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Peanuts: A Golden Celebration: The Art and the Story of the World's Best-Loved Comic Strip Hardcover – September 22, 1999
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Charles M. Schulz has been cartooning for an astonishing 50 years (the "Peanuts" strip itself debuted October 2, 1950, but he drew an earlier incarnation called "Li'l Folks" before that). Peanuts: A Golden Celebration is a remarkable collection of strips spanning that time period. Readers get to see the first appearance of Linus, Marcy, Pigpen, and Woodstock, and even the momentous first time Lucy holds a football for Charlie Brown to kick. Schulz comments on the cartoons and his inspirations via notes in the margin, ranging from boyhood stories about his father (a barber, just like Charlie Brown's) to an account of the time the narcolepsy experts at Stanford University expressed concerns over Peppermint Patty's constant sleeping in class. One of the most interesting inclusions is that of several letters of complaint, ranging from readers whose religious sensibilities have been offended to a 1969 missive from Schulz's own syndicate asking him not to depict Franklin in the same school as the white students anymore. Naturally, the much-loved "Peanuts" holiday specials are covered, as is the musical adaptation You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, but it's the strips that really make the book. Readers can follow the evolution of Schulz's drawing style--deliberately less realistic as the years went on--and even check out a few panels drawn by Schulz's own cartooning heroes. This is a terrific compilation that serves well both as a chronicle of popular culture and as just a really funny collection of comic strips. Don't wait for the Great Pumpkin to bring you one. --Ali Davis
About the Author
Charles M. Schulz, the most popular cartoonist in history, published comic strips in 2,600 newspapers worldwide and won several prestigious awards, including the Congressional Medal of Honor. Mr. Schulz died on February 12, 2000, the night before his farewell Peanuts comic strip was published.
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I bought this book as used in good condition and it’s even better then I’d hoped for. It’s in like new condition. In fact I’ve bought new books that arrived in condition not as good.
I would recommend both this book and the book seller.
Some of the reprinted strips have dirty gray backgrounds, which I assume is due to the age and condition of the archived material. This kind of artifact could have been easily corrected; I don't understand why it was not done.
Given this book's premium price, and the fact that there is no new material here except for (maybe) Schulz's sparsely scattered comments, the publisher should have done much more to add value. For this reason I can't give this book five stars. The weak presentation of the material precludes a four-star rating, so I give it three stars. Schulz was a genius, but I think his publisher got lazy on this one.
The 50th anniversary book is a must for a true Peanuts fan, but it is disappointing in that it is very poorly edited. A couple of the same strips are shown twice (in fact two of the same comic appear right on top of each other - can't believe no one caught that). When a series of strips are presented a couple of times, they are shown out of chronological order. I also question the need for the section where Schulz shows some letters sent to him by people criticizing some of his more religious strips; it just doesn't seem appropriate for a Peanuts "celebration".
Schulz' insights to some of the comics are enlightening and even touching at times. It was also nice to see some of the older strips that I had never seen before.
Overall, it's a good book to have if you are a true Peanuts fan, but it could have been better. I'm hoping that someday we will see a CD-ROM package that will contain all of the strips in the Peanuts 49+ year history.