Professor M. Thomas Inge
R-MC Humanities Professor M. Thomas Inge is the editor of a new book, My Life with
Charlie Brown (University Press of Mississippi, April 2010).
The book is a collection of autobiographical essays, introductions, articles, reviews,
and lectures that tell the personal tale of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz.
Schulz's prose serves to "elucidate his life and his art, and clarify themes of
modern life, philosophy and religion that are interwoven into his beloved, groundbreaking
comic strip," according to the University Press of Mississippi. The book, which
Inge edited and wrote an introduction for, includes Schulz's comics criticism, his
introductions to Peanuts volumes, his essays about cartooning and philosophy, his
commentary on Christianity, his newspaper articles about the creation of his characters,
Inge was a friend of Schulz and first corresponded with him while a student at Randolph-Macon.
"I asked him to do a special drawing for the freshman handbook," says Inge, "and
he kindly took the time to do so." When Inge visited with him years later, Schulz
wanted to talk about literature but Inge wanted to discuss his research on comic
art: "We talked at cross purposes," says Inge, "but he was one of the kindest and
most thoughtful people I ever met and seemed entirely unaware of his special genius
and the impact he had on the American imagination."
Inge, the Blackwell Professor of the Humanities at R-MC, joined the faculty at Randolph-Macon
College in 1984. He earned his B.A. at Randolph-Macon College and his M.A. and Ph.D.
at Vanderbilt University. In January 2010, an article Inge wrote about Charlie Brown
and Peanuts was published in The Richmond Times-Dispatch.