Review: O Natal de Charlie Brown

Classic finds

Recently added to the Reference Library’s Excessive Accumulation of A Charlie Brown Christmas Books is O Natal de Charlie Brown, a 2011 Portuguese-language edition published by Brazilian publisher L&PM Editores. This is a translation of the 2008 American edition with the Tom Brannon illustrations that have been a staple for so many edition’s since. The translation is fairly straightforward, and the only places the art has been adjusted is the two pages where there was text on the art. I did find it amusing that when they translated Lucy’s psychiatrist stand, they expanded the little placard where the IN goes for The Doctor is IN, but then put the word that should go there below the placard rather than on it.

This got me thinking about the nature of Christmas versus the perceived nature of Christmas. Charlie Brown is definitely a snowy-world version of Christmas… as basically all Christmas specials are. Turn on any of the Hallmark Christmas movies, and there will be snow, it’s a requirement. And yet, that’s a version of Christmas that’s aimed at specific areas.

I live in Southern California, and there will never be a white Christmas here. It just doesn’t snow, at least at the elevations where most people live. Yet around here, all of the home decorations are filled with snowmen, fake icicles, and other things that suggest the chill and the snow. It doesn’t snow in most of Brazil, although it sometimes does on the high plains there… but not around Christmas. It’s the wrong hemisphere. The snow falls in August, not in December. How well the Northern North American version of Christmas can really translate there is an open question to me.

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 …