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Love is Walking Hand in Hand (Peanuts®) Hardcover – October 6, 2015
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Top Customer Reviews
The colouring is perfectly suited to the strip. It is described as being the same used in the newspapers of the time. I don't have any to compare (what do you expect? I wasn't born then) but it is subdued, not flashy.
Obviously if you have Complete Peanuts for the period, then there's nothing new in these books. But the coloured versions give a new light to them. And it's nice to be able to see (instead of just imagine) Schroeder turning "three shades of green".
My one gripe (and it also applies to the Complete Peanuts series) is: why do Fantagraphics get people who don't really know about Peanuts to write the introductions? Jonathan Rosenbaum spends two pages describing what Lucy does in one particular strip, but... it isn't Lucy. Anyone who is at all familiar with Peanuts can see that the person concerned is Violet. And how come nobody at Fantagraphics actually checks these details?
I've been collecting Peanuts books since the 1970's. I have all the Peanuts Parade books and even hung on to a lot of the old Fawcett-Crest books I read over and over again as a kid. I was so much of a Peanuts fanatic growing up that every Sunday I clipped out the Peanuts comic from the paper and pasted it in a book (that'll be one of those "when I was a kid..." speeches for my daughter).
And yet 40 years later, to this day I'd never seen any of the original Sunday strips as they were intended to be seen.
These books are absolutely gorgeous. The measure a gigantic 10" x 13" so they are much, much larger than any other Sunday strip collection before it, including the Complete Peanuts books. I recall from reading the history of Peanuts that Schulz went through years of frustration as newspapers started out featuring Sunday comics in large form factors, but over the years for cost-cutting purposes made the panels smaller and smaller and in some cases cut panels out to make them fit a paper--in most cases ruining Schulz's artistry and in many cases even the story line. But with this collection, you see the strips as they were intended to be seen--and as they have not been seen in 62 years. The sizing is no coincidence--they are the size of how they would have appeared in the best newspapers from the beginning.
As most comic strip artists do, Schulz sent his strips out to be colored before publication, so the fact that these were re-colored by Fantagraphics isn't in any way taking from their authenticity. In fact, Fantagraphics has done an amazing job of coloring the strips to Schulz's specifications and because the strips are printed on high quality paper and not newsprint, they are likely closer to what Schulz intended than even what people saw in the original Sunday papers. The colors pop off the page. It's like looking at an 60 inch digital color HDTV after years of looking at an old 10 inch analog black-and-white CRT.
The books weigh in at an impressive 4.5 pounds each (9 pounds total). They are so beautiful that I need to go buy a new coffee table to match how beautiful these would look on it. There is nothing at all I can say against the actual production quality of these books. They are perfection.
That said, I do agree with Kevin's gripe about this book and the whole Complete Peanuts series that the "celebrities" that Fantagraphics found to write the introductions are for the most part terrible. I suppose "fair weather fans" probably won't mind them, but to hardcore fans (who will be buying these books) a lot of them are like fingers on a chalkboard, similar to how annoying it is when celebrities give their opinion on politics or child-rearing and think their opinion means anything just because they're a celebrity (there was an introduction by Whoopie Goldberg in one of the Complete Peanuts books that I literally wanted to rip out of the book). Do what I do and just skip over them.
But ranting aside, I won't let that get in the way of a wholehearted 5-star review. This belongs in the library of every hardcore Peanuts fan, and everyone else.