"It Was a Dark and Stormy Night, Charlie Brown!" was first published in the Manhattan College literary magazine, the Manhattanite, in 1988. I've always been a Peanuts fan, and rooted for good ol' Charlie Brown, the ultimate underdog.
Like many serialized stories, there's a certain frustration at never reaching any significant milestones in the characters' lives. The Coyote would never catch the Roadrunner. Mr. Magoo would never own a pair of glasses. Sylvester would never have Tweety for dinner. And Charlie Brown would never kick that football while Lucy was holding it. What writer would want to prematurely close the book on stories still unfolding (and paying the bills)?
But, with the freedom of fan-fiction, I was not bound by the same self-imposed limitations of Charles Schulz. I had just read "Batman: The Dark Knight Returns" in the 80's, a graphic novel masterpiece by Frank Miller, Klaus Jansen, and Lynn Varley. In it, we get to see the future of Bruce Wayne - what kind of a man does he grow into decades later? Will he still be as inspired to fight the good fight - or would his soul be corrupted over time? It sparked the notion in me, "what will happen to Charlie Brown when he grows up?" I knew he might be jaded by years of bad luck, but I had hoped his decency and core goodness would remain. Still, he may have finally had enough, and be ready to give up and accept himself as a loser - as the world defines being a loser.

So, with all due respect for the late Charles M. Schulz, I present for you:
It Was a Dark and Stormy Night, Charlie Brown!

-Mike Fichera 10/2002

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Charlie Brown, Peanuts, and all related characters are ©United Features Syndicate. The work herein is fan-fiction. No profit was made on the publication of this artwork on printed media or on the Internet.