Review: Born to Draw Comics

New releases

Born to Draw Comics is a full-on children’s storybook about Schulz’s life, from birth to the sale of Peanuts to the syndicate (in fact, the subtitle is The Story of Charles Schlz and the Creation of Peanuts.) It’s not one of those little biographies meant to be sold as a group to school libraries. There is fully drawn art on every 11”x9” page of this hardcover. Written by Ginger Wadsworth, the illustrations by Craig Orback are meant to reflect comics without ever quite being comics, but rather being adjacent to blocks of text.

Orback brings a good tone to it, working in acrylic/gouache paint with added bits of pen and ink, colored pencils, and some good ol’ fashion Photoshop. It creates a legitimate artistic tone of its own.

The text is readable, but lacks a certain liveliness for one reason: there was no dialogue invented for this. What little dialogue there is comes from the few instances where Schulz had at some time said what it was he (or someone else) said in the given instance. That may be the most responsible way of handling things, but it leaves things a little distant. But it’s still good enough to be worthwhile, it’s something that a cartoon-interested kid might be willing to read.

If you get a copy, be sure to lift away the dust jacket. There’s a drawing on the actual hardcover board that I rather like.

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