As some of you may recall, last year saw the publication of the book Charlie Brown’s Christmas Stocking, which reprinted two Peanuts stories that had appeared in women’s magazines in the 1960s. This was a book that I had thought up, and that I had taken to the publisher Fantagraphics (where, I should note, it was augmented by good decisions by the late editor Kim Thompson and good work from their book design crew)… and in fact they were not the first publisher I’d proposed this book to, having had the idea in the works for years. I really had three motivations for this:
- Generosity of spirit: These were stories that people would enjoy reading and should be seen again.
- Greed: I wanted to make some money off of this.
- Archival: This was a whole batch of Peanuts-related Christmas imagery that had been locked away, basically unseen for half a century; I thought if we published the book, the imagery might have use beyond our publication.
Well, the release of the Fantagraphics book served both 1) and 2) quite well. And then I saw something on eBay the other day that made me realize that I’d hit 3) as well!
What I saw was the book Charlie Brown’s Christmas Stocking… and no, it wasn’t the Fantagraphics book. Instead, this is a brand new sew-it-yourself cloth book, with an abridged version of the first of the two tale that we’d reprinted. As you may remember if you’ve bought the book (and yes, you should have!), that story is basically made up of 15 single-panel gags, which in the original magazine version had captioned dialog beneath the image and in our version had the dialogue on the facing page. In this cloth book version, they use just the last eight of the gags, in some cases using captions, in some putting the dialogue on the facing page and for some adding a word balloon. And if there was any doubt that the fabric company had found this material because of the Fantagraphics book, that was quickly erased by seeing that they copied much of the Fantagraphics coloring scheme (the original was black-and-white… well, black-and-yellow, really.)
I bought two of ‘em: one to turn into a book, and one to keep as simple fabric. That was all she had in stock, but I see that a couple of other eBay sellers have them at the moment, if any one wants one.