The Charlie Brown Cafe

The Complete Peanuts Collections

During our initial exploration of the Pusan National University neighborhood in the north of Busan, we happened upon a strange cultural landmark: the Charlie Brown Cafe. Dedicated to all things Peanuts, this coffee house provides stressed-out college kids the chance to escape into a simpler world.

Personally, I’ve never understood the appeal of Peanuts. The comic strips are uniformly unfunny and poorly drawn. Yes, I said it! Charles Schulz must be the among the most overrated cartoonists of all time. Charlie Brown looks just like Linus, who looks just like Sally, but with different hair. If you’ve read four or five of the comics, you understand everything there is to know about all the characters.

Also, I always found Franklin really awkward. I mean, each character has a single trait: Peppermint Patty is a tomboy, Linus is insecure, Lucy is a bully and Franklin… well, Franklin is black. And I don’t consider Charlie Brown a “lovable loser” at all. Watch him fall for Lucy’s football trick enough times, and you start to realize that there’s nothing lovable about him. He’s just a loser. Grow some balls, Charlie Brown. That should be the title of the next animated special.

But even I, a virulent Peanuts-hater, couldn’t help but be charmed by the Charlie Brown Cafe. My cappuccino was served with Snoopy-shaped cinnamon (don’t even get me started on the claim that Snoopy is a “beagle”!), matching the powdered sugar on the brownie. Everything… from the cups, plates and chairs are Peanuts-based; we sat at the Linus table, and fetched our coffee when our Peppermint Patty buzzer rang.

If you’re in the area of PNU and could benefit from a world of pure innocence, then definitely check out the Charlie Brown Cafe.

Location on our Busan Map

Our Visit To The Puppy Café in Busan

This Post Has 16 Comments

  1. Preemie Maboroshi

    Wow, that’s pretty cool! What I think I like the most about it is there are so many different visual ideas — I mean, you caught them pretty well.My favorite visual idea was the glass panes hanging from the ceiling with the white line drawings of the characters. It looks like the drawings are glowing.

  2. Jared Norby

    An ‘animator’ is someone who ‘animates’ — as in Disney movies.  Charles Shulz was a cartoonist.The appeal of Peanuts is its sensitively portrayed characters, its dry sense of humor, and a careful, minimalist drawing style that revolutionized newspaper cartooning.I think tens of millions of people would agree with me that Charlie Brown is not a loser — he’s an insecure introvert trying to make sense of his place in the world.  Clearly, you can’t relate to that character, but take it from those of us who can: There’s a reason Peanuts is widely considered one of the greatest comic strips of all time.

    1. Mike Powell

      Whoops, you’re right about the cartoonist/animator distinction… that was a slip, and I’ve corrected it. And I know I’m definitely in the minority when it comes to my views on Peanuts! I’ve caught a lot of flak already from my family 🙂

      1. Jared Norby

        Love the pictures, though.  And I really dig the whole 91 days project — you guys dig deeper than a lot of travel blogs I’ve seen.  Keep up the good work.  🙂

  3. Sara

    Oh well now I HAVE to go to Korea! Looks incredible, and if you hadn’t guessed I’m a huge Peanuts fan.

  4. george souza

    i was stationed
    in busan in 1969 as an army draftee.
    i’d love to go back to see this and all the other changes.

    1. Juergen

      George, thank you for the comment. You should do that, I’m pretty sure you won’t recognize the city at all anymore!

  5. Geoff Swenson

    Peanuts was very funny and sometimes profound in the sixties. But Shultz ran out of ideas in the early 70s. Now that they are running Classic Peanuts, they haven’t run any of the good old ones, perhaps because a lot of them are lost.

  6. Paulus The Grey

    There could be a franchise opportunity here!

  7. Chris42

    But you DO like Snoopy, right? Juxtapose “Peanuts” with “The Family Circle” (The one I love to hate) and Peanuts won’t seem so bad- at least you won’t have a sugar OD.

  8. Timothy Chow

    None of the old Peanuts comics strips have been lost (except that the original colors of some of the Sundays strips may have been lost).  They are currently being systematically reprinted by Fantagraphics in a 25-volume series entitled The Complete Peanuts.Though I’m a rabid Peanuts fan myself, I’d agree with Geoff Swenson that the first 25 years were significantly better than the last 25 years (but in the late 1990’s, I’d say that Peanuts regained some of its earlier profundity in the character of Rerun).  If the characters seem one-dimensional to you, that may be because you’ve only been exposed to the TV specials and four or five strips.  Peanuts revolutionized newspaper comics precisely because it showed that a comic strip could explore real human emotions with depth and sensitivity.  Most other comic strips were either escapist fantasies or gag-a-day throwaways.Here’s one example that I particularly like that is not so well known: The story about the kids filling out application forms not to go to camp.  Start at the following link and continue through to July 9 (skipping the Sunday strips): to Schulz (note the correct spelling of his name, by the way), I don’t think that any other comic strip artist would have had the courage or the imagination to explore the territory that this storyline covers.

  9. LittleInsect

    I think one of the most touching cartoons that I have ever seen, is the one published the day after Shulz died (which he drew shortly before his death). I’m sure you Peanuts fans will know which one I mean

  10. JRogue

    Would you know there operating hours? We will be going to Busan next week and I have seen a lot of places to go to through your blog ^_^

    1. Mike Powell

      I’m not sure what the opening hours are for the Charlie Brown — cafes in Busan normally stay open pretty late, though; usually until at least 9pm.

  11. Chris G

    I found this page looking for a snoopy poster for my wife and the reason she loves peanuts so much is for the moral value. They brought many laughs and memories into our lives. The characters each had their own identity and their own issues and wonderfulness at the same time.      They were not the best drawn and maybe lasted longer than it should have and we can all pick at something or another. But with facebook twitter phones tablets and kids trying to grow much faster than they should our moral is very much on the decline. The older generation when they see peanuts they see the goodness in it and the memories of them.The new generation see something simple and honest because the world to today is so full of lies and corruption and a more different world today sadly to say. Children need innocence and something they can look back on with fond memories one day and I think Chuck and the gang did that pretty well for many people. Kids today can see a simple boy with his dog and his friends.  I think Schultz struggled with letting the pencil down as it is was his life’s work. But can you really blame him if I enjoyed my job a 10th of what he did I wouldn’t want to either. He was very insecure himself and let his emotions and thoughts in his pencil you really cannot hate thatSo dont beat up the peanuts family so much got that BLOCKHEAD  Great pictures by the way really enjoyed looking at them thank you for sharing. Here is part of an article below Despite the success, Schulz struggled with depression and anxiety, according to his biographer, Rheta Grimsley Johnson. But the struggle only improved his work, she found, as he poured those feelings of rejection and uncertainty into the strip and turned Charlie Brown into Everyman.”Rejection is his specialty, losing his area of expertise. He has spent a lifetime perfecting failure,” Johnson wrote in her 1989 book, “Good Grief: The Story of Charles M. Schulz.”Schulz himself left little doubt about the strip’s role in his life.”Why do musicians compose symphonies and poets write poems?” he once said. “They do it because life wouldn’t have any meaning for them if they didn’t. That’s why I draw cartoons. It’s my life.”

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