Cynical Supersnoop

New releases

Working in the comics field and being a long-time reader of comic books, I’ve grown accustomed to the darker, cynical take on superheroes, depicting them with twisted motivations and deleterious effect. At times, it is quite well done (as in Watchmen); at other times, it’s a weak attempt deconstruction (like so many pseudo-Watchmen.) But at base, these are curious efforts, trying to show the dark underbelly of something that doesn’t actually exist. To some degree, the very form seems to be shaming you for enjoying a bit of fictional fantasy.

And I didn’t expect it to come from Peanuts.

In the Halloween tale The Adventures of the Candy Crusader, just out from Hallmark, a pair of heroes (the Crusader and his sidekick, The Candy Corn Kid) go around “saving” candy… by which they mean stealing it from the trick-or-treaters who had properly earned their candy through the appropriate All Hallow’s Eve shakedown, for their own consumption!

The story, written by Bill Gray and well drawn by Rich LaPierre, is written with children’s book rhyming prose but drawn as a comic book, with multiple panels per page and the occasional word balloon. It ends as promised with a pop-up, but the announcement of the pop-up on the cover is a removable sticker, so if you’re giving it, there could be some actual surprise.

Hallmark is also offering an animated Candy Crusader figure, which spins while “Flight of the Valkyries” plays (you may remember that tune as the love theme from Apocalypse Now.)Oh, and also socks. In case your Halloween costume is “human wearing Candy Crusader socks” (or “ninja wearing Candy Crusader socks”; they very versatile!

Classic finds
Review: Christmas Gift Certificates for You

When I ordered a copy of the 1981 Hallmark Peanuts product Christmas Gift Certificates for You, I reckoned it would be one of those novelty coupon books, each page removable and offering the recipient a walk in the snow, help taking down the tree, or some Peanuts-y equivalent thereof. I …

New releases
A pop-up shows up

Here Comes Charlie Brown!: A Peanuts Pop-up, Gene Kannenberg, Jr.’s adaptation of the very first Peanuts strip, is not the first Peanuts book to reprint only a single strip. There was at least one board book that did much the same thing. However, that board book was, at heart, a …

Classic finds
English Phrases to Comfort Your Heart

The next book in my Amazon Japan shipment falls into the adorable category of “Peanuts used to explain American culture”. English Phrases to Comfort Your Heart with Snoopy by Nobu Yamada falls into that category. It also falls into the category of “books which are meant to be destroyed”, as each …