown and that 'stupid beagle' provide me."
Schulz responded by sending her a bunch of drawings he had done of Cartman and Tommy Pickles or something, I don't know—classic romantic stuff.
Unfortunately, like so many epistolary romances that flourish between married men and the young women who enjoy their cartoons, this one was ruined by a wife who couldn't mind her own goddamn business.
According to the AP, Schulz wrote (at least) two letters in 1970 that say he could no longer make long-distance phone calls to Claudius, because his wife had found the bills and become suspicious. Then he wrote a comic strip in which Charlie Brown tells Snoopy he's not allowed "to see that girl beagle," then yells at him to "stop making those long-distance phone calls." In the final panel of the strip, Charlie Brown dies from being a nosy cunt.
Another aspect of Claudius' and Schulz's real-life romance that made it into the Peanuts comics: affectionate descriptors. Schulz called Claudius "huggable" and "buggable" in a letter, then re-used the terms to describe Snoopy in a later comic strip.
"You remind me of a dog I draw for money," Schulz's letters seem to say. "And that's hot."
Sotheby's expects the letters will sell for between $250,000 and $350,000.