Saturday, March 18, 2006
For most of my life, I have admired the work of Charles Shultz. The man was THE Cartoonist I have always looked up to. For nearly half a century, the man put a daily laugh on the pages of newspapers around the world, never once makeing tasteless or crude jokes, and creating characters so popular that they have entered the american lexicon. As I grew older, Also came to admire Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes) and Gary Larson (the Far Side) but neither of them has ever made the mark on our culture that Peanuts has.
I should be so lucky.
At the same time, it offends me that the syndicates that own the bulk of Shultz's work refuse to let his strip pass on with the man. It smacks of graverobbing to me, and gives me yet another reason to rage against the corporate machine, I suppose. Not only is this taking space from other up and coming cartoonists, but it seems to me to serve no purpose other than to line someone's pockets. I suppose in the long run, Shultz got the better end of the deal, because other strips that were developed by his generation (Nancy, Pogo, Blondie) were simply handed over to other artists after their creator's demise. One wonders if these replacement cartoonists think about the creator's vision or original intent for the character.
Sorry if this seems a downer, but these are things that keep me up at night.