Ever since the 2000 passing of the exalted Charles M. Schulz, the creator of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy and Linus Van Pelt and all of our beloved Peanuts characters and stories, there's been the lingering concern in the back of our minds about what the future holds for the artist's creative legacy. There was a level of respect involved, as classic Peanuts strips are still published in newspapers throughout the country, but we all knew that someday, people in suits would make their big push. This property is too famous, too beloved and too much a part of the American way to end with its creator. Those of us who still get misty-eyed at A Charlie Brown Christmas every year have dreaded the inevitable arrival of a live-action movie version of Peanuts with a CG Snoopy who farts all the time and a CG Woodstock who busts out "Rapper's Delight."
Now, the first step toward that grim nightmare future has been taken by Boom! Studios. Fresh on the heels of losing their rights to Disney comics, which are likely to get folded into Marvel in some fashion, Boom! has announced that in November, they will publish a #0 issue of Peanuts, paving the way for new creators to craft new Peanuts stories.
No actual creators have been named just yet, but even with the full support and guidance of Peanuts Worldwide and Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates, the dread remains palpable. Sure, Disney characters have a life beyond Walt Disney, The Rocketeer has been given some spark without Dave Stevens, and hell, the entire comics industry is built on other writers and artists carrying on he works of Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster, Joe Simon, Jack Kirby, Bob Kane, etc. long after they've gone. But there's something very precious and personal about Peanuts that feels instinctively like anyone else writing it would just be ten shades of wrong.
That feeling may just be nostalgia and may prove to be an unnecessary prejudice, of course. One has to believe that any comic creator worth their salt is going to cherish Peanuts as sincerely as Linus in the pumpkin patch, and they won't dare try to do anything but honor Schulz's work with their humble additions to it.
But when that horrible day comes… when, during a Kidz Bop/Nickelodeon revamping of Vince Guaraldi's "Linus and Lucy," some child actor shaves his head bald and mugs a "Good grief!" to the camera after stepping in Snoopy poop, all will be lost.