Peanuts - Here Comes Snoopy & Charlie Brown Book Lot For Sale
Peanuts - Here Comes Snoopy & Charlie Brown Book Lot
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This listing is for Peanuts - Here Comes Snoopy & Charlie Brown Book Lot.
* Here comes Snoopy: Selected cartoons from Snoopy, Vol. I (1967)
Here Comes Snoopy is one of my favourite Peanuts books. Compiling selected strips from 1955-1956, it is a book full of laughs. Particularly funny are Snoopy's imitations, of everything from Lucy, to a moose, even Beethoven! Snoopy gets weed claustrophobia, tussles with Linus, while Charlie Brown enjoys chocolate creams and a cool breeze. There's not much of Charlie Brown's self pity and misfortune as there would be later on, and the jokes are a lot simpler, with what seems to be less running gags.
I admire the style of the characters during the era captured. Charlie Brown and the lil' folks around him all look cuter than they do later on, as does Snoopy, who looks more dog-like in his poses here.
Definitely worth a read, and I'd recommend it to anyone interested in the early Peanuts strips. I haven't read too many of the early strips, but I certainly enjoyed this book.
* Here Comes Charlie Brown! Selected Cartoons form Good Ol' Charlie Brown Vol. II (1967)
I’ve always loved the Peanuts characters created by Charles Schulz, and I come by that affection honestly. Charlie Brown and the gang have been popular in my family for decades, as evidenced by the collection of comic strips that my grandma gave me this week after looking through some of her old books. Here Comes Charlie Brown! was originally published in 1955. This edition dates back to 1966, but that’s still 45 years of Peanuts fandom, and I bet that the older generation of McCartys were Schulz fans long before that. Who could blame them?
This simple book is a small paperback with a bright orange cover showing a despondent Charlie Brown with a baseball cap on his head and a bat slung over his shoulder, a mitt dangling from the end. Presumably he has just lost or forfeited a game; his baseball managing woes come up frequently in this collection of about 120 black-and-white four-panel strips. This book is actually basically an abridged version of Good Ol’ Charlie Brown Vol. II, so it would probably make more sense to get that book, but since this one fell into my lap, this is what I’m reviewing.
Because my edition was published more than a decade after the first, the back cover is something of an oddity. For one thing, along with the bright orange of the front, it has a large block of green with a thin white line between the two portions of the page, reminding me of the Irish Flag. For another, the language is very dated, talking about how you want to get in with “the in group,” and this is it. “Guaranteed to help you kick the blues without the aid of headshrinkers or happy pills,” the blurb promises.
But what’s most notable about the back cover is that the group includes two characters who appear nowhere within its pages since at the time of publication, they had not yet been created. These anachronistic kids are Charlie Brown’s little sister Sally, introduced in 1959, and naturally curly-haired Frieda, who didn’t show up until 1961. Don’t expect to find Snoopy’s feathered friend Woodstock, bespectacled Marcie or tomboyish Peppermint Patty in this book either. However, you will find blond-haired Patty, her best friend, dark-haired Violet, and quiet Shermy, all of whom become much less prominent in later years. The book also features Pig-Pen, who remains a fairly major character but is mostly a one-note guy, with his strips generally involving his inability to stay clean.
The characters in this book look pretty close to their final form, but they’re not quite there yet. Schulz still had a bit of perfecting to do before they reached their final iconic looks. Linus and Schroeder probably are closest to their final versions at this point. That seems fitting for Linus, since he spends so much of the book preoccupied with getting older. He takes pride in being able to tie his shoes and button his shirt, and he dreams of the freedom he will find when he finally turns six. He’s beginning to have his doubts about the existence of Santa Claus and to suspect that not everything his older sister Lucy tells him is true. However, he remains stubbornly youthful in one respect: his refusal to give up his beloved security blanket. Moreover, his innocent inexperience is apparent when he tells Lucy that he can’t imagine living to the ripe old age of 30.
Schroeder‘s preoccupations in this book are pretty typical. He spends most of his time playing the piano, showing off musical knowledge of composers such as Bach, Brahms and Chopin. Of course, he saves his most ardent admiration for Beethoven, and his hero worship not only annoys Lucy, who has raging crush on him, but Charlie Brown, who spends most of the book aggravated by one thing or another. Schroeder also plays some baseball here, or at least shows up to play, but the team is such a disaster that not much ever happens on that front, and soon he’s back to tickling the ivories and daydreaming about his favorite composer. My favorite Schroeder moment in this book comes when Charlie Brown reads a passage describing a dark period of Beethoven’s life, and Schroeder wonders, bewildered, “How could anyone be Beethoven and not be happy?”
Lucy isn’t very happy in this book, and it’s not just because Schroeder loves Beethoven more than he even tolerates her, though that doesn’t help. “Never fall in love with a musician,” she sagely advises. But she has bigger problems to worry about. One day, she takes a notion into her head that the world is literally getting smaller, and it’s because people are wearing down the ground by walking on it. She begins a one-girl campaign to stop people from shrinking the planet before it’s too late. While she eventually wearies of this activism, she spends a lot of time in the book spouting off bizarre “facts” that she merely made up, much to Charlie Brown’s consternation.
Despite his stint as spelling champ in A Boy Called Charlie Brown, I never thought of Charlie Brown as being all that studious, but that is the way he comes across here. At least, he knows enough to be very agitated with Lucy’s dissemination of false information, especially the erroneous tour of local trees that she gives Linus. He seems determined to be well-informed himself; throughout much of the book, we can see him reading, always soaking up historical and scientific tidbits to pass along to others. He reminds me of my dad, who is always running to the Internet to find some background information on various topics that we’ve been discussing. Unfortunately, no amount of written knowledge seems sufficient to improve Charlie Brown’s luck in baseball or to convince the rather mean-spirited girls who surround him that he deserves to be treated with anything other than scorn. It’s little wonder he empathizes with the overlooked sparrows, building a birdhouse exclusively for them. As he explains in a wonderfully quintessential Charlie Brown moment, “I always stick up for the underbird!”
Then, of course, we have Snoopy. While he has not yet begun to let his imagination run truly wild – he does not have a typewriter, for instance, and he doesn’t fantasize about gunning down the Red Baron – he’s well on his way at this point. He spends a good portion of this book working on his impressions, imitating animals, historical figures and neighborhood kids. This last is his favorite, though Charlie Brown warns him that he’s headed for trouble if they find out he’s doing it. Snoopy is generally a happy dog, as evidenced by the series of strips in which Lucy reprimands him for his exuberant dancing, but there are a few things that bother him. Here, his biggest vexation is weeds, and the yard full of tall, unmown vegetation sends him into a constant state of panic when he finds himself within its confines.
This is a simple collection in which the story arcs never last more than a few panels and never become very complex. They do reveal character, though, so if you love Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Schroeder and Snoopy, you should be very pleased indeed at the words Here Comes Charlie Brown!
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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