Charles Schulz had it in his contract that nobody would take over Peanuts — and it was his children's idea
One article compared it to ''asking who would paint Picassos after Picasso passed.''
Some media goes on for years and years and maintains the same great quality. Others, audiences will argue, lose what makes them special as time goes on. Sometimes people will point to one big "jump the shark" moment where the media took a downward turn. Other times, it just gradually loses steam until it just isn't the same thing.
One of the biggest reasons fans frequently bring up when they feel a franchise stops having that special something is when the creator — or part of the original team — steps away from the project.
Charles Schulz, creator of Peanuts, apparently felt the same way. "When I retire," Schulz said in a 1989 interview with the Quad-City Times, "that's the end of the strip. It's in my contract."
The source of the stipulation comes from a surprising source: Schulz's five children. "[It] was mainly my children's idea," he said. "They didn't want anyone but dad drawing it."
A Detroit Free Press article from 1995 elaborated, "The television specials can go forward — he trusts those people — and there can be a rerunning of classic strips, but nothing new will issue forth from a pen pretending to be his. That someone else would pen Pigpen is as odd a notion to his children — and him — as asking who would paint Picassos after Picasso passed into the next life."
When Schulz announced his retirement in 1999 due to a cancer diagnosis, audiences across the world mourned the loss of new Peanuts adventures... but many agreed with the creator.
"I can't do it," Mike Suchcicki, a cartoonist, wrote in the Pensacola News Journal. "I mean, I can't draw these characters to the point where you wouldn't think anyone but Charles Schulz had drawn them. I've seen dozens of comic strip and editorial cartoonists try, as well, usually having some of the 'Peanuts' characters make 'cameo' appearances in their cartoons 'with apologies to Charles Schulz,' but they can't seem to get it right either."
"What's usually missing in these renditions, however faithful and reverent, is not the Charles Schulz style but the Charles Schulz personality," he continued. "Only Charles Schulz is able to add life to Lucy and style to Snoopy. Charles Schulz IS Charlie Brown, and he IS Snoopy and Linus and Lucy and Schroeder and Rerun and Franklin and all the others."