There was a time in America when you didn’t get any more mainstream than Charlie Brown, and in the 1970s, creator Charles M. Schulz took motocross along for the ride, penning the sport into his wildly popular comic strips.
Snoopy, a.k.a. Joe Motocross, played to the lighter side of the sport, hitting on themes such as the confidence inspired by new leathers to the power trophies have to heal broken bikes (and bodies).
Later, the story line made the jump to the half-hour Peanuts TV special Youâ€™re a Good Sport, Charlie Brown, bringing motocross to an even wider audience.
To celebrate this fleeting, albeit sweeping, presence of motocross in the national consciousness, motocross magazine Racer X Illustrated has devoted its October 2008 issue cover to the motocross exploits of the Peanuts gang. From a Racer X press release:
“Running his iconic jagged-stripe sweater as a race jersey â€“ and a pumpkin for a makeshift helmet â€“ Charlie Brown rumbles across the Racer X cover along with the always-determined Snoopy (running the #1 plate) and the ever-present bird, Woodstock.”
Even better, inside the magazine is a feature story written by Craig Schulz, son of Charles and an amateur motocross racer, that talks about the motocross-themed comic strips and his father’s love of the sport. Again, from the press release:
â€œThis was such a cool opportunity for us,â€ said Bryan Stealey, Managing Editor for Racer X Illustrated. â€œNot only do we get to feature the most beloved cartoon characters of all time â€“ Charlie Brown and Snoopy, as his alter-ego Joe Motocross â€“ on the cover of Racer X, but Craig Schulz tells a story about the time when motocross was really taking hold here in the U.S. and new-bike sales were at an all-time high.â€
To hear Craig discuss his feature and own experience as a motocross racer online, tune into DMXS Radio this Wednesday, August 13, from 8-11 p.m. (EST).
The Racer X Illustrated Charlie Brown commemorative issue, already on the doorsteps of subscribers, hits newsstands on August 26.
Racer X Illustrated, a Filter Publications title, is published monthly. For more information, you can reach them at (304) 284-0080 or online at www.racerxill.com.