One of the interesting things to watch in the way Peanuts is being handled these days is a greater emphasis on Franklin – for a long time, he was basically absent on products, but now he’s regularly included in figurines and the various gewgaws. This was blatant during the promotion of The Peanuts Movie a couple of years ago, and there were clear business reasons for it – African Americans are a significant portion of the US movie audience, and representation does have an impact. But even if there are business reasons for it, it’s nice to see; it lets Peanuts reflect the somewhat-less-segregated world we’re living in without being untrue to the source material.
One example of the increased Franklinization is how, so soon after the release of the first physical Peanuts book to have Franklin in the title, they’ve already announced a second. Nice to Meet You, Franklin! is a storybook based on the introduction of Franklin into the strip, with his initial meeting Charlie Brown on the beach and his subsequent visit to the Browns’ neighborhood. This one drops in May.