April 01, 2013 By: Andy Mansell Category: DISCUSS, Staff Picks

ANDY’S PICK :: COMPLETE PEANUTS HC VOL 19 1987-1988: When I was a kid–years before the proliferation of VCRs but sometime after the advent of indoor plumbing– my comic reading holy grail was any Peanuts Paperback reprint book like He’s Your Dog Charlie Brown and Slide, Charlie Brown, Slide! I’d read them and trace the drawings until they fell apart. They were never enough to satiate my Peanuts fanaticism. I wanted more!. If only Fantagraphics Complete reprint series was around during the the Nixon Administration. But lucky us!!– Volume 19 (of a projected 25) of this landmark series is out this week and contains every daily and Sunday strip from 1987-1988.

Of course the later years of the strip were not quite in the same league as the Prime Peanuts era from 1960-1976..but then again, what is??? By 1987, with world wide fame, fortune and renown, Schulz could have just hired assistants and began coasting– but instead, he kept pushing himself as an artist. When it first appeared in papers, the main selling point for Peanuts was that it was available every single day in a four panel grid that a subscribing paper could publish vertically, horizontally or even stacked. It was the all-purpose comic–built for any comic page! Here in the 38th(!) year of the strip, the Master cartoonist threw caution to the wind and altered that familiar grid by using one-two-three or even five panels to tell his daily story. The results invigorated the strip. Rerun Van Pelt continues to step into the spotlight more. The enigmatic “Lydia” makes Linus’ life a veritable hell. Snoopy injures his knee playing hockey and later writes a “kiss-and-tell” memoir. Even the much maligned Spike gets a really enjoyable storyline as he joins brother Snoopy in the trenches of WWI France.
Buy this volume– or any other volume of The Complete Peanuts that Ms. Shelley keeps in stock on the Heroes shelves. Enjoy one of the great works of comic art and be a kid again!


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