Read the article below about a famous comic strip called Peanuts. Then answer the comprehension questions and IELTS practice essay question at the bottom of the page.
It’s A Good Life, Charlie Brown!
Who hasn’t heard of Peanuts? Peanuts is one of the most famous comic strips
in the world. It was started by Charles Schulz, in 1950. A comic tells a story using cartoon drawings and words. Peanuts’main character is that simple guy, Charlie Brown. It has been running since 1950, for more than 60 years!
Charles Schulz loved to draw cartoons as a child. He was also very good at it.
In fact, Schulz was so good that his friends often asked him to make cartoons for them.
Before starting Peanuts, Schulz drew single-panel cartoons for newspapers. Each strip was separatefrom others like it. He did a strip called Li’l Folks. Schulz tried to sell Li’l Folks to large newspapers, but no one was interested in it. He then reworked Li’l Folks into Peanuts as we know it today. United Feature Syndicate liked his Peanuts format and asked Schulz to do a weekly strip.
Peanuts was different from other comics of its day. Peanuts’comic strips were all about the same characters. Readers also liked that the strips continued from week to week. People loved the stories told in Peanutscomics. In fact, Peanuts became so popular that other people began to imitate it.
There are four main characters in Peanuts: Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus and Lucy.
1) Charlie Brown
Charlie Brown is the boy next door, a boy with a big round head. He is around 5-6 years old during most of his Peanuts life. Charlie Brown tried and tried to kick a football, but never really made it. However, he never, ever gave up!
Snoopy is Charlie Brown’s dog and perhaps more famousthan his owner! Snoopy was spunky and successful at whatever he did. He was different from Charlie Brown in this way.
Linus is Charlie Brown’s best friend. Linus was caring and artistic. Schulz used Linus to reach out to the sensitive and artsy people in his audience.
Lucy is Linus’ bossy older sister. She was mostly selfish and cranky, but she could be kind to Linus. Lucy believed that she could do anything.
Charles Schulz achieved many things through his strip.
Schulz made women feel that they could be powerful and demanding. He included an African American, Franklin, as a playmate. Franklin also attended school with white children. This was at a time when many people wanted African Americans to have their own schools.
Peanuts grew from a small idea to the most popular comic strip ever. Charles Schulz died in 2000, only days after his last strip. He will be missed by his fans around the world.
READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS
1. What is a comic strip?
2. What is a single-panel cartoon?
3. How was Peanuts different from other cartoons?
4. How did Peanuts first start out?
5. Who are Charlie Browns two best friends?
6. What is one way that Schulz influenced others, through his comic strip?
7. For exactly how many years did Charles Schulz do the Peanuts strip?
IELTS ESSAY PRACTICE
You should spend about 40 minutes on this task.
Write about the following topic:
People create art for many reasons. Art has been created and shared for personal, social and political purposes. What are some purposes that art fulfills?
Write at least 250 words.