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ONE MONTH AGO TODAY, the final Peanuts strip came out. One month ago yesterday, Sparky passed away. It’s easy at a time like this to focus on what we’ve lost, and that loss is significant. In the long run, we should strive to recall what it was we had. No one talks about Mark Twain saying "how tragic that he died!" anymore. Instead, they talk about how wonderful it was that he had been alive, and about how they enjoy the work that he left behind. In time, we’ll feel the same way about Schulz.
IN THIS ISSUE:
*BOOKS BACK IN STOCK!
*A GOLDEN CELEBRATION STILL CHEAP
*EXPANDING THE COLLECTOR’S GUIDE
*SCHULZ FANS HAVE BEEN CHARITABLE
*ODD PEANUTS BOOK: THE SOUNDS OF THE NIGHT
*WHY ORDER THROUGH AAUGH.COM?
BOOKS BACK IN STOCK This has been a good week for Peanuts books coming back in stock. Perhaps most importantly, both of the black-and-white Andrews & McMeel collections of strips. Being A Dog Is A Full Time Job has strips from 1989, while Make Way For The King Of The Jungle has more strips from 1989 and heads into 1990.
Also, all four of the Peanuts Treasury books collection strips from the 1990s are currently available. A Kiss On The Nose Turns Anger Aside, reprinting strips from 1962-1963, is also now available (this book is a reprint of the old Holt paperback You Can Do It, Charlie Brown.) And the book of 1950s Snoopy strips What Makes You Think You’re Happy (previously released simply as "Snoopy") is still available.
Charlie Brown: Not Your Average Blockhead is available again. This is one of a set of three carefully-designed books focusing on different characters (the other two, about Snoopy and Lucy, are currently on Special Order or Back Ordered status.) It’s a hardcover book with a nice cover (we have a picture of the front cover on the site; the back cover is a picture of the back of Charlie Brown’s head) and special features glued-in (like cardboard panels you flip open to reveal pictures, and a valentine’s card.) This isn’t a great deal if what you really want is a bunch of strips, but it makes a nice gift item for the Charlie Brown fan.
Also available again for quick shipping is Good Grief: The Story Of Charles M. Schulz. This is the best biography of Schulz that I’ve seen, treating him as a creator and a fully rounded person. It was produced with Schulz’s cooperation. First published in 1989, it was updated with a new chapter in 1995.
All of these books can be ordered by clicking on them on the front page of http://AAUGH.com
A GOLDEN CELEBRATION STILL CHEAP
Since the beautiful hardcover Peanuts: A Golden Celebration is spending a second week on the best seller chart, we still have it available for half off. At $22.50, this is probably the best bargain we have on the site. It will be at this price through Thursday at least; I can’t promise how long after that the price will stay this low. (I can’t predict the best-seller list, sorry.)
EXPANDING THE COLLECTORS GUIDE
I’ve added a new page to the AAUGH.com Peanuts book collector’s guide. This page takes a look at books that were published in Britain but not in the U.S. The page is still pretty rough; I’m gathering what information I can on it, but I just don’t know as much about British books as I do about the U.S. editions. Expect to see this page expanding as I get more information (and more books! A friendly wave to the newsletter subscriber in South Africa who is helping hook me up with some of the British books I don’t have!)
I’ve got some additional expansions to the guide already in the works.
SCHULZ FANS HAVE BEEN CHARITABLE
I recently got a letter from Canine Companions For Independence, one of Sparky’s favorite charities, thanking me for a contribution that I had made in his name. Now here’s the interesting thing: it was clearly a form letter aimed at people who had contributed in Schulz’s name. That’s a good sign that they’re getting a lot of such contributions. For information on donating to some of the charities that Schulz supported, check out the AAUGH.com Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) list.
ODD PEANUTS BOOK: THE SOUNDS OF THE NIGHT
In this issue’s look at odd Peanuts books from my personal collection, we find an interesting little strip reprint book published by Determined Productions in 1970. It’s part of a small series of hardback strip reprints, each 6 inches high and 4 inches wide. What makes this book odd? Well, first comes the strange title: It’s Fun To Lie Here And Listen To The Sounds Of The Night!, which is appropriate because the whole book is nothing but strips about star-gazing. Next is the color scheme: rather than printing the strips in black-and-white, they’re in black-and-blue, with purple edging! Then there is the layout of the strips; each strip is published across a two-page spread, two panels per page, and when you first open it it’s not clear what order you read the panels in. If you’re looking at the cartoon on pages 6 and 7, for example, you could read both panels on page 6 followed by both panels on page 7…
but you’d be wrong. The right way to read it is to read the top panel on page 6, then the top panel on page 7, then back to page 6 for the bottom panel, and finally the bottom panel on page 7. Just to keep this even more confusing is that the first couple strips actually still make sense if you read them in the wrong order, making it easy to assume that the wrong order is actually the right one!
WHY ORDER THROUGH AAUGH.COM?
Last week, someone asked me why folks should order through AAUGH.com. After all, since Amazon.com actually processes the order, why not order directly from them. Other folks rushed to my defense, but it was a fair question, and one that I was glad to answer.
First off, finding the Peanuts book, video, or CD you want is easier on AAUGH.com. We *know* Peanuts books, and we’ve orgazined them and tell you what they are. If you go through Amazon.com directly, they’re not going to tell you that What Makes You Think You’re Happy is all Snoopy strips from the 1950s, or that Beware Of The Snoring Ghost is a kid’s storybook based on an actual storyline from the Peanuts strip. And no matter how many times you search for the name Schulz, Amazon.com will never point you to such obscure items as his introduction to Duane C. Barhart’s Cartooning Basics. And if you have a question about the books, I think we can safely assume that Amazon doesn’t have anyone on staff who knows Peanuts books as well as I do.
Secondly, by ordering through AAUGH.com, you support AAUGH.com. Don’t get me wrong — we’re not a charity, and we don’t think anyone owes us anything. Still, AAUGH.com provides services such as the collector’s guide and this newsletter. Whenever you order through us, we get a small cut (which comes out of Amazon’s pocket; you don’t get charged a penny more for ordering through us!) That cut helps cover the expenses of running the site, and encourages us to keep adding to it an expanding it. (And in case you’re curious, this holds true even if what you’re ordering is not in the AAUGH.com catalog. If you use our search box to find a book, or if you order another book at the same time as you’re ordering something that you clicked on from our site, we get a cut of that as well (although we get a bigger cut on things you clicked on in our catalog.)
Thirdly, it’s not true that you can get everything from Amazon.com that you can get through AAUGH.com. After all, we also have the Ultra-Discount Shop, which carries some books that Amazon no longer offers.
To sum up: AAUGH.com is easier to use, it has a larger selection of available books, we offer more help and answers to questions, and you support our guides, newsletter, and other features. All this for not one cent more than ordering through Amazon directly. Those sound like good reasons to me!
Things are beginning to steady out in the Peanuts books world. I hope to get the newsletter back down to its originally-planned monthly schedule soon.
Once more, let me thank all those who have recently sent nice messages about the newsletter and the site, and who have shared with me memories of how Peanuts has made them who they are today. I hope the Great Pumpkin comes to visit each and everyone one of you!
–Nat Gertler proprietor http://AAUGH.com