Knowledge Waits is a feature where I just share some bit of comic book history that interests me.
A few years back (whenever I say “a few years back,” it always seems to actually be, like, six years ago or some such nonsense), I did a legend partially confirming and partially debunking an old story about some “Peanuts” strips written and drawn by Al Plastino, the famous “Superman” artist who was the co-creator of Supergirl with writer Otto Binder.
Plastino recalled the strips being produced in 1981 when Schulz was dealing with a surgery just in case something awful happened while Schulz was in surgery. In reality, they were produced in 1977 at the behest of an executive at United Feature Syndicate as part of a contract negotiation with Schulz. The idea being that if Schulz balked on the contract deal, they would theoretically replace him with Plastino (they likely had no intention of ever having Schulz NOT draw the strip). The executive who did this retired soon afterwards, and his replacement, Bob Metz, worked out a deal with Schulz (which also guaranteed that no one but Schulz would ever draw the “Peanuts” comic strip) and Metz believed that he had the Plastino strips destroyed. He likely DID have most of them destroyed, but here are all of the ones that I’ve ever seen…
(Sorry for the blurriness of the last one)
Do note that obviously an editor would have corrected Plastino’s typos had the strips ever actually been published.
Plastino was an amazing, amazing comic book artist, but while he could certainly ape Schulz well, boy, no one could quite compare to Schulz’s story/art combo.
If anyone else has a suggestion for a fun piece of comic book history that you’d like to see me write about, feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!