The Complete Peanuts 1950-1952


The first two years of the best-selling comic strip, starring Snoopy and the gang, now in softcover.
The best-selling, award-winning, critically acclaimed series that sparked a renaissance for fans of classic comic strips upon its debut in 2004 is now coming in softcover! This first volume, covering the first two and a quarter years of the strip, features hundreds of strips rarely reprinted before this series. Three major cast members — Schroeder, Lucy, and Linus — initially ...
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The first two years of the best-selling comic strip, starring Snoopy and the gang, now in softcover.
The best-selling, award-winning, critically acclaimed series that sparked a renaissance for fans of classic comic strips upon its debut in 2004 is now coming in softcover! This first volume, covering the first two and a quarter years of the strip, features hundreds of strips rarely reprinted before this series. Three major cast members — Schroeder, Lucy, and Linus — initially show up as infants and only “grow” into their final “mature” selves as the months go by. Even Snoopy debuts as a puppy! The Complete Peanuts offers a unique chance to see a master of the art form refine his skills and solidify his universe, day by day. This volume is rounded out with Garrison Keillor’s introduction, a biographical essay by David Michaelis (Schulz and Peanuts) and an in-depth interview with Schulz conducted in 1987 by Gary Groth and Rick Marschall.
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Editorial Reviews

Philadelphia City Paper
“A milestone, and a long overdue one at that.”
Time Magazine
“An extraordinary publishing project.”
“Consider replacing those tattered old Peanuts paperbacks with this definitive series.”
Washington Post
“Now that Schulz is gone, the comic he drew for 50 years looks more eccentric and ingenious all the time.”
The New York Times
“The ultimate blockhead.”
Entertainment Weekly
“[A] heroic project.... Grade: 'A'.”
“An extraordinary publishing project.”
The Washington Post
The idea behind his early cartoons was that it's funny when children act like adults -- hence, for instance, Schroeder playing Beethoven on his toy piano -- or don't understand the way the adult world works. By the end of the first volume of The Complete Peanuts, though, as the gentle whimsy of "Li'l Folks" begins to give way to existentialist bite, Schulz is already hinting at the much darker idea that made his strip great: that it's even funnier to see children's play anticipating adult suffering on a child's scale. — Douglas Wolk
John Hodgman
… it's fascinating to see Charles M. Schulz developing the gentle neuroses and acid wisdom that would mark the strip's brightest, pre-bipedal Snoopy period.
The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
With its ambitious plan to reprint all of "Peanuts" in chronological order over the next 12 years, Fantagraphics is making this comics masterpiece available for everyone. The real surprise of this first volume is watching the beloved comic strip develop from its embryonic stage. From the start, Schulz had some of the ground rules in place: the ensemble cast whose faces appeared only in profile or three-quarter views, the sophisticated language from the mouths of babes and the absence of visible adults from their world. But, although "good ol' Charlie Brown" appears in the very first strip, the early protagonist is the rather colorless Shermy. Lucy is a googly-eyed baby in a playpen; Linus and Schroeder are pre-verbal infants; and Snoopy is just a small, affectionate dog without a fantasy life. Even more odd, the strip's unique hilarity hasn't quite developed yet; most of the humor here is very mild and generally stems from the characters being little kids playing with each other and fooling around with grown-up roles. They're archetypes of children, not yet archetypes of humanity. Still, flashes of Schulz's later greatness are evident. All the characters show hints of the personalities they'll grow into, and Schulz's clean, magisterially expressive line falls into position by the end of the strip's second year. Regardless, the chance to see the early "Peanuts"-much of it never before reprinted-is a treat. (Apr.) Forecast: An introduction by Garrison Keillor and the book's handsome design (by artist Seth) help make this a package with mass appeal. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Legions of fans, including this reviewer, have been hoping for this book their entire lives; finally, the most popular comic strip of all time is being collected complete. Over the years, there have been hundreds of books collecting this much-beloved strip, but still about 2000 Peanuts installments have never been reprinted in book form before. Before his death, Schulz finally set aside his dislike for his formative earliest work and agreed to this landmark project. Fantagraphics will be issuing two books a year, with each book covering two years of the strip's 50-year history. This first volume includes an introduction by Garrison Keillor, artful book design by cartoonist Seth, a lengthy interview with Schulz, and even an index of the strips. It also includes the first appearances of some of the best-known comics characters in the world: Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Linus, and Lucy. Some of these early strips are about children doing childish things, but it's amazing how quickly Schulz's signature themes of insecurity, dread, and children speaking beyond their years enter into the picture. Featuring hundreds of strips that will be new to almost every fan, this is a treasure, a delight, a rare gem. Absolutely essential for every library. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560975892
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books
  • Publication date: 5/3/2004
  • Series: Complete Peanuts Series, #1
  • Pages: 360
  • Sales rank: 277,251
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles M. Schulz was born November 25, 1922 in Minneapolis. His destiny was foreshadowed when an uncle gave him, at the age of two days, the nickname Sparky (after the racehorse Spark Plug in the newspaper strip Barney Google).

In his senior year in high school, his mother noticed an ad in a local newspaper for a correspondence school, Federal Schools (later called Art Instruction Schools). Schulz passed the talent test, completed the course and began trying, unsuccessfully, to sell gag cartoons to magazines. (His first published drawing was of his dog, Spike, and appeared in a 1937 Ripley's Believe It Or Not! installment.) Between 1948 and 1950, he succeeded in selling 17 cartoons to the Saturday Evening Post—as well as, to the local St. Paul Pioneer Press, a weekly comic feature called Li'l Folks. It was run in the women's section and paid $10 a week. After writing and drawing the feature for two years, Schulz asked for a better location in the paper or for daily exposure, as well as a raise. When he was turned down on all three counts, he quit.

He started submitting strips to the newspaper syndicates. In the spring of 1950, he received a letter from the United Feature Syndicate, announcing their interest in his submission, Li'l Folks. Schulz boarded a train in June for New York City; more interested in doing a strip than a panel, he also brought along the first installments of what would become Peanuts—and that was what sold. (The title, which Schulz loathed to his dying day, was imposed by the syndicate). The first Peanuts daily appeared October 2, 1950; the first Sunday, January 6, 1952.

Diagnosed with cancer, Schulz retired from Peanuts at the end of 1999. He died on February 13, 2000, the day before Valentine's Day—and the day before his last strip was published—having completed 17,897 daily and Sunday strips, each and every one fully written, drawn, and lettered entirely by his own hand—an unmatched achievement in comics.

Garrison Keillor has hosted the comedy/variety radio show A Prairie Home Companion since 1974. His many books include Lake Wobegon Days,
Leaving Home,
Happy to Be Here,
The Book of Guys,
Homegrown Democrat,
Lake Wobegon Summer 1956,
Love Me,
Wobegon Boy,
and Pilgrims. Audio CDs and cassettes of compilations of A Prairie Home Companion and Keillor's readings of his books have sold in the millions. He wrote the script for and starred in the 2006 motion picture A Prairie Home Companion, the final film directed by Robert Altman.

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 15, 2009

    This is a fun and interesting nostalgic trip

    I have always been a fan of the peanuts characters and have followed them in the newspapers. In my youth I remember my mom and dad buying me various paperbacks with the peanuts characters and of course I always made a point to watch the ¿Charlie Brown Christmas¿ special (Which I have on DVD now).<BR/><BR/>However up to this point I was unfamiliar with the early work of Schulz concerning these lovable characters and when I saw the collections on the book shelf at B&N I had to grab the first one. It is really interesting how the characters started out compared to how they are today in their appearance and etc. Heck it started out with Patty (not Peppermint Patty), Shermy, and Charlie Brown as the main characters. There were really only three for awhile. At this time Snoopy is also an instrumental character however he is more like a regular dog in appearance and mannerisms with the touch of an emerging attitude. You will see the introduction of Violet and then Schroder in this volume as well as Lucy later on who is still a small girl that sleeps in her crib at this point in time. <BR/><BR/>The strips that are contained in this 1950 ¿ 1952 volume are humorous and I do have to chuckle out loud from time to time. I just think it will be interesting to watch these characters develop from the beginning and transform into the existing characters they are today. I have recently bought the 2nd volume and plan to buy them all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2005

    I want them all!

    I'm 44 years old and thought that I had read all the Peanuts cartoons through the years. These books actually have cartoons I have never read and I was thrilled that there are more Peanuts cartoons to read even after the death of Charles Schultz. They still make me crack up and my 17-year-old son and 12-year-old son and I fight over who gets to read them. I just bought the second one and plan to buy them all. It's amazing how old these cartoons are and that they are still hilarious, but still about basic human behavior. I've been purchasing the old paper backs since I was about 10 years old and my kids have literally torn the backs off some of them. These are highly recommended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2004

    It all started with Good ol' Charlie Brown

    Well, here it is. The early days of the Peanuts gang as drawn by mastermind Charles 'Sparky' Schulz (not Schultz). It's Shermy who introduces Charlie Brown in the 1st cartoon, albiet with sarcasm: 'Here comes good ol' Charlie Brown, yes sir!... How I hate him!' Many of these cartoons (but not all) appeared in abridged anthologies entitled Peanuts (published 1952), More Peanuts (published 1954) and Good Grief, More Peanuts (published circa 1955). Charlie Brown started out as friendly, naive and mischievous. Shermy was his original buddy. Patty and Violet were also his friends and a lot cuter (but that would soon end, when Lucy's fussbudget attitude took over; she would use them as her Greek chorus while picking on poor ol' Charlie Brown). At the end of 1950, Charlie Brown is given his trademarked shirt with the jagged stripe. Snoopy is just a cute puppy, not a genius yet but still with imagination! 1951 marks the debut of a 6th character, Schroeder, who started off as a baby. It's not long before Charlie Brown turns him onto the piano and a musical genius is born. Charlie Brown takes offence to a rumour about him and Patty (correction: he doesn't love Patty, he loves the whole world!). 1952 marks the debut of the Sunday cartoon strip where the gang plays tag (the original logo is noticably different in typed letters not unlike the MAD letters). If that's enough, 2 new characters come aboard, infant Lucy Van Pelt, with big saucerlike eyes and a cute demeanor (the fussbudget had yet to emerge in her) and later her baby brother Linus (he didn't yet speak but had already taken to sucking his thumb). As of this writing, the 2nd volume has yet to be release and the evolution of the Peanuts characters is further underway.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2004


    I loved 'The Complete Peanuts, 1950-1952'! I'd never seen these cartoons before, so I was excited to see the first Peanuts strips! The only strip I had seen prior to this book was the first one where Shermy goes, 'Well, here comes good ol' Charlie Brown. How I hate him!' The cartoons in here are so funny! Like the one where Patty and Charlie Brown are in the candy store and Patty asks, 'What kind of candy do you like, Charlie Brown?' Charlie Brown goes, 'I like 'em all, all except coconut. I can't stand coconut.' and Patty tells the guy at the counter, 'A nickel's worth of coconut, please!' LOL! I also love the interviews and information about Schulz at the beginning and ending of this book. Very funny book. I think any person who has ever been a Peanuts fan should check it out!

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    Posted February 4, 2010

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    Posted May 7, 2010

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