On November 30, 1954, Charles Schulz introduced a new female character into his Peanuts strip – Charlotte Braun. Not only was her name similar to Charlie Brown’s, Charlotte was created with the intention of being his counterpart.
She was quite the character – loud-mouth, quick to give her opinion and, in Charlie’s mind, obnoxious. Charlotte was a ‘whirlwind’ of a character as she brashly entered and exited with her conversations shown in large, bold type. She seemed to stay long enough to repeatedly test Charlie’s nerves. While these traits worked very well for Lucy, they did not work as well for Charlotte. Because of this, her life in the strip was short. After a handful of appearances, she disappeared. Her last appearance was on February 1, 1955.
When asked later about Charlotte’s sudden departure, Schulz stated that he simply ran out of ideas for her storyline and she was expendable. In 2000, more on Schulz’s reasoning behind Charlotte’s exit was revealed. Schulz received many negative letters and feedback about Charlotte from Peanuts fans. One such letter came from Elizabeth Swaim. Schulz responded to Elizabeth on January 5, 1955 and inserted a rather interesting sketch that one would not see in a regular Peanuts strip. It seems like Charlotte found her end with an ax. . . .
Jan. 5, 1955
Dear Miss Swaim,
I am taking your suggestion regarding Charlotte Braun and will eventually discard her. If she appears anymore it will be in strips that were already completed before I got your letter or because someone writes in saying that they like her. Remember, however, that you and your friends will have the death of an innocent child on your conscience. Are you prepared to accept such responsibility?
Thanks for writing, and I hope that future releases will please you.
Charles M. Schulz