Good Grief, Charlie Brown! New Peanuts?

Quite a stir was created when Boom Studios announced a new Peanuts project for Kaboom, its new children's line.  Would we finally be seeing brand new adventures of Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the rest of the gang?  Since creator Charles Schulz passed away in 2000, there has been no new original content, except for some cartoons based on previously existing material.  Schulz himself had indicated that he wanted no one else to draw the comic strip in his place after his death, so reruns of the old comics have been appearing in syndication ever since.  But NPR's Monkey See blog recently confirmed that a new graphic novel is coming, based on a storyline by Craig Shulz (Charles' son) and Stephan Pastis, with artwork by Bob Scott, Vicki Scott, and Rob Zorman.  They even previewed some sample pages.

Will this be the beginning of further adventures of the Peanuts characters?  Does this ignore (or find a loophole around) Shulz's dying wish not to have anyone else draw his famous comic strip?  Here's a summary of what Shulz expected the legacy of Peanuts to be, as reported in Wikipedia: "Schulz indicated that his family wished for the strip to end when he was no longer able to produce it...As part of his will, Schulz had requested that the Peanuts characters remain as authentic as possible and that no new comic strips based on them be drawn. United Features had legal ownership of the strip, but honored his wishes, instead syndicating reruns of the strip to newspapers. New television specials have also been produced since Schulz's death, but the stories are based on previous strips."

Charles Shulz drew the Peanuts strip for fifty years, virtually non-stop until the time of his death.  Even those final storylines were fun to read, and I remember comparing the style of those latter drawings to the ones he drew in the early days -- the lines were a little less straight, and I could imagine Shulz's old hand trembling as he put ink to paper, bringing his beloved characters to life from his still vibrant imagination.  What impact will the new tales have on readers? 

As a fan, I'm happy to see the Peanuts gang live on, but I also hope that the legacy of the artist who was nicknamed Sparky isn't short-changed. Peanuts will always be connected to Charles Shulz.

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