Charles Schulz and other Cartoonist Still Signing after their Passing
In the May/June 2000 issue of the IACC/DA Journal “Eyes, Ears and Voice of the Hobby” I wrote an 11 page study on the signatures and sketches of Charles Schulz.
During this time and even a few years earlier I was putting together a file on a forger in Chicago that was flooding the market with sketches of Snoopy, items related to Star Trek and sketches by Dr. Seuss.
Then in July 2001, I was influential in having a forged Snoopy sketch removed from an advertisement in Autograph Collector magazine. During this year I was very active tracing sources of forged Snoopy sketches. I want to thank professional autograph dealers Markus Brandes and Thomas Kotte for their help in not only exposing but finally identifying a source located in Germany for forged Snoopy sketches.
Many of these sketches found their way and were sold on a very regular basis by a New England auction house.
Once many of these sketches were laid out by professionals, it was quite evident that the sketches were traced. All sketches showed the same idiosyncrasies. The head sketches of Snoopy were basically identical to the full length sketches, just a body was added.
What you are about to read is accurate, yet still hard to believe. Both of the "Snoopy" sketches illustrated below were being offered in the same auction of a New England auction house. The head of "Snoopy" had a minimum bid of $500.00. The larger full length sketch of "Snoopy" had a lesser minimum bid of only $200.00. None of the so-called experts at the auction house realized both of these sketches were traced from a "Snoopy" original.
During the same time as the above auction, Odyssey was running their own items for sale in Autograph Collector magazine. One of the items just happened to be another one of these "Snoopy" traced sketches. This drawing of "Snoopy's" head was selling for $750.00. Take note, the sketch is nearly identical, however to forged signature "Schulz" is a variant. See illustration below.
Above is a poor attempt to forge a signature of Charles Schulz on a 3"x5" card. It's hard to believe that someone selling autographs could not see this was a forgery unless the seller signed this themselves. What's worse is an uneducated collector paid $175.00 for this autograph and this item stayed in his collection until he passed.
Today, it appears the Chicago forger is still active after all these years. He calls dealers and offers special packages of items sketched and signed by notable artists. Some of his items were partially genuine. Years ago he would send a card to Hank Ketcham and one other and get two small sketches on the card. On the same card the forger would sketch "Snoopy" and one other sketch from a notable artist, therefore sell the card with a sketch in each corner.
As with regard to Charles Schulz, beware of all sketches of “Peanuts” characters simply signed with a signature “Schulz” in printed letters.
Pat Claren at the gravesite of Charles Schulz
Below is an example of a forgery from the Chicago autograph seller. It is on a large white card stock which was the forger's preference. It is of two of the Star Trek characters George Takei and DeForest Kelley. These are self portraits and signed, all executed by the forger. Twenty years ago these sketches fooled many a dealer.
Anyone reading this article that has information about forgeries similar to the above and would prefer not to respond on this open format can reach me privately through my contact information on my website www.stephenkoschal.com