More About the Author
Derrick Bang, author of 2000's popular and critically praised "50 Years of Happiness: A Tribute to Charles M. Schulz," in early 2004 released his second book about Schulz, this one focusing on the cartoonist's early work after returning home from his WWII service: "Charles M. Schulz: Li'l Beginnings."
It was followed, in 2005, by Derrick's editorial involvement with a third book highlighting yet another previously untapped glimpse into Schulz's past: "It's Only a Game," which assembled all the short-lived panel cartoons that the Peanuts creator produced in the late 1950s with collaborator and "ghost" Jim Sasseville. In 2009, Derrick and co-editor Don Fraser assembled "Security Blankets: How Peanuts Touched Our Lives," a collection of anecdotes by people whose lives had been transformed by Schulz's work.
Derrick grew up in the greater Los Angeles basin and then fled, in 1973, to attend UC Davis; he loved the area and decided to remain as a full-time resident after graduating in June 1977. To fill those hours when he wasn't busily writing for any newspaper or magazine foolish enough to publish him, he founded The Game Preserve, a retail Davis game-and-puzzle store, in September 1978. Derrick kept his shop open for just over 18 years, and finally closed the business in January 1997, when he became entertainment editor of The Davis Enterprise, a full-time position he held until October 2010.
Derrick has written film, television, Internet and general entertainment commentary for local newspapers since 1974, and still supplies regular columns and features to The Enterprise. More recent projects have included extensive liner notes for CD re-issues of classic albums by jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi, famed for the hit single "Cast Your Fate to the Wind," and remembered these days as the composer who put some jazz swing into Charlie Brown's step, for a series of animated Peanuts television specials. Derrick also recently completed a book-length career study of Guaraldi, "Vince Guaraldi at the Piano," published in March 2012.
Derrick lives in Davis, California, with his wife, Gayna, and two preternaturally precocious pets.