Synopses & Reviews
This first volume, covering the first two and a quarter years of the strip, will be of particular fascination to aficionados worldwide: Although there have been literally hundreds of books published, many of the strips from the series' first two or three years have never been collected before--in large part because they showed a young Schulz working out the kinks in his new strip and include some characterizations and designs that are quite different from the cast we're all familiar with. (Among other things, 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!) Thus offers a unique chance to see a master of the art form refine his skills and solidify his universe, day by day, week by week, month by month. This volume is rounded out with Garrison Keillor's introduction, a biographical essay by David Michaelis () and an in-depth interview with Schulz conducted in 1987 by Gary Groth and Rick Marschall, all wrapped in a gorgeous design by award-winning cartoonist Seth.
"[F]lashes of Schulz's later greatness are evident....[His] clean, magisterially expressive line falls into position by the end of the strip's second year....[A] treat." Publishers Weekly
"As essential as pop texts get." Noel Murray, The Onion
"Now that Schulz's classic is finally getting its bibliographic just deserts, consider replacing those tattered old Peanuts paperbacks with this definitive series." Gordon Flagg, Booklist
"By the end of the first volume of The Complete Peanuts...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, The Washington Post Book World
Fantagraphics Books has announced the most exciting publishing project in the history of the American comic strip: the complete reprinting of Charles M. Schulz's classic, Peanuts. The most popular comic strip in the history of the world will be, for the first time, collected in its entirety with this new publication.
"The world of Peanuts is a microcosm, a little human comedy for the innocent reader and for the sophisticated." Umberto Eco
This volume launches the definitive collection of Charles M. Schulz's timeless masterpiece of comic art presenting, for the very first time, every strip from 1950 to 2000.
The Complete Peanuts: 19501952 introduces many of Peanuts' most beloved characters including Lucy, Schroeder, Snoopy, a baby Linus, and of course Charlie Brown and the warm, witty, introspective, and life-affirming world that continues to delight and move millions of readers.
Featuring an in-depth essay on Schulz's life and career by David Michaelis, a career-spanning interview with Schulz, and a new introduction by the novelist, radio host, and fellow Minnesotan Garrison Keillor, this first volume of The Complete Peanuts will enchant brand-new readers (of any age) and long-time Peanuts fans alike.
Starred Review: A treat.An extraordinary publishing project.Consider replacing those tattered old Peanuts paperbacks with this definitive series.Now that Schulz is gone, the comic he drew for 50 years looks more eccentric and ingenious all the time.The ultimate blockhead.[A] heroic project....
The first volume in the bestselling archival series collecting the most beloved comic strip ever. Many of these formative strips have never been collected or reprinted anywhere else. Introduction by Garrison Keillor.
About 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, Pontoon, Liberty, 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.
The most eagerly-awaited publishing project in comic strip history. 50 years of art. 25 books. Over 7,500 pages of comics. Two books per year for 12-1/4 years.
Fantagraphics Books is proud to announce the most exciting and ambitious publishing project in the history of the American comic strip: the complete reprinting of Charles M. Schulz's classic, Peanuts. The most popular comic strip in the history of the world will be, for the first time, collected in its entirety, beginning in 2004. Fantagraphics will launch The Complete Peanuts in a series produced in full cooperation with United Media, Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates, and Mr. Schulz's widow, Jean Schulz. Peanuts is a towering achievement in the history of the American comic strip and represents the apex of Fantagraphics' 27-year publishing history; the strip will be presented in a beautifully designed format that reflects the integrity of the work itself.
Each volume in the series will run approximately 320 pages in an 8-3/4" x 7" hardcover format, presenting two years of strips along with supplementary material. The series will present the entire run in chronological order, including dailies and Sundays, in a three-tier page format that will accommodate three dailies or one Sunday strip per page. The Sundays will be printed in black-and-white.
Acclaimed cartoonist Seth, author of the award-winning graphic novel It's A Good Life If You Don't Weaken and a lifelong Peanuts fan, will be designing the entire 25-volume series, which will emphasize the sophistication of Schulz's work by creating a package that is both austere and direct, reflecting the quiet and melancholy of the strip.
Seth's cover design will feature areas of muted color, with a different main character on each front cover (reflecting the ensemble cast), and a smaller Charlie Brown (reflecting who is, after all, the star of the strip) in the corner. The result will be a tasteful and completely distinctive series, where each individual book will be sharply recognizable and yet clearly part of a consistent series.
Unlike older strips, where publishers have often been forced to shoot the work from decades-old newsprint of variable quality, Peanuts is fortunate enough to boast archival-quality syndicate proofs for virtually every strip in its history. The result will be the best-looking, crispest reproduction for a classic comic strip ever achieved.
This first volume, covering the first two and a quarter years of the strip (October 1950 through December 1952), will be of particular fascination to Peanuts aficionados worldwide: Although there have been literally hundreds of Peanuts books published, many of the strips from the series' first two or three years have never been collected before in large part because they showed a young Schulz working out the kinks in his new strip and include some characterizations and designs that are quite different from the cast we're all familiar with. (Among other things, 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!) Thus The Complete Peanuts offers a unique chance to see a master of the artform refine his skills and solidify his universe, day by day, week by week, month by month.
Peanuts is the most successful comic strip in the history of the medium as well as one of the most acclaimed strips ever published. (In 1999, a jury of comics scholars and critics voted it the 2nd greatest comic strip of the 20th century second only to George Herriman's Krazy Kat, a verdict Schulz himself cheerfully endorsed.) Charles Schulz's characters Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, Schroeder, and so many more have become American icons. A United Media poll in 2002 found Peanuts to be one of the most recognizable cartoon properties in the world, recognized by 94 percent of the total U.S. consumer market and a close second only to Mickey Mouse (96 percent), and higher than other familiar cartoon properties like Spider-Man (75 percent) or the Simpsons (87 percent). In TV Guide's "Top 50 Greatest Cartoon Characters of All-Time" list, Charlie Brown and Snoopy ranked #8.