Peanuts brought to Life

New releases

Life magazine regularly puts out specials on various topics, there to focus on (exploit) some popular topic — often the anniversary of some favorite item. So I was surprised to see one on Peanuts at a local grocery this week. There is no big anniversary being celebrated. Sure, we’re getting into Peanuts season, when the three most popular TV specials are aired, and yes, something like this can be bought now as a stocking stuffer. But it was surprising nonetheless.

There are two covers available. Inside is 96 pages of material, all heavily illustrated — lots of strip segments, animation stills, and photos. Much of the space is dedicated to discussing the characters, with 6 pages apiece on Charlie Brown, 4 page sections for Linus, Lucy, and Sally, and two-page spreads for Violet, Schroeder, Pigpen, the Kite-Eating Tree, Woodstock, Peppermint Patty, Franklin, and Marcie. There are also sections on the key animated specials, sports and Peanuts, and of course Schulz himself, among other material. Cover price is $14.95. I was wondering whether this might be one that they had on hand in case of a gap in their publishing schedule — it seems like they may prepare these specials in advance, so they can quickly have out a special when someone famous dies — but I can tell you that they must’ve worked on this fairly recently, as they quote Blake Scott Ball’s Charlie Brown’s America, and that came out this June.

And now I have to face a question of categorization, and I hate those questions. When I hear folks argue about whether a certain album is hiphop or pop, my instinct is to respond “who cares?” Things lie that are rough terms that can easily be applied in 90% of cases, but nearly everything is a continuum, and terminology describes a rough range of a spectrum. But I run a website with a listing of Peanuts books, so I have to decide: is this a book (which I would add to my list), or a magazine (which I would not)? It’s squarebound, so it isn’t instantly ruled out of the book range as something stapled-bound (“saddle-stitched”) would be. But it’s being distributed on magazine racks. The Life special on Peanuts is not itself a periodical… but Life specials come out frequently. It’s meant for a limited display life — the cover tells retailers to display it until Christmas Eve.

But then I check the inside back cover, and it offers a subscription to the “Life Editors’ Choice Special Issues”. So this is an issue, not a volume. It is, therefor, I suppose, a magazine.

Now excuse me — I have to put it on my bookshelf.

Classic finds
Snoopy books: Two new, one old.

Let’s see what’s come in recently. There’s Snoopy’s Happy Tales!, which collects five storybooks into a single hardcover volume. I’ve reviewed most of the stories before, so I’ll just put links to those reviews: A Best Friend for Snoopy Snoopy Takes Off! Woodstock’s First Flight! Snoopy Goes to School Shoot …

New releases
More on the Peanuts of Life

So I heard from the curator of the Schulz Museum, the one and only Benjamin L. Clark (oh, okay, those are common names, so there’s probably at least several Benjamin L. Clarks, but only one is the curator of the Schulz Museum. I assume.) He let me know that the …

Animated Peanuts
Review: Nest Friends & When Snoopy Met Woodstock

Newly released are two children’s storybooks in the Ready*To*Read line: Nest Friends and When Snoopy Met Woodstock. Both of these are adaptations of stories from The Snoopy Show, the currently running original animated series on the Apple TV+ streaming service. Rather than commissioning new art, the adaptation just has Ximena Hastings adapting …