By Dustin Cabeal
Before I read comic books, I read comic strips. To this day I have no idea why the two are considered to be so different to people, to me, they’re both comics. When the “death of print” started and everyone proclaimed newspapers to be on the demise I was mortified. Not because of how many reporters would lose their jobs or how’d we get our weekly ads, but instead because of the comic section. At my house, we had a subscription to the Denver Post just for the comics. I wish that were an exaggeration but my father has never read any other section of the paper and while my mother dabbles, it’s very telling when you start in the comics section and then see what else you paid for, it’s just how we are. The charm of comic strips to me is that it’s daily. Getting just a tiny bit every day of the series you enjoy will always be better than a monthly comic.
While that has plenty to do with the collection I’m reviewing, there’s more before I get into the review itself. People I meet are weird. A lot of them dislike The Peanuts for some reason, mostly reason that I can’t wrap my head around and won’t be bothered to waste time to figure it out. I have always loved The Peanuts because of my mother and grandmother. To this day I still have two collections of Peanuts books that were my grandmothers. They were well worn and at times over my head, but there was something amazing about reading something that my grandmother enjoyed and shared with her daughter and then that my mother passed along to me. My mother and I both grew up on Peanuts because of my grandmother. Getting this collection and seeing some familiar strips was moving to say the least.
In particular, I have always been a fan of the earlier Peanut strips. I like the art better, the designs better and it’s what I was first introduced to in the books. I was confused by the Charlie Brown Christmas Special the first time I watched because the characters looked different. The thing is, I’m sure I’m not alone with this type of story. The Peanuts span five decades and are internationally known. That’s what makes a collection like this so incredible, it has the potential to touch a lot of people and bring back memories of childhood or at the very least an analog past in which family members were forced to wait their turn to read the paper, sorry, comic section.
The collection itself is beautiful. The red binding has a library quality to it. The cover is simple and yet iconic, just like the character on the cover. The added history and quotes from Schulz is a wonderful addition and something interesting to break up the decades. There are chapter breaks by decade which I enjoyed. It was particularly sad to read the 2000’s and see how few comics there were, but it was still amazing at the same time to recall seeing them originally.
The pages are thick and glossy which is lovely to the touch. Each strip is given a drop shadow of sorts which gives it a photo album quality. It reminded me of doing something similar as a kid with my favorite comic strips. The overall production value of this collection is just magnificent. At first, I scoffed at the $75 price tag, but after seeing it in person, I can wholeheartedly say that it’s worth every penny. I may end up buying it for my mother because we don’t live in the same state and sharing a copy would be ridiculous.
You likely already know if you’re going to buy this; if you’re a Snoopy/Peanuts fan then yeah you should pick it up. If you’re not and have some crazy stupid hang up on the Peanuts, then you’re unlikely to be swayed by this collection. That’s your loss, by the way, the rest of us will be enjoying a classic comic strip collection and enjoying a legacy that spans decades and unites millions of people. Also, screw you Metlife for firing Snoopy. Just saying.
Creator: Charles M. Schulz
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing