Monday, July 26, 2010

The Complete Peanuts 1975-1976

What I try to do with reviews at this Bookshelf blog is keep it simple and spoiler-free, and let you know whether I'd recommend you pick up a copy of what I just read. Seems to work okay. This time, a brief review of The Complete Peanuts 1975-1976 (Fantagraphics, 2010)

I don't know that I'll do another entry on a Fantagraphics Peanuts collection on these pages, because they're really quite difficult to write. ("More of the same great comic strips!") The publisher is now halfway through the reprint program, and this is the first book that covers the material that I might have first read in the Sunday funnies of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution when I was a kid.

I think this is the first of the Fantagraphics books to make readers a little wary of the decline in Schulz's work that would come in the nineties; this is the book that introduces some of Snoopy's relations. I don't know about you, but there's only so much Spike that I'm interested in reading, and I think all of it was published by about 1981. In the mid-seventies, however, Schulz was still at the top of his game and putting together some ridiculous and hilarious storylines.

Probably the best of them sees the perpetually clueless Peppermint Patty getting tired of her school and unwittingly ends up enrolled in an obedience school for dogs. In another high point, Marcie spends an entire summer camp beating up some boy. Why on earth Schulz thought Snoopy needed kinfolk at all with those two causing such enjoyable havoc, we'll never know. Recommended.

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