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The Complete Peanuts 1950-1952

The Complete Peanuts 1950-1952

by Charles M. Schulz

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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


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.

Editorial Reviews

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.
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.”

Product Details

Fantagraphics Books
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(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.

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