There are two Elvises: pre-army and post-army. There are two Lucille Balls: one who starred in I Love Lucy, and the one who was in everything after that. There are also two Charles Shulz's: one that drew Snoopy as a quadriped, and the later one who drew him as a biped. In all three cases, I like the earlier versions better. That's why I was so excited to learn that Fantagraphics will be publishing a book of Shulz's very first Peanut strips from 1950-1952 in THE COMPLETE PEANUTS.
This first volume, covering the first two and a quarter years of the strip, 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.Next post