The Peanuts comic book – a review

New releases

I just got a review PDF of the new Peanuts issue 0, which should hit better comic shops on Wednesday.

The cover announces New Stories, which is not the more common announcement of All-New Stories, and that difference is there for a reason, as you’ll see. The contents are:

  • “Carnival of Animals” – this 6-page story is listed as adapted and illustrated by Ron Zorman, a Pixar artist. But adapted from what? After reading this tale about Snoopy doing his animal impersonations and Charlie Brown being inspired by it, my brain was telling me “that’s taken from one of the Peanuts comic book stories of the late 1950s/early 1960s”… but I couldn’t find it in my collection. It certainly feels like one of those stories, right down to the somewhat awkward pacing of the tale that keeps it from feeling like its build toward something. The art, while not perfect, is certainly well better than most of those old comics.
  • Two Peanuts Sunday strips, run in vertical format, one per page.
  • “Woodstock’s New Nest”, an all-new (as best as I can tell) seven page Snoopy and Woodstock story. Woodstock’s nest falls from the tree, and Snoopy tries to find him a new home. This feels like it’s trying to be animated Peanuts rather than strip Peanuts, which is fine. In that mode, it has no thought balloons for Snoopy, so all we get for text is birdspeak. Vikki Scott’s artwork carries the story without being slavishly Schulzesque in composure.
  • Two more Peanuts Sunday strips.
  • A five page “special preview” of the Happiness is a Warm Blanket graphic novel (which, in case I forgot to mention it, is now shipping as a ten buck paperback). I’m not sure how “special” a preview that’s been out for over half a year is. But since this is a discount-priced short book, this is really here as an ad, not a feature, and that’s fine.

Is it absolutely everything I could have wanted in a Peanuts comic book, feeling some great treasure-trove of lost Schulz?  Of course not. Is it worth the buck? Sure! Buy one yourself, and see if it’s something you want to keep buying issues of. It’s a perfectly fine thing to have to a child, at the very least. So head down to your comic shop on Wednesday, and ask for your copy. I know I will. (And if you’re in a shop of particular taste, they may have The Misadventures of Prince Ivan by Diane Duane as well… a graphic novel I’ve just published, featuring a funny, pre-Shrek fairy tale/folk tale parody by the best-selling author of the “Young Wizards” series.)

Here’s the cover, inside cover, and first five pages. Click to enlarge.

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