||This is the first volume in a 12-year project to reprint the entire run of the PEANUTS comic strip in chronological order. Charles M. Schultz's legions of fans will find much of interest here, and will enjoy tracing the history of this decades-long strip. For example, this book features the very first instances of one of the strip's most classic and oft-repeated bits: Lucy yanking away the football from Charlie Brown. The kids are younger here; Linus and Schroeder can't even talk yet. The black-and-white drawings are simpler in these early years. The character depictions are subtly different--e.g. the heads have a sideways oval shape, rather than the rounder ones from later years, and Snoopy more closely resembles a real beagle--but is still clearly recognizable. This volume features a foreword by Garrison Keillor, as well as a short bio and an interview with the late Schultz.
||The most eagerly-awaited publishing project in comic strip history.|50 years of art. 25 books. Over 7500 pages of comics. Two books per year for 12 ¼ 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 a 8 ¾" 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.