Hey Jack!

Is this what happened?

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What he did to Schultz was despicable. A few days before his death, Sparky realized he'd have to take a few days off and concentrate on fighting cancer. The strip would be reruns for a while (forever, as it turned out). Frank Cho told everyone to tell their newspaper editors to throw out Peanuts and instate Liberty Meadows; according to "rumors on the internet", Sparky was actually none too pleased that his strip was being rerun. No-one else had heard these rumors. Really, the man wasn't dead, he must have thought he still had a chance; "Guess you won't be needing this space anymore" was the wrong thing to say

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Of course not. This is based on bunch of rumors and badmouthing by the people at the TCJ Message board.


This is what happened:

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HP: Some folks also seem upset about a campaign, orchestrated by you, to have Liberty Meadows replace Peanuts now that Charles Schulz is retiring. They seem to liken you to someone hovering outside a rent controlled apartment whose current occupant is packing to move out.

FC: (laughs) Okay, here's the story. I have a semi-monthly newsletter that I send out to the Internet fans who send me e-mail. On each newsletter I talk about what's going on in my comic. Before I send out each newsletter, I have Mark Wheatley and a couple of other people check the facts, and if the facts are wrong, they just delete it, or don't send it out or correct it. My syndicate told me they were getting all this news from other sales reps, from other syndicates, that Charles Schulz was retiring and everyone in the industry was scrambling to fill Charles Schulz's slot. Every syndicate was sending out their sales force to promote their syndicate's strip. Everyone knew in the industry that Charles Schulz had repeatedly said that once he retired or died, the strip would stop. Period. The sales force director of my syndicate told me this, and everyone else--other cartoonists--said, "You've got to self promote; it's the only way you can survive in this industry." So in my last newsletter, I said, basically, "After a fantastic 50 year run, Charles Schulz is retiring. If you like my strip, write or call your Features Editor." And I also put in a note that said "Charles Schulz is retiring and his syndicate, against his will, will reprint Peanuts," because, again, based on what the sales force director told me. So I gave this newsletter to Mark to check the facts, and it turned out it was wrong--it turned out Charles Schulz did give permission to run the reprints in the newspapers. So, Mark Wheatley took that part out. From what I gather, Mark passed it in email to Steve Conley and Rick Veitch at Comicon.com [http://www.comicon.com] to check the facts and see if this was correct. I think Rick contacted The Comics Journal to get Charles Schulz's phone number, and [they] asked him "What's it for?" The next thing I know, I got a call from The Comics Journal saying, "Who's your source?" I didn't tell them it was my syndicate--my syndicate's sales force director. I didn't want to bring them into it. So, I told them I got it over e-mail from a couple of fans. They in not so many worlds called me a liar. My newsletter with the
Charles Schulz reprint decision never went out --but then I get some news from Kim Thompson of The Comics Journal, and...

TheComicStore.com: ...by way of The Comics Journal, it kind of went out anyway.

FC: Right. The Comics Journal is the one who spread the rumor.

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Will this ever die down? No. The 14 people (wannabe artsy fartsy cartoonists) on the TCJ message board will keep bringing up.

Let me also clear up some stuff while I'm at it:
1) I like mainstream comics and humor. I dislike most alternative titles except for Bone, Cavewoman, Castle Waiting, Akiko, Usagi Yojimbo, and several other titles that I'm forgetting.
2) I hate artsy fartsy comics and art. But respect the passion of creating by the writers and artists.
3) I hate most of modern newspaper comic strips especially those politically correct family strips that involve little children.
4) I believe all artist (meaning people who draw) should able to draw what they see correctly (perspective and draftsmanship) before they start to experiment.
5) I believe Walt Kelly IS the greatest cartoonist ever.


Let the badmouthing by the TCJ people and it's fans start.


Frank Cho
LIBERTY MEADOWS