There’s a way that I’ve seen folks discussing Peanuts projects over the past decade or so that I find a little irksome. They’ll see some bit of non-Schulz Peanuts somewhere, and consider it not to be good… which I have no problem with (I certainly feel that there are better and lesser projects myself.) But then they go on to explain that the reason that the material turned out to be bad was because Schulz was now dead and thus wasn’t there to oversee it.
And not once when I saw this argument being made did it seem that people were actually comparing the non-strip material done after Schulz’s death to the material done before.
If you want to not like Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown, that’s fine, but if you say it’s bad because Schulz is not around, your argument only holds water if you’re comparing it to the animated secials done during his lifetime… and not just the classics that people watch every year, but the typical special. How does it compare to It’s Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown, to It’s the Pied Piper, Charlie Brown, to The Girl in the Red Truck, to Flashbeagle? Is a new storybook worse that Charlie Brown’s Two-Minute Stories? Is the Kaboom! comic book significantly worse than the typical issue of the Dell comic book from the 1960s?
There’s a lot of new Peanuts material coming up, most notably the movie, but there is new TV animation, new books, further issue of the comic books on the way. Some of it may be great, some of it may not, and while I certainly hope that you enjoy whatever of it you consume, you certainly have the right to your own opinion of its quality. Just don’t blame the absence of Schulz for any of it falling short of your hopes unless similar stuff didn’t fall short during his lifetime.