In this issue:
* LUCY MUST BE TRADED ON FRIDAY
* THE EARLIEST BRITISH PEANUTS BOOK
* STRAIGHTENING OUT THE DARNDEST THINGS
* NEW TO THE AAUGH.COM LIBRARY
* NOW RERUN IS A SWINGIN’ GUY
Usually, this newsletter is filled with announcements of
new and upcoming Peanuts books. However, the only news that
I have about upcoming books is that “IT WAS A DARK AND
STORMY NIGHT, SNOOPY”, coming in March, is indeed a
strip reprint rather than a reprint of the book SNOOPY
AND “IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT”.
But hey, this newsletter was never meant to be just about
new books, it’s also supposed to be a look at existing
books. So here’s the “no new books” edition of the
LUCY MUST BE TRADED ON FRIDAY
Just a quick reminder to US readers that the new Peanuts
special LUCY MUST BE TRADED, CHARLIE BROWN is slated to
air on Friday, at the curious late time of 9:00 PM
(8:00 Central Time) on your ABC station.
THE EARLIEST BRITISH PEANUTS BOOK
Someone recently steered me toward what appears to be the very
first British Peanuts book, and I quickly landed a copy
for myself. The book is entitled simply PEANUTS, although
you’re apt to find it listed as A DAILY SKETCH PUBLICATION
PEANUTS, because that is the full cover text. This book,
published by the newspaper The Daily Sketch, isn’t a
reprint of the first American Peanuts book (also entitled
PEANUTS), but is rather reprints about 2/3s of the pages
from the second American book, MORE PEANUTS. The front
cover reuses the image if Lucy and Charlie Brown walking
from the front cover of More Peanuts. However, they
don’t use the original back cover image of More Peanuts.
That back cover shows the toys that Lucy and CB are
pulling (the real joke of the piece — one of the toys
was a skunk.) Because of this, they’ve erased the string from
Lucy’s hand and left just an inexplicable short segment
of string in CB’s. An image of Snoopy walking alongside
the two has also been added to the cover.
There is no date to be found on the book (apparently a
common problem with books published by The Daily Sketch.)
Obviously, if it reprints More Peanuts, it cannot be
from before that book’s publication date of 1954.
Judging from style, format, and condition, I suspect it’s
not much later than that. The pages aren’t the size of
the Holt books, but rather the smaller height size of the
Fawcett Crest books.
One oddity is that the book credits the world copyright
to King Features. I really don’t know the history of the
international syndication rights to Peanuts, so it may
be that United Feature Syndicate (now better known as
United Media, owners of Peanuts) licensed out the non-U.S.
rights to the better-established King Features. If so, this
could help establish the book’s publication date. On the
other hand, it may just be goof-up, as the Daily Sketch
had also published a book of Blondie, a King Features
STRAIGHTENING OUT THE DARNDEST THINGS
Schulz illustrated two books by Art Linkletter, KIDS
SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS (1957) and KIDS STILL SAY THE
DARNDEST THINGS (1961). The illustrations from the
first book were reused in a revised edition, entitled
THE NEW KIDS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS.
Until recently, I had believed that the revisions for
the revised edition were done in 1995. Silly me,
falling for their trick! The revisions were done for
a 1978 release, which says “NEW KIDS” on the cover
but leaves the “NEW” out of the title on the spine.
I’ve just added a copy of the 1978 version to the
AAUGH.com reference library (and hey, it’s signed
by Art Linkletter himself).
The 1995 version appears to use all of the same
primary text as the 1978 version. I didn’t check it
word for word, but looking at key places, they didn’t
even update where Art said that his son is about to be
a father, even though 17 years had passed. And then,
hey, I think to check the 1957 version, and the same
son was ready for kids then. Here’s a tip, folks:
if you’ve waited 38 years to have your kids, odds
are that the best time has passed you by.
The only updates I detected were in Linkletter’s
introduction, which was created for the 1978 version
and somewhat rewritten for the 1995 version. So in 1978,
Art said that he “updated the whole thing with some of
my own thoughts about this ‘electric generation’ which
has been so changed by the six-hours-a-day schedule
of TV watching that has become the average in the U.S.
over the past ten years.” But in 1995, he “updated the
whole thing with some of my own thoughts about this
‘electronic generation’ which has been so
changed by the six-hours-a-day schedule of TV watching
that seems to have become the average in the
United States.” So one generation was electric, the
next was electronic, but they both watched the same
amount of TV!
(Yeah, yeah, it’s more detail than anyone cares about.
I’m a geek on these things.)
NEW TO THE AAUGH.COM LIBRARY
Also recently added to the AAUGH.com reference library is
an Uncorrected Proof Copy of KIDS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS.
Such uncorrected proofs are used both in the proofreading
and verification of the book and, more importantly, in
sending out early copies to reviewers. My proof is of the
British edition of the book, which merely reprints the
US edition that came out a year early. As such, there
aren’t any surprising omissions or additions to be found
here, alas. Still, it’s an odd and rare thing, and we
like having those in the library!
Then there’s ARE YOU OLD ENOUGH TO READ THIS BOOK:
REFLECTIONS ON MIDLIFE, which lists Schulz as one of a
number of interesting people invovled on the cover.
Actually, the piece is a 3.5 page interview with
Schulz, which starts on page 20 (there’s no way to
identify the piece from the table of contents.)
The body of the interview was edited to be a single stream
of conversation from Schulz, as if he wrote an
article on where he is. Topics include his fears of
being boring and the things that keep him in touch with
the world. And for those of you trying to get a clearer
picture of Schulz’s path through religion: “I’m a firm
believer in the Kingdom of God, but I don’t know about
the afterlife — that baffles me. I think life is a
mystery. I have no idea why we’re here, where it all
came from or where we’re all going, and I don’t think
anybody knows.” This interview was originally published
in 1995 in New Choices magazine, before being reprinted
in this 1997 book.
NOW RERUN IS A SWINGIN’ GUY
Remember the previous newsletter where I complained about
the folks at Camp Snoopy selling a Rerun t-shirt by
claiming it was a Linus t-shirt? Well, they’ve fixed it
now… and I suspect that AAUGH.com newsletter readers
were the cause! Thanks to those of you out there who
sent them notes.
Well, that’s the news (well, mostly olds) for now. Please
remember to drop by http://AAUGH.com when it’s time to buy
your next Peanuts book. Until then, take care!