In terms of sheer ubiquity, no comic strip matches Peanuts. I can’t remember Charlie Brown and Snoopy not being around. Neither can my parents or relatives. Peanuts is so omnipresent that it’s easy to forget how revolutionary the original strip actually was/
And the strip is inextricable from its creator, Charles M. Schulz, whose work has never been out of print — be it thanks to the Fantagraphics Complete Peanuts collections or the “Classic Peanuts” strips still running in newspapers. But over the past couple of years, Boom Studios has been releasing Peanuts comic books and original graphic novels that brings Schulz’s work to a format it was never really in before (except once), while adding stories by new creators who hope to honor Schulz’s work while incorporating their own takes on Chuck, Linus, Peppermint Patty, and the rest.
From October 1950, when the very first installments of Peanuts was published, every single installment of the strip was drawn by Charles M. Schulz's own hand, and the only variations in the style of the characters' depictions came organically through the evolution of Schulz's own drawing style. Even when the characters have appeared outside their home strip, in various animated specials or in the Dell or Boom comic books, the animators and artists have closely aped Schulz's style.
That's what makes Boom Studios' new Peanuts: A Tribute to Charles M. Schulz so compelling. It's difficult to imagine what any other artist's version of the iconic characters might look like, but this book is full of them, and being faced with these characters divorced from their creator's designs is fascinating and at times even disconcerting. It's hard to look at the realistic image of Charlie Brown by Ryan Sook on the cover of the book, staring into the eyes of the "real" Charlie Brown, and not be a little freaked out, isn't it?
The weekend is here! Put down your paperwork, throw your stationery out of the window, and do a victory spin in your office chair, because it’s time to catch up on that greatest of all media: comics! What’s been going on this week? There’s so much comics that there’s no way anybody can keep up with all of it — so Weekender is here to catch you up on some of the stories you may have missed, and some of the best writing about comics from the past few days.
This year marks the 65th anniversary of Charles Schulz' Peanuts, the syndicated comic strip widely regarded as not just one of the greatest works of its kind, but as one of the great works of American comedy in the 20th century. For an extraordinary fifty-year run, Schulz told the story of neurotic schoolyard philosopher Charlie Brown, his dreamer beagle Snoopy, and their eternally young cohort of broadly-drawn kids with surprisingly complicated souls.
It's been fifteen years since Schulz ended his run, which means there are kids Chuck's age who were born years after Peanuts. Thanks to Boom Studios' KaBoom imprint, these kids aren't growing up in a world where Peanuts is the sole preserve of nostalgic grown-ups. KaBoom has been reprinting Schulz's stories alongside new strips by today's creators, all aimed at a contemporary audience of kids. The 25th issue, out next week, celebrates 65 years of Peanuts with an ad-free 32-page original story by Paige Braddock and Vicki Scott, and KaBoom have given us an exclusive preview to share with our readers.
On sale now from BOOM! Studios' all ages kaboom! imprint is Peanuts #1, launching a new monthly comic book series based on the classic and beloved characters created by Charles Schulz. The notion of new Peanuts stories not created by Schulz might seem, well, unseemly to some, but ComicsAlliance readers reacted favorably to our preview of kaboom...
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