Sometimes, I’m reminded of an odd piece, and at the moment it’s Detective Comics issue 500, an extra-thick “anniversary issue” comic book from 1981. Detective was and is a home for Batman stories — in fact, Batman made his first appearance back in issue 27 of the title. To celebrate the 500th issue, they published an issue of short stories about not only Batman, but also other characters who had appeared in the title over the years.
Why mention this in a Peanuts book fan newsletter? Quite simple: here is all the text from a two page Batman comic in the issue: “It was a dark and stormy night. Suddenly, a shot rang out. The maid screamed. A door slammed. Suddenly, a pirate ship appeared on the horizon. As he touched her hand, she sighed. And they lived happily ever after. The end.” If most of those lines don’t seem familiar to you, then you need to go back and read Snoopy’s novel again! Of course, with the pictures that accompany them, they actually make sense in telling a story of Batman fighting off burglars.
The story (titled “Once Upon a Time…”) was written by Len Wein, who was the writer who first brought us the Swamp Thing, as well as popular X-Men characters such as Wolverine and Nightcrawler. The art is by Walt Simonson, who has been popular in comics for decades (his best recognized run is on the Thor comic book, in which he turned the titular thunder god into a frog and still had him be heroic.)
And for those who find foreign books of interest, here is yet another odd Japanese set. It is a set of phrase books specifically for Japanese girls traveling abroad. They come in three languages:
In that odd Japanese fashion, the titles are all in English. Why someone would put an English title on a book for a Japanese gal traveling in Italy, I will not even try to explain.
I cannot yet tell you whether the Peanuts content of these goes much beyond the picture of Snoopy on the cover. Frankly, I haven’t even ordered these, because I know the moment I order one, I’ll order all three, and when you add the shipping from Japan, it would be a real hit on my wallet.
Not much US Peanuts book news recently. Of course, you can always check out the list of upcoming books here. I’m not sure when the next post to the AAUGH blog will be, so I guess I’ll take this moment to remind you that I will be at Comic-Con International: San Diego July 14th through 17th. You’ll be able to find me almost any time the convention floor is open at the About Comics booth, which will be booth 1903. Please stop by and say hi!