Coming in January is Peanuts Quilted Celebration, another one for all you crafty folk out there. It has applique designs! A CD-ROM! A foreword by Jeannie Schulz! All brought to you by the American Quilter’s Society! Am I gonna preorder a copy of this one? Of course I am! Am I going to make a quilt? Not on your life! I have no competency at fabric-based crafts! Any quilt that I made would probably go on a murderous rampage, suffocating anyone that gets in its path in badly-made-quilt discomfort! Sure, there’s a chance that might not happen, but is it really worth taking the risk? No!
I received my Charlie Brown Christmas cloth book panels from Joann.com. These are, as I noted, fabric panels with pages to cut out and sew together to make a cloth book.
This is a short edition, a mere 8 pages including cover. It’s derived from the Tom Brannon-illustrated Running Press version that first appeared in 2008, but Brannon’s color modeling has been done away with (probably wouldn’t work well with the coarser printing medium of cloth). For example, this is how one image looked in the original edition:
And this is how it looks in the cloth book (badly scanned, admittedly):
Simpler colors, heartier lines… and hey, Peppermint Patty disappeared. No, they didn’t excise her from the whole book (despite the fact that she wasn’t actually in the TV special), but took her out here so she wouldn’t be cut in half by the cropping of the image.
If you need a nice, soft edition of A Charlie Brown Christmas that you can take to bed with you, here it is! (And, of course, if you want to look over all the book editions of A Charlie Brown Christmas, that’s what this guide is for.)
Amazon has let me know that the Peanuts Christmas Cookie Set of three cookie cutters and a recipe book has been pushed back until November… and given how much this product has been pushed back (it was originally supposed to be a 2013 release), I’m not sure that I trust even that. If you really need a Peanuts themed cookie cutter for the coming holiday season, you can get Snoopy’s Holiday House Cookie Baking Kit, but check the reviews – the ingredients it comes with may be insufficiently packaged.
I just got my order of a couple hundred comic books to give away to trick-or-treaters (yes, I get somewhere in the three figures of young visitors each year. Yipe!) including a goodly pile of the Boom! Studios Halloween Fright Fest 2014 comic. It’s got an Adventure Time story and a Fraggle Rock story, both of which I suspect are new for this volume. In between those, it has three pages of Peanuts material – two Schulz Sunday Halloween strips, and one page “from the drawing board” feature, running a quote from Schulz about the background behind the kite eating tree.
So if you don’t get this, you’re not missing any new stories… but if you’re a completist and you need one, just stop by on October 31. Wear a costume.
(Actually, this year they have been selling them in retail packages, so if you stop by your local comic book store, they might be able to sell you a pack of 20 of this for $4.99. But I’m not sure how many shops are actually carrying them.)
Oh, as long as I’m posting about Boom! Peanuts comics: every few months, I get an email from someone who has just noticed that there was no new issue of Peanuts solicited for an upcoming month, and reckons that that is a sign that the book has been cancelled. So let me note something: this series is not a monthly. Yes, it comes out most months… but after every fourth issue (i.e., after every trade paperback’s worth), they take a break. So while it may well be cancelled some day, if you see a no issue solicited the month after one where the issue number was divisible by 4, don’t panic. It’s to be expected.
The 500 new short Peanuts animations being created by Normaal in France have been getting some attention of late. There are at least a couple of examples out there, floating around in the wild; I’m not going to link to them here because they appear to be unauthorized. But this French TV report will give you at least some sense of them:
I like that the visuals seem to be trying more to be Schulz than to be Melendez (although not without that influence). Not that there’s anything wrong with how Melendez brought the material to the screen! But that doesn’t mean that it’s the only right way to interpret the strip for animation. There are some moments where the mechanicalness of computer-aided animation comes through in arm swings and the like, but all in all, quite reasonable.
They may be only 90 seconds long, but with 500 of them, that makes 12.5 hours. That’s like a season-and-a-half of a sitcom. It’ll be a lot of material to watch!