I now have a copy of the new storybook Nice to Meet You, FRANKLIN!, in which Tina Gallo and Robert Pope retell the first two Franklin storylines from the strip – Franklin finds Charlie Brown’s lost beach ball on the beach, and then Franklin comes to Charlie Brown’s neighborhood and gets weirded out by the characters living there. This is topped off with a little diversity message, as Franklin comes to realize that he has to be accepting of the weirdos in this world. It’s all reasonably done, and makes a nice little book.
For those of you who may have seen my comment about the first Franklin storyline, and how Schulz never showed Franklin and Sally in a panel together during it despite them each being in many panels, and how that raised questions about whether he was directly avoiding depicting a black male with a white female… that does not hold true here. There is a beach shot with both characters.
The back cover has the first Franklin strip, a daily strip which did not appear in color at the time, but color has been added here… and demonstrates part of the problem of coloring things that were not meant for color. If you’re familiar with beach balls, they tend to have segments that are white, and segments that are colors. Schulz shaded in half the segments to suggest that they had color there. But when someone comes along to color it, you can’t color in the shaded parts, so they colored in the white parts, so in color you have… a half-black beach ball. And that’s just strange.I do find myself having one odd problem with this book that no one else will have, and that’s that I keep getting the name wrong. The problem is caused by the fact that I once published a comic book by the great William Messner-Loebs called Welcome to Heaven, Dr. Franklin, and the fact that it starts with a greeting and ends with a “Franklin” just causes me to jumble it with the title of this Peanuts book.