Review: Snoopy’s Christmas Surprise

The just-released kids storybook, Snoopy’s Christmas Surprise, is one of the lesser of writer Jason Cooper’s efforts on the characters, at least for my tastes (but admittedly, this book is not aimed at those of us in the double-digits of years, which I most definitely am.) The story – Snoopy is missing Spike, who cannot afford to come visit for Christmas, so the kids try to cheer him up – doesn’t feel particularly Peanutsy. It’s a basic, ultimately-feel-good story that could be told with any characters, with some Peanuts character aspects layered on, but blandly.

But the sticker page in the back? Ahhh, that’s very Peanutsy! Snoopy sleeping on his back on a Christmas tree! Santa Snoopy! A joyous Santa Charlie Brown! Peppermint Patty sledding down a hill with a scared Marcie on the sled behind her! A Christmas tree cactus! The sticker page is joyous!

Classic finds
Collecting Peanuts books is educational

It wasn’t until today, when I finally get a book that I’ve been wanting for over a decade, the one missing book in my set of traced-and-translated-into-Polish Peanuts strips published in the mid-1980s, that I was aware of this historic fact: Communist-era Poland, while bereft of many things, did in …

New releases
Review: Sparky & Spike

The new book Sparky & Spike: Charles Schulz and the Wildest, Smartest Dog Ever seems to be on the cusp of transitioning Schulz’s cultural image from artist to icon – not the first leaning in that direction, but perhaps the most blatant. It tells the tale of a boy who is …

Classic finds
The Moist Menace

While I’ve covered various Happiness is a Warm Puppy parodies in the past, and while I have a number of programs from Reuben Award ceremonies held by the National Cartoonist Society, I haven’t seen the 1963 program, which is where Carol Tilley (U of Illinois professor who focuses on comics …