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The Complete Peanuts 1959-1960 (Vol. 5) (The Complete Peanuts) Hardcover – May 17, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The fifth volume in Fantagraphics Books' Complete Peanuts series welcomes a new character: Sally, Charlie Brown's baby sister. It's interesting to see how the perpetually beleaguered CB--criticized for having a "face" face or a "failure face--now takes on the responsibility of worrying about the world his sister will grow up in. His role as manager of the baseball team continues to bring him woe, losing 600-0, losing all 20 games of the season, making a daring attempt to steal home, and having to miss a game to push his sister's stroller. Linus, at first wondering if Sally will someday go out with him, gets his answer in spades: "Isn't he the cutest thing?" But he'd much rather lavish his attention on the new teacher, Miss Othmar ("I'm very fond of the ground on which she walks"), even if his eggshell project doesn't work out as planned. Snoopy, though threatened by a hanging icicle and a possible freeway through his home, still finds joy in being a gopher, the Big Man on Campus, or the Mad Punter. "Peanuts" was well into its classic years in the 1959-60 period, with such signature moments as "Happiness is a warm puppy" and a lot of material that would become familiar staples of the Christmas and Halloween television specials. --David Horiuchi

From Booklist

During 1959-60, Schulz premiered several Peanuts essentials. Snoopy now lounges atop his doghouse rather than in it, Lucy establishes her psychiatric practice, and Linus observes the first of his fruitless Halloween vigils for the Great Pumpkin. Charlie Brown's sister debuts, giving him more to be depressed about ("I thought that having a baby sister would change my whole life, but it hasn't"). What's more, the period includes the famous "Happiness is a warm puppy" strip. Librarians should appreciate a two-week sequence in which Charlie Brown despairs over losing a library book ("You're a dead duck," Lucy tells him). By this point, Schulz's always-appealing artwork has been pared to perfection, and yet he would make it simpler still in decades to come. Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Series: The Complete Peanuts
  • Hardcover: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics; 1 edition (May 17, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560976713
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560976714
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 1.3 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #464,948 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Charles M. Schulz was born November 25, 1922 in Minneapolis. His destiny was foreshadowed when an uncle gave him, at the age of two days, the nickname Sparky (after the racehorse Spark Plug in the newspaper strip Barney Google).

In his senior year in high school, his mother noticed an ad in a local newspaper for a correspondence school, Federal Schools (later called Art Instruction Schools). Schulz passed the talent test, completed the course and began trying, unsuccessfully, to sell gag cartoons to magazines. (His first published drawing was of his dog, Spike, and appeared in a 1937 Ripley's Believe It Or Not! installment.) Between 1948 and 1950, he succeeded in selling 17 cartoons to the Saturday Evening Post--as well as, to the local St. Paul Pioneer Press, a weekly comic feature called Li'l Folks. It was run in the women's section and paid $10 a week. After writing and drawing the feature for two years, Schulz asked for a better location in the paper or for daily exposure, as well as a raise. When he was turned down on all three counts, he quit.

He started submitting strips to the newspaper syndicates. In the spring of 1950, he received a letter from the United Feature Syndicate, announcing their interest in his submission, Li'l Folks. Schulz boarded a train in June for New York City; more interested in doing a strip than a panel, he also brought along the first installments of what would become Peanuts--and that was what sold. (The title, which Schulz loathed to his dying day, was imposed by the syndicate). The first Peanuts daily appeared October 2, 1950; the first Sunday, January 6, 1952.

Diagnosed with cancer, Schulz retired from Peanuts at the end of 1999. He died on February 13, 2000, the day before Valentine's Day--and the day before his last strip was published--having completed 17,897 daily and Sunday strips, each and every one fully written, drawn, and lettered entirely by his own hand--an unmatched achievement in comics.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By K. Palmer on May 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The fifth volume of the proposed 25 volume Complete Peanuts series finishes off the first decade of the strip by chronicling the years 1959 and 1960. This was about the time that many Peanuts fans (myself included) feel the strip really came into its own. Charles Schulz had established his main characters (Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, Schroeder) with their own individual personalities and eccentricities. He had relegated the other characters (Patty, Violet, Pig Pen and Shermy) to occasional roles and basically stopped developing them (all eventually became afterthoughts in the strip).

In this volume, Schulz adds his first major character in several years by adding Charlie Brown's baby sister Sally, which ended up being a great decision as Sally later became the poster child for unrequited love (with Linus - you actually see the beginnings of it in this volume) and school anxiety. But even this early on, she makes her mark to the strip.

The surprise for me is that even though I was familiar with many more of the strips published in this volume than in any of the previous four volumes, there were probably 1/4th to 1/5th of the collection that I don't recall having read before in my life. That is, for me, what makes these volumes fun for me, the 40+ year old strips that are really new to me. I know that the percentage of strips I will have never seen will probably decrease with each new volume that is issued, just reading 700+ strips in a few days will bring back many great memories.

My only gripe in this volume is that the introduction by Whoopi Goldberg was not an essay as the previous volumes have had, but merely a transcript of an interview conducted with her. I think there are enough famous people who probably were affected by Schulz and his work who could make the effort to pen a few pages. Whoopi is a bright woman, but the interview left me with a feeling of "blahdom".

Anyway, another great volume in a great series!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By take403 VINE VOICE on May 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Our patience is about to be paid off on May 19th. This will feature a quite transitional period in Peanuts. Snoopy will start resting on the top of his doghouse (he'll continue using his wild imagination, much to the chagrin of his master Charlie Brown). Blanket toting Linus has developed a crush on his teacher, Miss Othmar ("The teacher, the subject of schoolboy's fantasy...") and every Halloween awaits the arrival of the Great Pumpkin, hoping he'll choose the Van Pelts' pumpkin patch. Lucy finds a part-time job giving advice and "psychiatric help" for 5 cents (she seems to have a regular customer with Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown is about to be a brother and is ecstatic about it (he passes out chocolate cigars). His new baby sister's name is Sally. She starts out very cute and innocent, but will later become a consumate whiner (Charlie Brown taught her everything he knows!). She'll also develop a crush on Linus, who's too preoccupied with his crush on Miss Othmar. Meanwhile, Charlie Brown has a crush of his own on one little red-haired girl (we never get to see her in the cartoon strip, let alone know her name, but a few of the Charlie Brown specials would be a different story). And of course, Lucy is crazy about Schroeder, who's only crazy about Beethoven. Patty, who makes the cover of this Complete Peanuts, remains in the shadows of Lucy and, to a lesser extent, her friend Violet. Whoopi Goldberg has some poignant words in the introduction which I've read here on this website and she understands that part of the charm of Peanuts is that it tapped in on the things that make each of us sad or angry.Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By mrliteral VINE VOICE on December 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What is happiness? On April 25, 1960, Charles Schulz, through his character Lucy told us: Happiness is a warm puppy. This immortal sentence is just one of the things that appears in the fifth volume of The Complete Peanuts, which comprises the years 1959 and 1960. As in previous volumes, we see once again why Peanuts is considered by many to be the best comic strip ever.

In some sense, things have not changed from past volumes: Linus still has his blanket, Charlie Brown still can't fly a kite and Lucy is a champion fussbudget. On the other hand, things do move forward, albeit slowly. As original character Shermy (the first to ever speak in a Peanuts strip) becomes less significant, we get a new character with Charlie Brown's sister, Sally. Before she can even talk, she will have her heart broken by Linus, but don't worry, she'll recover fast.

Resiliency is the key to many of these characters, none more so than the strip's centerpiece, Charlie Brown. Constantly luckless and often ridiculed by his "friends" (only Linus, and occasionally Schroeder, are relatively consistent in being nice to him), Charlie Brown, despite his glumness is actually the eternal optimist. He never gives up on flying his kit or playing baseball or even his belief that one day, Lucy will actually allow him to kick that football.

Behind the deceptively simple drawing and the child characters (by this point in the strip, even the adult voices are gone), lies an often deep and sophisticated art, filled with wit and humanity. And like any piece of art that is great and immortal, it is timeless and as good now as ever, whether you're an adult or a child.
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The Complete Peanuts 1959-1960 (Vol. 5)  (The Complete Peanuts)
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