AAUGH.com: Charlie Brown Christmas Special!

It’s Thanksgiving as I type these words. I’m taking time to let the turkey settle before I dive into the excessive amounts of pumpkin pie that are on hand. I am thankful for a lot of things, for my life is good and while the world may sometimes show us dark things, we only see them as being dark because they are in stark contrast to all the good that surrounds them. And I’m thankful for the hundreds of you who have subscribed to this newsletter, and given me an excuse to spend my time dealing with Peanuts, rather than the more serious (but no more important) concerns that fill my daily life.
Boy, I’m a blockhead. I reported something last newsletter that followed up on an earlier newsletter item — only I had never actually included that earlier "item" in a newsletter. So here goes, a double-shot of good news.

As you know from last newsletter, ABC will airing A Charlie Brown Christmas twice. The first bit of good news about this is that the special will air *uncut* (except, presumably, for chopping the Coke ad out of the credits). Old Peanuts specials are usually cut when they air on TV, because older TV shows ran longer with less time for commercials. For example, more than three minutes were chopped out of last week’s airing of the Thanksgiving special.

Of course, ABC still needs to air the commercials to pay for the show (Welch’s Grape stuff is actually advertising that they will be advertising during the show, because they will run a contest password in their ads.) So the show will run for more than half an hour.

So that brings us to the second bit of good news: filling out the hour will be a new documentary on the making of A Charlie Brown Christmas. This should make a great companion to last year’s book on the making of the Christmas special: http://AAUGH.com/go.htm?0060198516 (In the UK: http://AAUGH.com/uk/go.htm?0060198516 )
A couple newsletters ago, I mentioned a new book with pictures of the Snoopy and Charlie Brown statues that have decorated St. Paul over the past couple summers. Well, now I have my hands on a copy. This is a glossy, full-color book (although some might not consider it a book, since it’s what the industry call "saddle-stitched", a term designed to make "stapled on the spine" sound good), 64 pages long. It’s a double-sided book with two front covers; one side is PEANUTS ON PARADE with 30 pages of Snoopy statue photos, and the other is CHARLIE BROWN AROUND TOWN, with 30 pages of Charlie Brown statues. (The center spread is dedicated to a bio of Schulz, and some drawings of the planned bronze Peanuts statues that will be installed in a St. Paul park.)

The photos are small, with the pages designed to give as much space to the statue’s title, artist, sponsors, and auction price (or, in the case of Charlie Brown statues, a blank slot for the auction price.) Still, the photos are mostly sharp, showing off many of the quite nice statues (and some that are kind of ugly or lose the Peanuts theme, but that’s the joy of art — folks trying things that may or may not work.) There is one particularly frustrating item; for some reason, there is no photo of the Snoopy statue "Welcome Home Woodstock", making the book just barely incomplete.

If you saw the statues, this is a nice keepsake. If you didn’t see the statues, this is a chance to see what they were. Still, $12.95 for 64 pages is a bit steep — and, since it can only be gotten from Camp Snoopy in the Mall Of America, you have to pay full price and sizable shipping costs, bring it too close to $20 for my tastes. But then again, I’m cheap.

One warning: if you want to get this for someone as a present, don’t just have Camp Snoopy to ship the recipient. I had a kindly someone order me a copy…
and when the package arrived, I discovered that I had a receipt with this kindly person’s full credit card info! Alas, I am far too honest a person; otherwise I could right now be installing that TiVo I’ve been lusting after. So if you’re getting it as a gift, have it sent to you, unpack the box, wrap the book, and ship it to your
If you want to order the statue book, head to: http://www.campsnoopy.com/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=697144 And if you want to buy me a TiVo, head to: http://AAUGH.com/go.htm?B00002SWHH (Hey, you can’t blame a guy for trying, right?)
The best Peanuts gifts from the AAUGH.com stores are the incredible-yet-affordable book PEANUTS: THE ART OF CHARLES M. SCHULZ http://AAUGH.com/go.htm?0375420975 In the UK: http://AAUGH.com/uk/go.htm?0375420975 and the 2002 PEANUTS DAY-BY-DAY CALENDAR http://AAUGH.com/go.htm?0740715941 In the UK: http://AAUGH.com/uk/go.htm?0740715941 And remember, the free-shipping-on-orders-over-$99 is still going, but I don’t know for how much longer. Click through on any item from AAUGH.com, order almost any non-toy item from Amazon (the valid items have a picture of a red truck on their catalog page), and have at least $99 of stuff shipped to one address. With free shipping within the US and giftwrapping available, you can send great gifts to your friends and relatives much cheaper than if you had to buy it, wrap it, and ship it yourself (not to mention the sales tax savings if you’re shipping to anywhere but Washington or North Dakota.)

If you’re looking for Peanuts presents that aren’t books or videos, go to http://AAUGH.com/guide/ and click on the picture of Snoopy on the left — that will take you to a store full of Peanuts clothes, memorabilia, and the like.

But if you want to give a really great gift for one of those many people you don’t see often enough: pay them a visit! As I’ve said before, it’s a great time to travel — and it’s always a great time to be with old friends and young relatives.
I have recently obtained a couple of pressbooks for the Peanuts animated feature films. These are books sent out for promoting the film to newspapers. Each includes not only a couple dozen ads in different sizes and formats, a summation of the film’s story, a list of the credits, and keenest of all, articles about the film that the paper can just copy the article, insert the name of the theater and showtimes for the film. Why bother themselves with having to write an accurate, balanced article when they can far more easily run: "Snoopy, Come Home" Expected To Bring Magic To Nation’s Boxoffices Earlier this year, jubilation reigned when theatre exhibitors throughout the country received word from Hollywood that Charles M. Schulz’ second full-length animated feature, "Snoopy, Come Home," would be completed and available to movie patrons this summer…

The "A BOY NAMED CHARLIE BROWN" pressbook includes blurb-ettes on about 6 key Peanuts characters, each with an illustration of the character sitting in a directors-style chair.

There are also promotional ideas for movie theaters that like to go all out. "To celebrate Charlie joining the movie world sponsor a special ‘Charlie Brown Day’ at your local theatre, offering free admission to all persons in your community with the name Charlie Brown" (now there’s a cheap promotion!) "Have a Charlie Brown spelling bee." "A five foot Snoopy costume is available for appearances in conjunction with the engagement of ‘A BOY NAMED CHARLIE BROWN’."
These are curious items, hardly necessary to a Peanuts collection (and a pain to store, since they’re saddle-stiched, 8.8" wide and 14 inches high, and thin, so they tend to bend), but it’s neat to get a look behind the scenes at the promotion of movies.
AAUGH.com is far from the only thing I do (and thank goodness for that, because it doesn’t pay anywhere near a full-time wage!) In the past year along, I’ve written three computer-related books, one graphic novel, appeared in two scenes of the upcoming Spider-Man movie (I’ll be too small for you to see, alas), written for websites and magazines, and designed crossword puzzles. However, these things aren’t particularly Peanuts related, so I haven’t promoted them in the newsletter. (I did work on one Peanuts-related project this year, but I’ll have more to say on that when it’s about to be released.)

However, I’ll make an exception to promote one of my projects, because while it is not specifically Peanuts-related, it should be of interest to fans of the comics form. I have been editing together a book of comic book scripts featuring some of the top writers in the comic book field (including a New York Times best-selling author and a famous filmmaker.) I’m proud of this book. It won’t be out until March 2002, but you can find out about it here: http://www.AboutComics.com (Those of you who order comic books through the Previews catalog can find the book in the January catalog, out in late December. For everyone else, I’ll mention the book again when it comes out.)
Well, that’s all the Peanuts news, notes, and self-serving plugs for now. Do let me know if you’re changing your email address, so I can keep your newsletters coming. (And if you want to stop the newsletters from coming, just let me know and I’ll take you off the list!)

When I have more news, there will be more newsletters. Until then, enjoy your leftovers and your shopping!
–Nat proprietor http://AAUGH.com

Peaaaaanutttts Booookss innnnnn SPAAAAAAACE!

So you do want to have astronaut Chris Cassidy on the International Space Station read you Peanuts books, right? Well, here’s two of them! Snoopy, First Beagle on the Moon! Shoot for the Moon, Snoopy!

A fictionalized Kennedy reads Peanuts

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Schulz’s Youth – still available!

I sometimes lament that┬áSchulz’s Youth, the book I compiled as the most complete collection of Schulz’s cartoons for the Church of God, is out of print. This is, after all material that is mostly not in print anywhere. However, when I say that, I should remember that “out of print” …