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Craig Schulz on keeping his father’s legacy alive

The Press Democrat has an excellent report on Craig Schulz, Charles Schulz’ son and his work as president and CEO of Creative Associates – the company that manages licensing for the Peanuts characters.

Earlier this year, Craig Schulz found himself in the national news again, when the Schulz family made a $175 million deal with Iconix Brand Group of New York. The new agreement gives the family a 20-percent share in the Peanuts franchise, and greater creative control.

“Our biggest fear has always been somebody buying up the rights and us not having any control,” Schulz said. “We’d rather have this property make $10 million a year for 50 years, than make $100 million in one year and walk away from it.”

The “Peanuts” brand is licensed in more than 40 countries and drives annual retail sales topping $2 billion, with more than 24,000 new products approved every year.

“It’s a long-term growing stock that has to be managed properly,” Schulz said.

Community Comments

@ 10:34 am

$175 million deal…and they still call it Peanuts?

#2 Mike Cope
@ 10:57 am

“Working with ‘Pearls Before Swine’ cartoonist Stephan Pastis of Santa Rosa, who also works for Creative Associates, Schulz has also co-written a new animated TV special about Linus and his security blanket, which he hopes will air on ABC this fall.”

… Kudos to Stephan! Look forward to seeing it!!

#3 Jason Nocera
@ 11:12 am

@Mike – that part scared me.

#4 Darryl Heine
@ 12:27 pm

But since Charles Schulz’s retirement in 2009-2010 Classic Peanuts reruns still go on in most newspapers.

#5 Stephen Beals
@ 12:27 pm

A confirmed Schulz nut like me is happy to hear this. I was going to call myself a Peanuts nut, but that’s just redundantly weird.

#6 dave nelson
@ 4:00 pm

Charles Schulz’s Peanuts ended when Sparky put down his pen but personally I could get into a new Peanuts if it was done by someone with the knowledge and reverence for its 50 year history.
… I miss good ol’ wishy-washy Charlie Brown.

#7 Mike Peterson
@ 4:26 pm

I’ve always felt that the TV specials, the Met Life Commercials and the rest of the “byproducts” were something other than the strips. I don’t care what they do to cash in on the characters, but I remain depressed that the strip — which I love — continues to take up valuable space in newspapers instead of running on the web along with reruns of Calvin & Hobbes, Bloom County, Steve Canyon, Latigo and other beloved old strips.

#8 B.J. Dewey
@ 6:05 pm

I’ve been a Peanuts fan since discovering it in 1960 and yet I still run across strips (thanks to the Peanuts Classics some newspaper websites run) I’ve never seen. It’s not surprising, really, since he did something like 18,000-plus strips over 50 years. But I also feel that the strip reruns take up print space that should be used for new cartoonists and I wonder if Schulz himself might not think that.

#9 Mike Cope
@ 6:06 pm

I hope they use children to voice the characters and stay true to all the other subtleties that put the “special” in TV special. We don’t need a modern, hip Peanuts.

Just good ol’ unsalted, please :)

#10 John Lotshaw
@ 8:34 pm

I saw a clip of the new special at Comic-Con at the Peanuts panel. This is not a new “hip” Peanuts. Andy Beall, the Animation Director for Charles Schulz Creative Associates (and former Pixar animator who worked on “The Incredibles” and “Up”) said that they didn’t want to update the classic characters… they wanted to evoke the strip at it’s height. The character designs are based on the appearance of the characters circa 1963. The animation is hand-drawn and was deliberately done to mesh with the animation style of Bill Melendez’ specials, specifically the first five.

The animation clip, of Snoopy sneaking up on Linus, grabbing his blanket and running off, with Linus clinging to the blanket for his dear life, was nostalgic and funny. It was exactly what I’d have expected to see on CBS some thirty years ago.

When I heard that they were doing a new Peanuts special, I was skeptical. After seeing the animation in the presentation, and hearing Stephan Pastis talk about how worked as much of Schulz’ original words and ideas into the story, I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of “Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown”.

#11 JW Wills
@ 10:10 pm

It’s nice to see that someone with the integrity of Stephan Pastis work on a Peanuts’ project with great respect and dignity. He’s done a remarkable job of capturing Charles Schulz’s intent and his characters’ personalities. Bravo Stephan and Andy Beall.

#12 Henry Clausner
@ 9:48 am

I can hear the Peanuts music in the background now!….

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