NASA, McDonalds, and Peanuts – what could be more American than all that?

New releases

The Snoopy/NASA Happy Meals have arrived at some (not all) US locations – one of the two places in town still has Lion King toys. But I hit the second one, and grabbed myself up two of the four books in the set. (There are also four toys, but I have no need for toys.) And for those who don’t know: they will indeed sell you the books or toys without purchasing any fast food – they charged me $1.69 apiece.

Snoopy: Constellation Quest is a mild story about Snoopy, Woodstock, Lucy, and Linus identifying the constellations in the night sky.¬†Snoopy: The Mars Rover is about Charlie Brown dictating a school report about Mars for Snoopy to type, which spins Snoopy off into a fantasy of traveling to Mars to beat the Mars Rover (which he thinks is a dog, Rover) there. This is my preferred of the two books, both because there’s a bit more going on than just raw education (although of course CB’s report gives them a chance to lay down some basic Mars facts), and, well, I’ve got pals who worked on the Rover, so Rover stuff is a bit extra cool for me.

Each of the books has some sort of interactive element. The Constellations book has a layered back page – shove a cardboard “spotlight” between the layers, and “constellations” made of holes cut in the black top layer become visible. The Rover book comes with a red plastic filter that you can look at the pages through to reveal hidden figures.

Are these the best of Peanuts? Well, no. They’re notably conflict-free… understandable in a work that needs to get approved by a government branch and a major food corporation as being appropriate for kiddies. Peanuts in-house writing guy Jason Cooper and artist Tom Brannon, who has done some of the most high-visibility Peanuts projects, do a reasonable job of making a book that will be acceptable to all. But still, if you get your kid one of these, get them a good book of strips as well.

New releases
Levels of reality

In dealing with any narrative, and often in dealing with life itself, one can trip over levels of reality. One has to recognize that the following can be very different things: What happened. What someone believes happened. What someone pretends happened. What someone says happened. Charles Schulz’s Peanuts is a …

Classic finds
That’s a he’ll of a thing!

Sometimes I go looking for a picture of a Peanuts book item I once wrote about, only to discover that I wrote it so long ago that it was before the AAUGH Blog (well, then an email newsletter) had pictures. And since I wrote about this on May 2, 2001, …

New releases
Superman’s Pal, Famous Fussbudget

This cover, one of a couple for the recent issue 7 of the current¬†Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen series, is by my ol’ pal Steve Lieber (we wrote The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Creating a Graphic Novel together.)