Issue 28 of the Kaboom! Peanuts arrives Wednesday at comic books stores (well, the ones that carry it – but if you ask your local shop to start ordering one every month for you, they prob’ly will, most comic shops have pull-and-hold services where they’ll keep one set aside for you as long as you pick it up at a reasonable frequency.) Click on the images to enlarge.
Catching up on reviewing some of the recently arrived Peanuts books:
- Go Fly a Kite, Charlie Brown (not to be confused with the soon-to-be-reprinted strip collection of the same name) and Snoopy Takes Off! do a perfectly fine job of being what they are, which is cheap storybooks. The art is well-drawn. As with many such things, the need to provide text for kids to read means that some of the impact is lost – having text explain that Snoopy realizes that he cannot climb the tree (in an attempt to rescue Linus’s blanket from the kite-eating tree) does not have the simply impact of showing him climbing halfway up and falling down. Doing it in both text and image just slows up the reading, blunts the effect. So if you want to expose your kids to pure Schulz brilliance, show them or read to them a strip collection… but these are perfectly suitable things to throw in the back seat for the kids to read while you’re driving to the store. I do kind of wish they’ just blow up some strips and use this format to reprint strip storylines in handy, $3.99 disposable packages. (They do nicely put one strip on the back of each volume… but remove the first panel from each.) For some reason, the Snoopy one credits the writer first, then the artist (“Adapted by Tina Gallo, Illustrated by Scott Jeralds”) while the Charlie Brown book goes the other way ’round (“Illustrated by Will Yak, story adapted by Cordelia Evans”) – that’s the sort of inconsistency that just messes with something in my writer/editor/publisher brain.
- Meet the Peanuts Gang (also not to be confused with the strip reprint of the same name) is actually pretty nice. This 96 page paperback introduces the various Peanuts characters with text descriptions, trivia, and example strips. There’s quotes from the characters, quotes from Schulz, some have little shots of how the character evolved over the years. I could definitely see a kid hunkering down with this and draining it of all its information. A small round of applause for Natalie Shaw, who “adapted” this book.
In September, they’re releasing a set of Peanuts DVDs which will have a good collection for those just starting with animated Peanuts, perhaps those who just have the key holiday specials… and two specials never before on DVD for those who are trying to collect them all. The theme of the collection is “Peanuts specials that were honored by the Emmy Awards”… which, we should note, does not mean that they won an award. Hey, it’s an honor just to be nominated, and at least nominated all of these were. The two tracks that haven’t been on shiny disks before are two of the more serious specials – the girl with a serious illness special Why, Charlie Brown, Why? and the look at some key sites of the World Wars, What Have We Learned, Charlie Brown?
The other nine specials that make up this collection are:
- You’re the Greatest, Charlie Brown
- She’s a Good Skate, Charlie Brown
- It’s Magic, Charlie Brown
- Someday You’ll Find Her, Charlie Brown
- Is This Goodbye, Charlie Brown
- Life is a Circus, Charlie Brown
- It’s Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown
- Snoopy’s Getting Married, Charlie Brown
- You’re a Good Sport, Charlie Brown
Now, you may be thinking “hey, there’s some good specials on there, but why did the early classics not even get a nomination?” Well, they did, they’re just not in the collection. (They seem to have limited it to specials that were nominated for specifically prime-time awards. There wasn’t an award specifically for primetime animation until 1979. The one pre-1979 special on the list, You’re a Good Sport, Charlie Brown got nominated for “Outstanding Children’s Special”, an award that prior to 1974 mixed both primetime and daytime shows together.) Why did they divide it like this? Well, following the boxed sets of the complete 1960s specials and the complete 1970s specials, this looks basically like a set of the 1980s specials (eight from that decade, two from the 1970s, and one from the 1990s.)
Peanuts: The Emmy Honored Collection ships in September, but you can lay in your preorder now and get the cheapest price.
The covers to the new editions of the Peanuts Little Golden Books are up. The new edition of Let’s Fly a Kite, Charlie Brown basically keeps the old cover, while the new edition of Where’s Woodstock? replaces the old one with a completely new cover. Why? I bet it was because Woodstock was wearing sunglasses, so they didn’t recognize him! Both are available for preorder.