Thursday, November 15, 2018


If ya think I ain't exactly thrown for the ol' loop by this book then man, you've never immersed yourself into the sea foam of Ranch House Culture that I and so many other fanablas have sprung forth from! It's such a good read that it kinda reminds me of back in my serious comic strip/book collecting frenzy pre-pubesprout days when I'd rush home from school on some dank overcast and freezing Friday PM with a whole weekend to look forward to, and'd hole myself up with a comic collection such as this which I would SOAK IN until suppertime, totally immersed in the solid antics of the action at hand only stopping occasionally to give Sam a few bops in the nose when he would come by doing his usual sniffing.

As I said many-a-time, I find it quite stymieing that not only did the Powers That Be not have a PEANUTS comic book up and about during that strip's late-sixties megahyper heyday but also didn't feel worthy of reprinting these late-fifties/early-sixties Dell comic book stories at a time when PEANUTS books were permeating the store shelves and grade school desks of this land o' ours. Well, fifty years after the hoopla might be whatcha'd call a li'l too long a wait, but finally these rarities have been collected in hardcover and like, it's fourth grade for me all over again only without the BAD stuff like homework, teachers, classmates and horrible cafeteria lunches to contend with.*

These stories ain't too bad and that even includes the later ones which Schulz had no involvement whatsoever. The artwork, mostly by Schulz assistant Jim Sasseville and later on Dale Hale (though the erstwhile PEANUTS creator did contribute a scant few), is true enough to the original to the point where you have to look very carefully to find any slight deviation from the's that close from the lettering and backgrounds to the correct angular slope of Schroeder's head and even better'n what Wally Wood was comin' up with in those MAD spoofs around the same time. The sagas stay close to the strip format as well, only fleshed out into as many as eight pages with interesting turns and gags that could never be done within the span of even a Sunday slot. So close to the strip's entire reason for existence that I sure can't see all those giddy gals I grew up with who loved the antics of Charlie Brown upping their pockmarked cheeks at this 'un, and they lifted their cultured kiddie noses at everything else other'n James Taylor and Peter Max back then!

There are a few deviations from the usual down pat story style here and there, like the one where a robot that is controlled via remote by Charlie Brown causes havoc in the neighborhood grinding up Linus' blanket and destroying Schroeder's piano amongst other strangeties you never would have seen in the actual strip. Kinda like PEANUTS meets ROBOT REX if you get the drift. However, even these fit into the whole gist of where PEANUTS stood during the years when it went from being that cult strip all the hipsters went for into the licensing giant it eventually became. If you don't have the originals this 'un'll certainly help satiate these long cold nights just like they woulda for me had this 'un made it out like it shoulda back during my switchover into the double digits oh-so-long ago.


*I dunno, but thinking back to them dayze of addled kiddietude reminded me of one time in the third or so grade...kinda hazy here...when us kids hadda do book reports and some cocky guy actually submitted one on a PEANUTS paperback! Boy did he get holy fanabla for that even though I remember that he was rather defiant over his choice in reading matter because it was a "book" and he had to do a report, and like man he did just that so what's the big deal! And once you get down to the nitty gritty what was all the fuss about anyway---sure beats writin' about Dick and Jane that's for sure! Years later I must admit that I woulda liked to have eyeballed the thing...betcha he took every strip and summarized the thing in typical eight-year-old speak going on and on! Well, it sure woulda read better'n some of the writeups I've been cranking out as of late that's fer sure!!!!!

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