I’ve been reading a few articles over the last three weeks about Charles M. Schultz, the creator of the Peanuts comic strip. A biographer has made the claim that Schultz was a bitter miserable man who suffered constantly from melancholy and depression. The biographer also stated that Schultz was something of a womanizer. Schultz’s family is upset about the biographer’s statements and has stated that when they gave interviews for the book they never expected this end result. Fans are also highly upset by all of this.
Twenty years from now I can see some feminist asswipe or some liberal goon writing about the Peanuts comic. They’ll claim that Schultz was demeaning to women because Lucy is portrayed as a physically abusive, mean, and narcissistic. They’ll come to the same conclusions about Schultz’s mental state because of the character of Charlie Brown. They’ll probably go so far to say that Charlie Brown’s character was created as a result of the shock of war since Schultz was in World War II. They’ll probably even try to insert Schultz’s political views into the comic (if he had any he was probably a conservative).
I can see why Bill Watterson and Charles Schultz never wanted anyone to carry on their legacies after they decided to stop drawing the comics. There are too many conceited, self absorbed jackasses out there who will merely continue to make a comic because they want to make money or create their own interpretation of a comic, based on their own silly, selfish mindset. I can feel sorry these men, because I’m a writer and I cringe at the thought of what people will ‘interpret’ about my works after I’m dead and gone. How they’ll reinterpret what i have said and wrote to fit some mental, social, or political template. And my family having to clean up the mess once these critics get ahold of me once I’m dead and cannot defend myself. Its almost depressing enough to make me stop writing altogether. But i guess I’ll have to keep on writing because its something i love.
Although some may argue the greatest testimony to a writer is how many critics he has.