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"I CAN'T STAND IT -- I JUST CAN'T STAND IT!"

If you are a Boomer, or even a Gen-X'er, you will probably recognize this lament as Charlie Brown's response to the recurring crises in his life - another shutout loss by his baseball team, the missed football kick as Lucy snatches the ball away at the last moment, failure to receive a valentine from the little red-haired girl, the kite hopelessly entangled in the "kite-eating tree." Life is hard for Charlie Brown. Even his own dog, Snoopy, treats him with indifference and refers to him (in thought) as "that round-headed kid."

Readers of Charles Schulz's celebrated Peanuts comic strip will be pleased to learn that Seattle publisher Fantagraphics is reissuing the entire run of the comic (1950-2000) in volumes covering two years each, dailies and Sunday strips. Most Peanuts compilations have tended to be either thematic in nature or random grab bags. With these Fantagraphics volumes, you can follow the development of the strip as characters (Peppermint Patty) and situations (awaiting the Great Pumpkin) are introduced for the first time.

Richland Library has all of the Complete Peanuts volumes published so far. I began by reading the one covering the year of my birth (1961) and have now read through the years up to the most recently published collection, 1989-1990, which came out in 2013. The library also has books about Peanuts and Schulz himself, including David Michaelis's noted 2007 biography. Finally, don't forget the Peanuts TV specials, many of which can be found on in Richland Library's collection, including A Charlie Brown Christmas, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and He's Your Dog, Charlie Brown.


The Complete Peanuts 1950-1952 by Charles M. Schulz
Amazon Says: The first volume in the bestselling archival series collecting the most beloved comic strip ever. Many of these formative strips have never been collected or reprinted anywher more...
Amazon Says: The first volume in the bestselling archival series collecting the most beloved comic strip ever. Many of these formative strips have never been collected or reprinted anywhere else. Introduction by Garrison Keillor. This first volume, covering the first two and a quarter years of the strip, will be of particular fascination to Peanuts aficionados worldwide: Although there have been literally hundreds of Peanuts books published, many of the strips from the series' first two or three years have never been collected before—in large part because they showed a young Schulz working out the kinks in his new strip and include some characterizations and designs that are quite different from the cast we're all familiar with. (Among other things, three major cast members—Schroeder, Lucy, and Linus—initially show up as infants and only "grow" into their final "mature" selves as the months go by. Even Snoopy debuts as a puppy!) Thus The Complete Peanuts offers a unique chance to see a master of the art form refine his skills and solidify his universe, day by day, week by week, month by month. This volume is rounded out with Garrison Keillor's introduction, a biographical essay by David Michaelis (Schulz and Peanuts) and an in-depth interview with Schulz conducted in 1987 by Gary Groth and Rick Marschall, all wrapped in a gorgeous design by award-winning cartoonist Seth. Black-and-white comic strips throughout less...
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The Complete Peanuts 1961-1962 by Charles M. Schulz
Amazon Says: The series that launched a comic strip renaissance enters Schulz's second decade. Launching into the 1960s, Schulz adds another new cast member. Two, in fact: The obnoxious Fr more...
Amazon Says: The series that launched a comic strip renaissance enters Schulz's second decade. Launching into the 1960s, Schulz adds another new cast member. Two, in fact: The obnoxious Frieda of "naturally curly hair" fame, and her inert, seemingly boneless cat Faron. The rapidly maturing Sally, who was after all just born in the previous volume, is ready to start kindergarten and not at all happy about it. Lucy and Linus' war over the security blanket escalates, with Lucy burying it, cutting it apart, and, in the longest sequence of the book, turning it into a kite and allowing it to fly away. Aauugh! In fact, Linus' life is particularly turbulent in this volume, as he is forced to wear glasses, sees the unexpected return of his favorite teacher, Miss Othmar, and coaxes Sally into the cult of the Great Pumpkin (with regrettable results). Snoopy, meanwhile, becomes a compulsive water sprinkler head stander, unhappily befriends a snowman or two, and endures a family crisis involving a little family of birds. (Woodstock—the bird, and the music festival, for that matter—is still a few years away.) And in one of the strangest continuities in the history of Peanuts, the (off-panel) Van Pelt parents acquire a tangerine-colored pool table and become obsessed with it! Plus baseball blowouts (including a rare team victory), Beethoven birthdays, plenty of dubious psychiatric help for a nickel, and an introduction by Diana Krall. 730 black-and-white comic strips less...
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The Complete Peanuts, 1973-1974 by Charles M. Schulz
Amazon Says: Tennis, anyone? Billie Jean King serves up an introduction... and we celebrate Woodstock! The twelfth volume of Peanuts features a number of tennis strips and several extended more...
Amazon Says: Tennis, anyone? Billie Jean King serves up an introduction... and we celebrate Woodstock! The twelfth volume of Peanuts features a number of tennis strips and several extended sequences involving Peppermint Patty’s friend Marcie (including a riotous, rarely seen sequence in which Marcie’s costume-making and hairstyling skills utterly spoil a skating competition for PP), so it seems only right that this volume’s introduction should be served up by Schulz’s longtime friend, tennis champion Billie Jean King. This volume also picks up on a few loose threads from the previous year, as the mysterious “Poochie” shows up in the flesh; Linus and Lucy’s new kid brother “Rerun” makes his first appearance, is almost immediately drafted onto the baseball team (where, thanks to his tiny strike zone, he wins a game), and embarks on his first terrifying journey on the back of his mom’s bike; and, in one of Peanuts’ oddest recurring storylines, the schoolhouse Sally used to talk to starts talking, or at least thinking, back at her!The Complete Peanuts 1973-1974 also includes one of the all-time classic Peanuts sequences, in which Charlie Brown’s baseball-oriented hallucinations finally manifest themselves in a baseball-shaped rash on his head. Forced to conceal the embarrassing discoloration with a bag worn over his head, Charlie Brown goes to camp as “Mister Sack” and discovers that, shorn of his identity, he’s suddenly well liked and successful. 730 b/w comic strips less...
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Amazon Says: Charles Schulz, the most widely syndicated and beloved cartoonist of all time, is also one of the most misunderstood figures in American culture. Now, acclaimed biographer Dav more...
Amazon Says: Charles Schulz, the most widely syndicated and beloved cartoonist of all time, is also one of the most misunderstood figures in American culture. Now, acclaimed biographer David Michaelis gives us the first full-length biography of Schulz: at once a creation story, a portrait of a hidden American genius, and a chronicle contrasting the private man with the central role he played in shaping the national imagination. The son of a barber, Schulz was born in Minnesota to modest, working class roots. In 1943, just three days after his mother′s tragic death from cancer, Schulz, a private in the army, shipped out for boot camp and the war in Europe. The sense of shock and separation never left him. And these early experiences would shape his entire life. With Peanuts, Schulz embedded adult ideas in a world of small children to remind the reader that character flaws and childhood wounds are with us always. It was the central truth of his own life, that as the adults we′ve become and as the children we always will be, we can free ourselves, if only we can see the humour in the predicaments of funny-looking kids. Schulz′s Peanuts profoundly influenced the country in the second half of the 20th century. But the strip was anchored in the collective experience and hardships of Schulz′s generation-the generation that survived the Great Depression and liberated Europe and the Pacific and came home to build the post-war world. less...
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