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Peanuts: The Art of Charles M. Schulz Hardcover – October 23, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School-The story of a great American cartoonist's artistic development and a beautiful example of book production. Vintage drawings of Schulz's work from his army days, Roman Catholic publications, and early "Lil Folks" panels are photographed from the original strips and archival collections, both black and white and in color, yellowed with age and showing marks of tape. The result is like browsing through an old-fashioned family album. It is fun to ponder the development of Lucy, a good-natured baby in the earliest strips, and to find one photo of Charlie Brown's unrequited love for the Little Red Haired Girl. An introduction by the artist's wife, commentary from the photographer, and excerpts from Schulz's letters and those from friends and fans give an in-depth look into the man's artistic technique as well as his personality. This collection will be treasured by cartoonists and "Peanuts" fans. It will also appeal to the occasional funny-page reader and students of American culture, who will gain an appreciation of Schulz's remarkable insight into the American psyche.
Jackie Gropman, Kings Park Library, Burke, VA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Good grief! Over 500 comic strips, early prototypes of Peanuts, and more.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Series: Peanuts
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Pantheon; 1st edition (October 23, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375420975
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375420979
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 1.2 x 7.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #244,880 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By K. Palmer on October 30, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am an ardent collector of books related to the Peanuts comic strips created by Charles Schulz. But one thing you learn when you have this hobby is that not as much exists from the early days of Peanuts (particularly the first five years or so). My understanding is that as time went on, Schulz wasn't as fond of the earlier days of Peanuts and did not want these strips reprinted if he could help it. These were the days when Charlie Brown's shirt didn't have the famous zig-zag and Snoopy walked on all four legs and didn't have his famous "thought balloons".
This book "Peanuts: The Art of Charles Schulz" is focused primarily on those early days of Peanuts, with most of the material from the first ten years of the strip (the 1950's). The strips are photographed from Schulz's archives and there are many strips I have never seen before (and I've seen just about every one that was published). You even get to see the long forgotten Charlotte Braun, who was in the strip for a short period around 1954 and had the fussbudget personality later assumed by Lucy. Fascinating. You see Lucy, Linus and Schroeder as babies. You see Charlie Brown with a huge head (much bigger in proportion to his body than you are used to seeing). And you see Snoopy as basically just a dog before he assumed his own thoughts and imagination.
There is also a lot of sketches and strips from the pre-Peanuts days (Lil Folks) that can really give you insight into how Peanuts eventually came to be. This has never been done to any great extent is any Peanuts book that I have seen.
The strips are terrific and the style of the presentation is very pleasant to look at as well. This book is laid out more as an art book than as a collection of comic strips. And it is very well done at that.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Rob Morris on November 23, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I have loved Peanuts since childhood, and have an almost complete collection of Peanuts books. Charles Schultz has always been an inspiration to me in my work as an occasional professional cartoonist. Not only is Schultz unsurpassed as an artist, he is also one of the great philosophers of twentieth century life in America.
This book is, first and foremost, a celebration of the comic strip. It is a work of art in its own right. All the cartoons in the book are photographed from either their original drawings, or directly from the newspapers. The reader can see the artistic details that Schultz has used in creating each frame in photos of the originals. And the use of the original strips, with their rough paper and newsprint lines, brings back the joy of reading the comics for the first time in the funnies. The Sunday comics are complete with the little color dots that created the color images. There are literally hundreds of comic strips, both daily and Sunday, in this book, and they give a good overview of Schultz's long career.
There are many photos of Schultz's doodles and rough sketches, of his desk and his artist's tools, early cartoons 'Sparky' sold to the Saturday Evening Post, early drawings of certain characters, some of which pre-date 'Peanuts' itself. One can actually see the characters develop, artistically and as human beings. Interspersed with the cartoons are textual explanations and stories about Schultz and his characters, including many insightful comments by Charles Schultz himself about the evolution and personalities of his characters. Also included are photos of early Peanuts toys and dolls, and even these are photographed lovingly and with attention to detail and shadow.
This is a magical book, and any Peanuts fan would love it and treasure it.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Nat Gertler on October 26, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you're a fan of Peanuts strips, you want this book.
It is gorgeous. This is visually the most amazing Peanuts book every produced.
Yes, it's that good.
Most of the book is made of Peanuts strips, but not just printed from old stats as most strip books are. Instead, the strips are photographed, either directly from the original art (which gives very sharp reproduction while showing you the little physicalities that go into the making of the strip) or from printed newspapers. The latter may *sound* a bit tacky, but really it gives the book a very textural sensibility. Eisner Award-winning designer Chip Kidd knows what he is doing. Also in it are plenty of Schulz sketches, pictures of Peanuts products and packaging, Schulz notes and correspondence, and more.
This is a good coffee-table book, but it isn't large like your typical coffee-table tome. It's about the size of a standard hardcover book, turned sideways. It's thick, over an inch thick, which helps it include over 500 strips, including many never before reprinted in a U.S. Peaunts book.
Text is scattered throughout the book, including Schulz quotes and descriptions of pictured items. However, it's a book that encourages one to flip through it; it does not need to be read linearly.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Blake Petit VINE VOICE on January 2, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This posthumous collection of the work of Charles Schulz could easily have turned into a rehash of other works, such as the Peanuts Golden Celebration that came out in 2000. It never fell into that trap. Focusing both on the strip and the way it evolved, this feels like (if possible) an even more thorough telling of the Peanuts story. It has rarer strips than "Golden Celebration" as well as comments made by Schulz at various points in his career that help shed insight on how he crafted these stories.
There are lots of sidebars in this book -- pictures of "Peanuts" merchandise and the stories behind the items abound, for example. There are also photos of things like Schulz's drawing board and art tools, just as he left them after finishing the final "Peanuts" strip.
Jean Schulz, in the introduction, starts by saying that Sparky was a genius. I think most of us who want this book already knew that, but it's beautiful to have this reminder. Every "Peanuts" fan simply must read it and treasure it.
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