Featuring Good Ol’ Charlie Brown

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When all else fails steal, or, as we call it in the biz, “crossover.” From the time I began as a young comic strip artist until the death of Charles M. Schulz in 2000, we were stablemates at United Media. That is to say, he was Secretariat and I was one of the cowbirds who benefitted from his accomplishments, but we were under the same roof. That meant, if any of us other cartoonists mentioned “Peanuts” or borrowed a character, that cartoon would be run past the great man himself for his approval. I was subjected to this scrutiny a few times myself, including for a rather lengthy and, if I say so myself, clever parody involving an adult Schroeder, working as a piano salesman. I never had anything shot down by Schulz. I think he rather enjoyed such attention. I don’t believe this prior censorship was for his benefit, although he could be notoriously thin-skinned; it was for the editors themselves at United Media, who lived in fear of upsetting him. The above cartoon appeared in 2006, so I assume he did not have to approve it.