Schulz plans to give fans one more strip to say goodbye

Wednesday, December 15th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Charles Schulz will give readers one final "Peanuts" strip before he officially retires, his editor said Wednesday, a day after the cartoonist announced the end of his beloved comic strip.

Will Charlie Brown finally outsmart Lucy and send that football sailing? Will he win the love of the little red-haired girl?

"I haven't seen it yet; I can't tell you," his editor, Amy Lago said. Then she thought a minute. "Knowing Schulz, probably not."

The farewell strip will be published Jan. 3.

Lago said she was unsure whether Schulz will draw the strip or put together a collage of characters Schulz has already drawn.

On Tuesday, Schulz announced that he planned to retire his 49-year-old strip.

He had drawn daily strips for use through Jan. 1 and Sunday strips for use through Feb. 13 before undergoing emergency surgery last month.

Doctors diagnosed him with colon cancer at that time, and the 77-year-old cartoonist, who took pride in meeting deadlines, decided to retire when he realized that he did not know when he would be well enough to withstand the pressure of daily deadlines.

He also suffered a series of small strokes during his surgery and now has trouble with his vision while drawing, she said.

"You wouldn't know it to see him. He recognizes people and faces," she said, and he is able to draw, but something "clicks
in the brain" making it difficult. He is expected to recover, she said.

Lago said she will not disclose the final strip or its story line before it is published.