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Fri, Feb 01, 2008

Schulz's 'Flying Ace' Flies In To Evergreen Museum

Traveling Exhibit Runs Through March 2

Famed cartoonist Charles M. Schulz earned himself a place in the hearts of many pilots, the first time he had his lovable beagle Snoopy 'take flight' atop his doghouse to do battle with the Red Baron. This week, an exhibit opened at Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville, OR, honoring Schulz for his own unique contribution to aviation.

The traveling exhibit "Snoopy as the World War I Flying Ace" opened Wednesday. It presents Snoopy as his alter ego, the Flying Ace. The exhibit showcases 40 of Snoopy’s most exciting adventures in his transformed doghouse -- now a Sopwith Camel biplane -- from the time he faced a deadly bout of influenza, to sparring with the Flying Ace’s archenemy.

Snoopy as the World War I Flying Ace is toured by ExhibitsUSA, the national touring division of Mid-America Arts Alliance, a non-profit regional arts organization based in Kansas City, Missouri.

Schulz carved out a niche for himself in the 1950s, when he defied trends on the comics pages by eschewing action and slapstick, opting instead to draw "Peanuts" as insight on life’s struggles and disappointment. That formula served him well, earning Schulz admiration and respect that have outlived the cartoonist, who passed away in 1996.

Schulz served as a sergeant in the Army and had always wanted to draw adventure comic strips but had been told to stick with what he did best -- funny kids. However, after 15 years as a cartoonist, on Sunday, October 10, 1965, he finally had the opportunity to create his hero: Snoopy, the World War I Flying Ace.

Visitors to this exhibit can follow Snoopy -- who was based on Schulz’s childhood black-and-white dog, Spike -- on his imaginary adventures through the skies of Europe. Forty digital prints from the original drawings done by Schulz are on display, along with accompanying photographs of the artist.

The Snoopy exhibit will be on display in McMinnville until March 10, and children’s activities will be featured on Saturdays. The first children’s cartoon activity is February 2.  Regular visitor admission prices are required to view the exhibit.

FMI: www.sprucegoose.org, www.maaa.org/exhi_usa/faq.html

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