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The Complete Peanuts 1979-1980 (Vol. 15) Hardcover – December 23, 2014
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“…The Complete Peanuts: 1979 To 1980… features a touching intro by Al Roker ― who conducted the one of the last interviews with Schulz ― along with two years’ worth of strips that find Schulz still going strong as a documentarian of life’s simple pleasures and overwhelming anxieties.”
- Noel Murray, The A.V. Club
“Frank is no longer simply the prototypical funny-animal; he has now become the everyman, too. It is in this capacity that we root for the rascal: his struggles against the workaday world are our own, as are his temptations, his trials, his longing for home and for some kind of domestic bliss.”
- Sean Rogers, The Comics Journal
“…[Congress of the Animals] continually tries to outdo itself in its pure unpredictability. These misshapen figures recall a combination of Maurice Sendak, Terry Gilliam, and R. Crumb, blending the loopy and the nightmarish in a way that is both unsettling and inspiring.”
- Max Winter, Boston Globe
“Fantagraphics has won numerous awards for this series and they deserve them all for creating such a wonderful archive of this American treasure. This series is a must have for any Peanuts fan and can be enjoyed by the whole family. I wouldn’t miss a volume. …Fantagraphics takes creating a permanent archive of this beloved humor strip very seriously. Children of all ages should all get their hands on this American treasure.”
- Rich Clabaugh, The Christian Science Monitor
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.
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Now for the good part. Fans of the collection have been curious as to what is going to happen with the final volume. Will it have a case or not? A few months ago I contacted the publishers about this and was told that there will indeed be a 26th volume and final box set next year. However, there has been no official word yet from the publishers so this morning I contacted again concerning the same matter and was told once again that there will be a 26th volume. This time I was given a bit more info as well. Here was there response:
(Cut and pasted)
Due to collector demands we're publishing a 26th volume of material yet to be determined and there will be a boxed set for 25 & 26 at the end of 2016.
Our pr dept. gave me this bit of information that will be apart of promotion starting next year. "Complete Peanuts fans: although the strip has been collected, we have one more volume up our sleeve for next fall, collecting a treasure trove of Schulz rarities, from his initial Peanuts pitch packet, to several comic book stories, advertising art, two major, never-before published interviews, and many other surprises!"
Truth be told, I bawled like a baby after reading it initially over 16 years ago, especially after learning Schulz had died the night before. In fact, Charles Schulz is one of the three "celebrity" deaths I have ever cried over as if I lost a member of my own family. Fred Rogers and Dick Clark are the other two. Perhaps there was some subconscious "avuncular" association I had with these 3 individuals - like they were the favorite old uncles who were nonthreatening and wise in their own ways. Mr. Rogers was, of course, a major part of my early childhood along with Sesame Street and the Electric Company (even though admittedly some of his stuff seems pretty sappy looking back with adult hindsight but I still think he genuinely cared about children and their feelings), and Dick Clark helped to inform me of rock and popular music as I came of musical age in the late 70's/early 80's via American Bandstand, and countless Rockin' New Year Eves. I am of the firm belief that one establishes his/her musical tastes during their tween years and I happened to enter that during the Punk/New Wave explosion (and I still like the music from that era - not the crap it mutated into by 1985 - by then I was well on my way to what would soon be called alternative/college radio music).
However, throughout my childhood and into my adult life, the one constant by was Charles Schulz and Peanuts, either via the daily comic strip or the TV specials (which still continue to air on Broadcast Television), the books, the greeting cards, the stuffed Snoopys, the Christmas ornaments, even the Met Life commercials. So thanks to Fantagraphics and the Schulz family for archiving and allowing this collection to be made available to the public. I look forward to purchasing the FINAL volume in October and then my collection will be more or less complete!
Now, being the age that she was then, it's nice to find that they still hold up. Charles Schulz is my hero... after my mother.