I am not without ego.
When I get a book of intellectual analysis about Peanuts, I don’t start by delving into the introduction or foreword. No, I dive right for the endnotes, the listing of the sources that the writers relied on in building their analysis. After all, with six books, decades of blog posts, various articles, and sixty episodes of a podcast on the topic of Peanuts, it’s not rare that something I wrote gets referenced. And if not something I wrote, perhaps there will be something I published, like the It’s Only a Game collections, or Schulz’s Youth, so that even if my name isn’t in there, my business name will be.
So yesterday I received Beagles, Blockheads, and Sweet Babboos: New Perspectives on Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts, the new collection of essays by Ohio State University professor Michelle Ann Abate. And I dive into the back, for I am a weak man. And my name does not appear, nor does the About Comics name. This happens, and I’m usually fine with it. But in this case… well, it’s a matter of who and what did appear:
- One of my college classmates
- Another person who finished at the same small college months before I started
- The author of a foreword to a recent book I compiled
- An author who has cited me and who may be writing a foreword for an upcoming book I may be publishing.
- A bunch of books that I had a small hand in helping with
- Books about which I, at author or publisher encouragement, provided with a list of post-publication corrections that may be reflected in future editions
- Multiple articles on a topic that I had written the first modern article on
- The very friend of mine whose house I would be hanging out with that night!
So it’s not like I wasn’t running with the right people, or talking about the right things. So this made me feel very small indeed, for a while.
(Then I went to my friends house and utterly whomped him at a game of Ticket To Ride, and now I’m fine.)
I’ve yet to delve into the front of the book, and this may take a while (I’m in the midst of doing taxes, getting ready for the About Comics 25th Anniversary presentation at Wondercon, preparing books for publication, and making deals, and these essay books always take me a while to get through, in addition to a challenging personal life.) So don’t take this as any judgment on the text itself!