above: Charlie Brown.
Santa Rosa, CA (AC)— The late Charles Schulz’s comic strip “Peanuts” has been placed on a two week online delay by United Feature Syndicate due to contractual obligations, said syndicate spokesman Tad Bowman.
“Even apart from the contractual reasons, it just makes sense to reward the newspaper reader with an up-to-date ‘Classic Peanuts,'” stated Bowman. “The newspaper reader has spent his or her fifty cents to buy this right. Online readers, in contrast, have been viewing these 5 to 54 year-old strips literally for free, in effect being subsidized by those who buy newspapers that run comic strips drawn by those who are long dead. No longer.”
“It’s about time,” stated Marigold Evans, subscriber to northern California’s Sacramento Bee. “I can’t tell you how annoying it is to bring up the latest classic antics of the Peanuts gang at the office, only to find out that others are reading the same strip for nothing on the internet. It’s a disgrace.”
“Delaying the online version of the strip seems very reasonable to me,” said Viki Monsanto of Chicago. “The net people want to have their cake and eat it, too, and that’s just not right.”
Added Franklin Gautier of Pass Christian, Mississippi, “When I’m talking about a funny joke I read in ‘Classic Peanuts,’ I want to know that the people I talk to paid to see it like me. Like, remember last week [when] Snoopy and Woodstock were dancing a happy dance, and then stopped to say ‘I hate cats,’ and then started dancing again? That was cool.”
Others interviewed, however, expressed different opinions. “Peanuts?” said Albert Haversham of North Brunswick, Iowa, “that’s the one with the dog and parrot and the round-bodied guy, right? Or am I thinking of ‘Ziggy?'”
“Classic Peanuts,” as the strip is now called five years after the death of creator Charles Schulz, appears in some 2,400 newspapers around the world. The Peanuts empire still accounts for $1.2 billion in annual sales worldwide, though most reasonable people are at a loss to explain why.