The 1964 story line Pettigrew for President featured a Black candidate for the Presidency of the Untied States. Considering the times, this was a pretty risky story line for Treasure Chest, or for that matter, any other comic title in America. The serialized story began in the issue cover dated January 30, 1964, Volume 19, #11. Treasure Chest #19 is in the archives of the Museum Of UnCut Funk.
From the moment the Golden Age of comics hit the shelves of drug stores and penny candy stops, the mythology and lore created by comic books has become a part of not only American, but global culture – so much so that the images and names of many characters are well-known in every corner of the world. Everyone knows the origin of Batman. Children know the name Superman. Teens across the world relate to the hardships of Spider-man, but what do people remember the most about such characters? If anything else, the character’s name is the beginning of what defines them, who they are, and what they stand for.
The Peanuts cartoon franchise started in the early 1950s and is one of the most famous and influential cartoon series of all time. Because Peanuts was featured primarily in comic strips in the Sunday newspaper and later in films and television specials, its target audience is family friendly, with both children and adults taking part. In 1968, which was also in the heat of the civil rights movement, a new character, Franklin, was introduced into the Sunday comic strip. Because he was Black, Franklin made history and quickly became one of the most famous Black cartoon characters of all time.
Like many other venues in 1960s America, the comics page was essentially racially segregated. The diversification of the comics required the mainstream acceptance of Charles Schulz’ Peanuts and the persistent idealism of one of its readers.
Franklin made his first Peanuts comic strip appearance on August 1, 1968 in a short run of four comic strips which lasted three days. Franklin did not reappear until October 15, 1968. Check out the lost comic strips of Franklin from Peanuts.
Franklin, the sole Black member of the Peanuts ensemble, is sitting all by himself on one side of the table.
Anthony Dean is the owner of Anthony’s Notes. He enjoys writing about media and technology related topics; comics and animation are also hobbies of his. The Museum Of UnCut Funk thanks Anthony for giving us permission to post his article in Aesthetic Grooves.
In the wake of the George Zimmerman verdict, I needed time to reflect and to find a way for the Museum Of UnCut Funk to honor Trayvon Martin. I have decided to feature as much art as I could find created by those who are feeling the same way that I am. RIP Trayvon. Let the art speak for itself.