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IN THIS ISSUE
*PEANUTS BOOK AVAILABILITY
*COLLECTORS GUIDE EXPANDED
*A GOLDEN CELEBRATION CONTINUES ITS REIGN
*WEIRD PEANUTS BOOK: GUARALDI’S CHORD ORGAN FUN
PEANUTS BOOK AVAILABILITY
This has been a pretty quiet week in terms of changes to the list of what Peanuts books are quickly available. Quickly available once again are LEAD ON, SNOOPY (A small paperback which reprints strips from 1988. These strips were previously available in the Peanuts Collector Series book Could You Be More Pacific, but not in any of the Peanuts Classics series. Also quickly available is ONCE YOU’RE OVER THE HILL (YOU BEGIN TO PICK UP SPEED), a hardcover gift book with strips about aging and the passage of time. All of the Peanuts Treasury books continue to be quickly available. I keep hoping we’ll see a sudden rush of Peanuts Classics volumes added to the "ships in 1 to 3 days" list, but no luck yet! If you can’t stand waiting for this weekly update on the list, keep checking the front page of http://AAUGH.com to see what strip reprint books are quickly available.
Being offered again is The Best Of Little Nemo In Slumberland, a collection of the classic Sunday strip series with section introductions by Schulz, Calvin & Hobbes’ Bill Watterson, Maurice Sendak, and more. You’ll find that on the Schulz Illustrations page of AAUGH.com.
COLLECTORS GUIDE EXPANDED
The AAUGH.com Peanuts Book Collector’s Guide has been greatly expanded, to include more categories of Peanuts books. It has also been reorganized, putting more categories on different pages to make it all a bit easier to sift through. New categories include:
*Kids Storybooks And Reference Books (The Charlie Brown Dictionary, etc.)
*Prose And Picture books (This has a lot of the books that used to be on the Original Books section of the list, such as Happiness Is A Warm Puppy, plus books which reuse Schulz’s drawings to similar ends, but don’t appear to be written by Schulz.)
*Schulz Teenager Comics (collections of the work that he did for Church Of God magazines)
*Essay Books (Books that use Peanuts strips to illustrate other concepts, such as The Gospel According To Peanuts, or Rabbi Twerski’s self-help books)
*Peanuts Histories (biographies of Schulz and histories of the strip)
This is in addition to the already existing pages on strip reprint books, British books, comic book magazines, and books with Schulz introductions and illustrations. Types of books that the guide does not cover (yet!) include coloring and activity books, music books, and blank books. I expect to add those eventually (I may work on the music books portion this week.) These lists are built up by combining information from my own sizable collection with information on books that I see elsewhere and information that fellow Peanuts fans send to me. If you own a book that should be on the list but isn’t, send me the information about it!
There are still a number of clean-ups and polished that I’m going to make to the pages to make them easier to read and use, but I couldn’t wait to get the pages up. To see this guide for yourself, surf on over to http://AAUGH.com and click on the Collector’s Guide link on the left side.
>From time to time, I consider putting out a small book or magazine-format version of the guide. Does that sound like a good idea?
A GOLDEN CELEBRATION CONTINUES ITS REIGN
Peanuts: A Golden Celebration, is now in its third week on the New York Times Best-Seller list…
which means we’re in our third week of offering it for half off! It’s a nice book for $45; for $22.50, it’s a bargain. That price is good through at least the end of Thursday.
Let me caution everyone once again against getting too caught up in online auctions. Online auctions can be very good if you know what you’re getting and what it’s worth to you. However, looking around on eBay yesterday, I saw a number of people bidding more than retail price for books that are easily available for retail price or below (including being available at a discount through AAUGH.com). I also saw a number of items misdescribed, either by accident or through malice (in-print books being described as out-of-print, or publication dates being shown as much earlier than they actually were), as well as a number of things that were unverifiable (original signatures or sketches). And that’s not to mention the rather bizarre perceptions of value that some auctioneers have (at auction, everything is "rare". I saw someone trying to auction three common Fawcett Crest paperbacks in so-so condition for $375!)
If you don’t know what you’re bidding on, don’t bid. Don’t take the word of the auctioneer. And try to keep a sane view of what the item is worth to you.
WEIRD PEANUTS BOOK: GUARALDI’S CHORD ORGAN FUN
For this issues look at the stranger books in my collection, we dive into my small accumulation of Peanuts-themed sheet music books. Some of these books collect music from the Peanuts stage musicals or from the animated specials. Others use Peanuts illustrations on unrelated music, generally to indicate that the music has been simplified for the beginning musician. (This brings us such interesting titles as SNOOPY GOES TO BROADWAY TO SEE THE SOUND OF MUSIC.)
However, the strangest of the batch is THE CHORD ORGAN FUN BOOK, written and arranged by Vince Guaraldi, who wrote those wonderful jazz compositions for the early Peanuts animated specials. Put out in 1971, this book contains a mix of Guaraldi arrangements of old classics ("For He’s A Jolly Good Fellow", "Jingle Bells"), tunes from the Peanuts specials ("Linus & Lucy", "Oh, Good Grief!"), and new original tunes (including one or two with Peanuts themes) interspersed with insutrctions on how to play a chord organ.
What makes this book weird is the illustrations and how they are used. The book is illustrated with a mix of standard Schulz Peanuts drawings, frames from the animated specials, drawings of a dancing musical note, and pieces of non-Peanuts clip art. The illustrations are frequently captioned with phrases designed to encourage your organ playing("Linus really got excited when he learend to play D major! Wouldn’t you like to learn how, too?" "Charlie Brown’s waiting to hear you count.") Some of the art is used quite oddly (a picture of World War I Flying Ace Snoopy is aimed at a non-Schulz drawing of hot cross buns, with the caption "What in the world is Snoopy doing to those hot cross buns?"), and some just show a strange view of Peanuts ("Poor Charlie Brown! He loves Peppermint Patty so much!") How much of this is due to Vince Guaraldi himself, and how much comes from the book’s editors, I cannot say. But the arbitrary nature of it all makes it a very strange book to see.
Well, that’s it for this week. If there’s any news, I’ll put out another issue next week. If things are very quiet, I may skip a week, working toward my goal of returning this newsletter to its originally-intended monthly status. As always, if you have any questions, suggestions, complaints or compliments, feel free to send them to me at email@example.com
–Nat Gertler proprietor http://AAUGH.com