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The man who invented Charlie Brown liked baseball, loved dogs, and had a persecution complex fit for a Third World dictator. “No one loves me,” Charles Schulz told a friend shortly after the Peanuts creator was diagnosed with the colon cancer that ultimately killed him on Feb. 12, 2000. In his biography, Schulz and Peanuts, David Michaelis depicts his subject as a lifelong injustice collector who grew up in an emotionally distant (but not abusive) household and inflated the least slight from childhood classmates into memories of bullying. Famously, he channeled those anxieties into a comic strip that, in its ’60s heyday, sublimated a generation’s angst into wishy-washy Charlie Brown and its id into freewheeling Snoopy. Less famously, Schulz’s fear of failure made him edgy and hypercompetitive, even when he was the master of a $20-million-a-year global juggernaut. (When For Better or for Worse creator Lynn Johnston told Schulz she planned to kill her strip’s family dog, Schulz threatened to retaliate by having a truck hit Snoopy.) Michaelis’ portrait of Schulz is built on a pair of what feel like simplistic assertions: Peanuts was so melancholy because Schulz’s mother died, and the strip became a snooze starting in the early ’70s because he had settled into a happy marriage with his second wife, Jeanne. But Michaelis’ inventive use of Peanuts strips throughout the book do help bolster his claims: When Schulz’s marriage to his first wife, Joyce, was in tatters, Lucy Van Pelt was never so crabby, fussbudgety, and prankingly cruel. Michaelis discusses and signs copies of his work at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, at Olsson’s Books & Records, 418 7th St. NW. Free. (202) 638-7610.