You can, of course, preorder my November book The Snoopy Treasures from Amazon. For those of you who would rather preorder from your local comic book store, they should now be working on their orders for that month. Let them know now that you want item code AUG15 1911.
The The Peanuts Movie promotion has been coming on strong for a while, as they build up to sell the movie… and now we’re already starting with the movie being used to sell other things. I just ran into the ad seen here (note, this is not a paid placement), using the movie to sell Horizon snacks and drinks, on the Target website. And speaking of Target, yesterday I was in their toy section and saw the first licensed The Peanuts Movie products I’ve seen out in the wild: two Lego-like “Lite Brix” sets, one of the Peanuts characters at a baseball diamond, the other of Lucy’s lemonade stand. (That’s right, I’ve not got that confused. Her stand is actually selling lemonade, five cents a glass. It’s like someone took Peanuts and removed the humorous thing from it!) Looking around, I see there are at least a couple further Peanuts Movie Lite Brix sets to be found, a school dance scene and a skating pond.
They’ve announced the air date for A Charlie Brown Christmas this year – November 30th – but they’re planning to do it up in style, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the beloved show. They’re going to have a star-laden special around it, with live performances of the music, with celebrities talking about the special, and with the whole thing hosted Kristen Bell, one of my favorite actresses of the moment. Will I be watching,? Of course!
(And yet, it doesn’t look like there will be a new book looking at the history of this special. It would’ve been a good opportunity, and heck, I’d like to have written that. Ah well, maybe they’ll call me for the 100th anniversary.)
Sometimes, to get some Peanuts information, one has to reach beyond the Peanuts sources. For example, the other day while researching something else altogether, I came upon a Ford muscle car forum where a few years ago, Ford enthusiasts were discussing a Sunday strip that had just rerun. That strip, which had originally run on February 7th, 1965, showed pieces of the Brown’s car in two panels, but that was enough for one forum member to identify it as a 1965 Ford LTD hardtop 4-door. Once that’s been stated, the identification looks easy – there’s that logo on the rear panel in the first shot, the particular trim around the rear edge of the window in the second, among other smaller touches, but it wasn’t something that I ever thought to look at. It’s interesting that just as Charlie Brown had finished up his years of work promoting the smaller Ford Falcon, his family takes on the new, full-size model (this was the first model year for the LTD, then part of the Galaxie line.)
And that’s today’s bit of Pointless Peanuts Trivia! You’re welcome!
Modern book adaptations of Peanuts specials generally shorten the special, because a TV special will have more content than a standard children’s picture book will hold. (This is, I should note, the opposite situation from adult novel adaptations of feature films, where they will add scenes not in the movie, as a novel is longer than a 90 minute film.) The two new books based on It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown that I received last week take different angles on it. The book that’s titled It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (adaptation by Kara McMahon, art by Scott Jeralds) takes basically the whole special and simplifies everything. It briefly tells you that Charlie Brown had trouble with the scissors, rather than show you. It has him get a rock once, then just mention that it happens repeatedly. It skips the Flying Ace’s mission altogether, but basically, it takes everything from front to end. When you have 22 pages to tell a tale that’s more than 22 minutes, that’s the way it has to be.
You Got a Rock, Charlie Brown (adapted by Maggie Testa, art by Robert Pope) takes a different angle. Despite having more story pages – a full thirty – it tries to cover a smaller portion of the special, focusing on the costume-making and the trick or treating, with just a couple pages at the party – and not only no Flying Ace, there’s no pumpkin patch. By keeping focus, they have the room to keep the humor better.
By the way – speaking of artist Robert Pope, if you liked what you saw when he and I were working together on the Peanuts comic book, we’ve got something else for you. Robert drew one of the two stories in my latest comic book, Chinese Fortune Comics. And if you want that… well, I hope you’re in Alberta, Canada, because it’s only available one place, at the well-loved restaurant The Lingnan in Edmonton.