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.
As the Peanuts' 65th Anniversary year winds down, Peanuts-related news seems to be ramping up. The Peanuts Movie hits theaters this weekend, and every preview and trailer manages to look better than the last; Charles Schulz's birthday is coming up on November 26th; the United States Postal Service unveiled a new Forever stamp; there's a new tribute book out on the stands, which we reviewed yesterday; and Charlie Brown and the gang even appeared in the seventh-inning stretch of Game 2 of the World Series.
When it comes to Peanuts news, though, Fantagraphics is taking the crown. The curators of the complete Peanuts library have three new hardcover releases coming up just in time for the holidays: Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron, the full-color Peanuts Every Sunday: 1961-1965, and The Complete Peanuts 1997-1998, and all three are worthy of addition to your collections.
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?
On October 2nd, 1950, Charles Schulz's Peanuts debuted in nine newspapers for United Features Syndicate. Fifty years later, it concluded with just shy of eighteen thousand strips published in thousands of papers, with the final installment appearing one day after Schulz passed away.
Between those two loci, Peanuts begat a billion-dollar media empire, the modern American comic strip, and a legacy of progressiveness, honesty, and inclusion that endures today. If Peanuts isn't definitively the greatest comic strip of all time, it's probably the most influential, and certainly the most successful, forever altering the dominant styles and subject matter of the funny pages.
Making a contemporary Peanuts movie isn’t as easy as just creating some CGI characters on a cartoony background — original comic creator Charles M. Schulz’s style of drawing beloved characters like Charlie Brown and Snoopy wasn’t entirely polished, which was part of its charm, and to replicate that feeling takes some serious attention to detail. A new featurette shows off the hard work that went into creating The Peanuts Movie and how hard the team strived to capture the spirit of Schulz’s work.
Charles Schulz was a master humorist whose enormous Peanuts library will surely be remembered as one of the great works of the 20th century, and while he will never be replaced, I'm glad to see his work live on with new entry points for modern audiences that may help lead them back to his work.
One of those entry points is the Peanuts movie coming out in November. Another, aptly timed ahead of the movie's release, is next week's original graphic novel Peanuts: Where Beagles Dare, from Jason Cooper and Vicki Scott, published by Kaboom. It's a full-length Snoopy adventure that sees the hound in his World War I Flying Ace mode --- and therefore emboldened and no doubt headed for trouble. Check out an extended ten-page preview.
San Diego Comic-Con has begun, bringing over 130,000 people to enjoy the pop culture extravaganza taking place inside and outside the convention center. There is a lot to see and do every day during SDCC. More likely than not, if you don't go in with a plan for experiencing the things that you most want to check out, you'll miss them!
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.
Boom Studios has a reputation in the comics industry for publishing an increasingly diverse group of books and creators. This commitment to diversity in genre and people is reflected in an all-new initiative the publisher announced today in Previews with a letter from founder Ross Richie. While 2015 is the 10th anniversary of Boom, the publisher wants to talk about what's next rather than what's come before. They call this discussion of the future Push Comics Forward and they don't want it to be only about Boom.
Push Comics Forward is Boom's way of focusing on the ongoing conversation about diversity and the future of the industry. To learn more about this initiative and what to expect from Boom for the next ten years and beyond, we spoke with Editor-in-Chief Matt Gagnon.
Each weekday, ComicsAlliance brings you a carefully selected variety of links from around the web about comics and comics-related media, including movies, video games, toys, and whatever else might be worth noting. Quite frankly, these are items you may just need to know about to have a productive day. Take a look at today's hand-picked links after the jump.
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