The man who would have done Peanuts

My pal Mark Evanier is reporting the death of comics creator Al Plastino. Al was a talented creator with long runs in both comic books and comic strips (he did strips ranging from “Batman” to “Nancy”), and curious assignments in each realm. In comic books, his best known odd assignment was to redraw the heads of Superman in the comic books the great Jack Kirby was drawing, but the thing that lands him on this blog is his odd comic strip assignment: he was the guy who would’ve taken over Peanuts. Sources differ on just when he was lined up to do so, but the most likely time was during hte 1970s, when Schulz’s contract was up for renegotiation. Schulz did not own Peanuts; the strip was owned by United Features Syndicate, and if Schulz had left, they could have had someone continue the series. Plastino drew a batch of strips, ready to be dropped in in if negotiations failed… but, of course, the syndicate ironed everything out with Schulz, so there was no need for the Plastino strips to see the light of day.

I’ve seen a couple of the Plastino strips. The drawing isn’t bad – it wouldn’t pass as being Schulz, but it was a reasonable look for a substitute artist that was not jarring with what had gone before. As for the writing, it didn’t feel like Peanuts. The characters were off there, the texture of the humor was wrong. (Edited to add: I should note that Plastino did have substantial runs on two other long-running humor strips, “Ferd’nand” and “Nancy”.)

I’m glad Mr. Plastino was around and contributed as much as he did to the field of comics… but I’m also glad that Peanuts did not end up being part of that contribution.

Schulz/Peanuts news
Joyce Doty, 1926-2022

Monte Schulz is reporting the death of his mother, Joyce Doty, at the age of 95, following treatment for a fracture. Joyce was Charles Schulz’s first wife and mother to his kids. She was married to him while he built his cartooning career and as Peanuts became a transmedia international …

An astronaut touches a stuffed Snoopy
Animated Peanuts
Upcoming NASA mission to be unmanned, but not undogged

Many Snoopys have been in space, whether we’re talking the Apollo X lunar module or the tiny Silver Snoopy pins placed on NASA space flights and then awarded to folks who helped with operational safety. There’s even been a stuffed Snoopy in space before, as when astronaut Mike Massimino took …

Schulz/Peanuts news
Trusting journalism is hard

Did Schulz get idea from his kids? Was his dog like Snoopy? This 1957 article makes it clear: the answer to both questions is “no”! This 1958 article begs to differ! 40 SHARES Share Tweet this thing Follow the AAUGH Blog