Upping my Game

I just found this post I had written two years ago and never put online… and realize I had not yet done what I’d promised to do here. So I am posting it now to shame myself into doing it!

Today’s mail brought me my latest eBay purchase, the sort of thing that I’ve been seeking for years:

It’s a clipping from a Sunday funnies section from December 29, 1957… specifically, the “It’s Only a Game” portion, the other series that Charles Schulz was doing simultaneously with Peanuts. As you may recall, I’ve published reprints of this series, in several formats… but in all cases, we were dealing with certain limitations. We had really good source material for many of the strips – published copies, or original stats used in production, or a reproduction from the original art. But in others – and sadly, particularly from the early part of the series run, when Schulz himself was providing the finished art rather than handing that over to Jim Sasseville – the source was microfiche copies. Microfiche is handy for reading old articles, but it meant we had low resolution black-and-white reproductions rather than color images. So until now, what I had for this strip was this, microfiche of how the strip ran in a Sunday newspaper magazine, which ran the material in black-and-white:

Not only did I not know the color things were originally published, but for this sort of black-and-white printing, they had replaced the darker colors with solid black.

I did the best that I could to color them in the style of the time, within my rather limited talents for coloring. But that means that the best we had to reproduce of this set of panels up until now was:

So now I have better source material. I have the ability to update my files, so that people who order new copies of the color collection of It’s Only a Game will get an improved version of this strip.. And I will, eventually. (I’ve got a lot on my plate at the moment.) I’ve already upgraded the files a couple of times since publishing the color version of the collection.

Upcoming releases
Peanuts books to buy, and a free one

We’ve got a few more books listed as coming up later this year. There’s no surprise that we’re getting the paperback edition of The Complete Peanuts 1993-1994, and with it, the box set of 1991-1994. After all, these have been coming out like clockwork, and 2025 should bring us the …

Upcoming releases
Mostly recycled Peanuts books

There are some new Peanuts titles showing up in the pipeline. I don’t have covers yet, but the books are simple to explain. Welcome Home, Franklin! adopts the new TV special that will hit Apple TV+ on the 16th. Here’s to You Charlie Brown and You’re the Greatest, Charlie Brown …

Upcoming releases
Upcoming collections

Coming in May is Five Funny Snoopy and Charlie Brown Stories!, a compilation of the previously-released kids storybooks Let’s Go to the Library!; Time for School, Charlie Brown; Snoopy and Woodstock; Snoopy, First Beagle on the Moon!; and Make a Trade, Charlie Brown! We now have a cover for the …