Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Review: The Complete Peanuts 

The Complete Peanuts:1950 to 1952 by Charles M. Schulz
How does one review a bunch of comics? I mean, sure, an individual comic strip can strike home with a serious, profound thought, or even get one's mind speculating on deep issues. But it's rare for a comic strip to delve into any prolonged analysis of an issue. Each day's strip needs to deliver its standalone message in the limited number of panels it's given. So my review of the content of The Complete Peanuts--a complete collection of Charles Schulz's iconic strip--is simple: it's funny. However, there's more to this book than just the strips. For one thing, this series is created for the hard core fan of Peanuts. The book has an index, for crying out loud! Only a true comics geek needs one of those. Also, the Peanuts of 1950-1952 is a far cry from the icons we know today. Snoopy behaves like a dog, Charlie Brown is a wise-cracking trickster and Linus' blanket is nowhere to be seen. There are a few beloved concepts that show up in this collection, but for the most part it's completely different from what's running in the newspapers today. But hey, like I said, it's funny. I'm looking forward to reading future volumes to see the strip evolve and enjoy a slice of Americana from before my time. I probably wouldn't have bought the book for myself, but my wife is a fan, so it's going on my shelf.