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In this issue:
* REVIEW: IT’S A BIG WORLD, CHARLIE BROWN
*EASTER BEAGLE BOOK
*MINI BOOKS ON THE WAY
*PEANUTS ART BOOK — CHEAPER
*ODD PEANUTS BOOK: UNCLE SNOOPY
REVIEW: IT’S A BIG WORLD, CHARLIE BROWN
IT’S A BIG WORLD CHARLIE BROWN, the book collecting all the 1997 Peanuts strips, is still weeks away from hitting the stores. However, my mysterious elves have gotten me a copy.
I don’t find 1997 to have been as inspired as 1998 and 1999 (The star of those years, Rerun Van Pelt, is not up to full power yet here, although he does become more of a presence as the year goes by.) Still, there’s lots of interesting material to be found between January (when Charlie Brown gets involved in forging sports memorabilia) to December (when he makes big sacrifices in order to buy a gift for Peggy Jean.) We get lots of Snoopy in Valley Forge (strips which read better as a group than they did when they were published daily), lots of Andy and Olaf trying to visit Spike, some of Patty and Marcie’s love for the clueless Chuck, a few new philosophies for Sally, birds playing bridge, accusations of harrasment and discrimination, and a reference to Anna Karenina. What more could you want?
Key lines: "As soon as a child is born, he or she is issued a dog and a banjo.." "If I had been there, I would have said ‘Hey Ludwig, play "Jingle Bells"!’" "If you see a coyote wearing Mickey Mouse shoes, grab him!"
Even Snoopy has a genuine speaking line in this one.
As far as production goes, Ballantine certainly did a fine job. They’ve included every strip from the year, plus the last two from 1996 (since they begin the first storyline in the book.) Once again, all the strips are in color. The color looks good, and the only time its a problem are in some of the World War I Flying Ace strips, where the helmet is colored so dark that it becomes an indistinct object. For some reason, the first few Sunday strips are reproduced smaller than the page size would allow. Any imperfections are minor, however. Ballantine has the license for two more books in this series. Given the obvious care they put into the books (in contrast to some earlier publishers), I hope they find ways to do additional Peanuts books beyond the five they have licensed.
It’s a full year of Peanuts strips, so you know you want a copy! You can order this book now, and it will be shipped when the book is released. Just go to: http://AAUGH.com/go.htm?0345442709
EASTER BEAGLE BOOK
The Little Simon line of book adaptations of Peanuts TV specials keeps growing, with IT’S THE EASTER BEAGLE, CHARLIE BROWN due out in February 2002. As with the other books in this series, this is a new book adaptation, not just a reprint of the earlier adaptation. (The book version of A Boy Named Charlie Brown that’s out now is not part of this series, and is a reprint of the old adaptation.)
It’s too early to pre-order the Easter Beagle book, but you can pre-order the first two books in the series (It’s the Great Pumpkin, CB and A CB Christmas) at http://AAUGH.com/kids
MINI BOOKS ON THE WAY
Some of you may have seen the racks of little pocketsize hardcover books at your local bookshop. These make easy-to-carry, easy-to-mail little gifts. Well, the publisher of those little books (Andrews McMeel, who have published Peanuts books in the past) has now licensed Peanuts for this line. The first two books are due out in February, but you can preorder them already! Follow these links to take a look at the covers:
Oh Friend of Friends: Peanuts on Friendship http://AAUGH.com/go.htm?0740719165 My Sweet Babboo: Peanuts on Love http://AAUGH.com/go.htm?0740719173
PEANUTS ART BOOK — CHEAPER
This is a great time to pre-order PEANUTS: THE ART OF CHARLES M. SCHULZ, the big hardcover book. I’ve heard from folks who have seen this book in production, and say it’s "gorgeous". And at the moment, you can order it for 30% off the cover price — that’s about $9 off, bringing the price to under $21! http://AAUGH.com/go.htm?0375420975
I’m not sure when this expires, but if you enter the coupon code AMZNENTRW535 when checking out with your order of $35 or more, you should get $5 off.
ODD PEANUTS BOOK: UNCLE SNOOPY
The United States Golf Association (USGA) publishes a booklet entitled UNCLE SNOOPY WANTS YOU TO KNOW HOW TO USE YOUR HANDICAP. This guide to golf scoring adjustments has seven Snoopy-and-Woodstock illustrations. What makes this booklet particularly odd is the *Uncle* Snoopy aspect of it — throughout the entire book, Snoopy is wearing an Uncle Sam hat. (For those of your outside the U.S.: Uncle Sam is a patriotic symbol of an old man dressed in an outfit based on the U.S. flag.) Yes, this is the U.S. golf association, but that still doesn’t make clear what the patriotic aspect has to do with golf. Additionally, the one color shot of the hat (on the cover) uses an odd color scheme. Schulz had obviously already inked in some of the stripes with black ink, a reasonable thing for black-and-white illustrations. However, in the color version, those stripes are left black, with the other stripes being blue, and then the hat has a red band with white stars. In other words, the colors are all in the wrong places. The US flag is indeed red, white, and blue, but the stripes are red and white, not black and blue, and the stars have a blue background, not a red one.
Woodstock wears a proper golfing cap. Good for him!
This is not the only Peanuts booklet the USGA puts out. They also have SNOOPY AND FRIENDS ADDRESS THE RULES OF GOLF, a 20 page booklet in lush color, with Peanuts characters against computer-generated backgrounds. Only one rule is covered per page, so it’s not an in-depth golf guide. It is a very pretty booklet, however.
(I do have some extra copies of both of these booklets. If anyone wants these and has something interesting to trade, let me know!)
Well, that’s all the news for now! I smell some interesting news coming down the road, so there should be good newsletters coming up. And once things calm down a bit around here (life is overly full with things both wonderful and dreadful), I’ll add some more features to the site. (More guides! More articles! More things to sell you!)
As always, I’m eager for your advice and comments. (Would you prefer the newsletter in HTML format, with pictures? Is there information you need that isn’t in the collecting guide? Is the shopping interface too convoluted?) Drop me a line at email@example.com and let me know!
–Nat Gertler proprietor http://AAUGH.com