Licensing Thoughts: Schulz vs Watterson

Is it better for a comic creator to sell out or remain creatively pure?

That dilemma is embodied in two cartoonists who had radically different attitudes toward their creations. I’m talking about Charles Schulz, the creator of Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang, and one of his inheritors, Bill Watterson, the artist behind Calvin and Hobbes.


The two men had different marketing philosophies. Schulz licensed the heck out of Peanuts, while Watterson purposely chose not to do anything along those lines.

Which cartoonist got it right?

Dan Brown, at The London Free Press, asks but does not answer the question.

Though his continuous use of “sell out” when talking about Charles M. Schulz and “creatively pure” when discussing Bill Watterson‘s “art” gives a hint as to which side of the debate he leans.