The Complete Peanuts series is one that I would buy if I had a million dollars. That is to say, I really enjoy it, but I’ll always be able to think of a book I’d rather have before I’d buy these books. So I was getting them from the library when they started being released, but I’d forgotten about them for a while until I ran across one the other day while at the library. Luckily, it was next in the series after the ones I’d already read.
The other thing about this series is that I find the early strips far more interesting than the later ones. The conventions aren’t set in stone and Schulz was still experimenting with characters. Among other things, Charlotte Braun (the female Charlie Brown doppelgänger) is still present, Sally Brown hasn’t arrived yet and Linus is still considered to be a baby to some degree.
Peanuts eventually went downhill and became as repetitive as any of the other 30+ year-old strips in your newspaper (paging Family Circus), but the early stuff is the work of genius. It’ll be interesting to see if there’s a clear shark-jumping moment or if the change is gradual enough to be without any sort of defining moment. I’m betting on the latter.
Listening to: Weird Al Yankovic – White & Nerdy