Thursday, August 04, 2016

BOOK REVIEW! THE COMPLETE PEANUTS 1975-1978 by Charles M. Schulz (Fantagraphics, 2010)

Well, I think I discovered just when PEANUTS began its grand slide into the comic strip tank from whence it never crawled out. Well, it was still pumping enough good comic thrill spasms in the mid-seventies such as in the storyline where Snoopy, Marcie and Peppermint Patty get trapped on a wiggly waterbed while Pep's house is robbed, not to mention the one where Charlie Brown's failed hero Joe Schlabotnick coaches some sub-minors team called the Waffletown Syrups and gets fired after signaling a squeeze play with nobody on base, but as the decade approached its grisly end the strip seems to reflect Charles Schulz's own malaise as much as it did the world's.

Hanging out on the golf course and tennis court ain't really a bad thing to do if you're into things like that but sheesh, characters like Molly Volley, Eudora and Crybaby Boobie never were whatcha'd call top notch PEANUTS characters who stuck inside your kiddoid comic strip psyche the way that Pig Pen or even personal favorite "5" (who gets pictured on the above sleeve even if the guy hardly appeared in the strip after 1966) did.

Yeah I can still ooze a bit of enjoyment outta these late-seventies stories a whole lot more than I thought I could, but otherwise I found these comics mirroring my own late-seventies adrift in the culture shock that perhaps toughened me up even if I hadda discard a lotta my youthful enthusiasm in the process. Well, it was 1978/9 when everything from tee-vee to radio and people in general were so blanded out to the point where all of those nuclear accidents seemed like a welcome relief, so maybe I shouldn't have expected much more. But still, comparing a classic 50s/60s PEANUTS strip to some of these is kinda like comparing 1955 Elvis with the model that checked out a good twenny-two years's the same product but man, what a change!

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