Schulz and Peanuts coverImagine my surprise when opening Friday's Weekend Section of the Wall Street Journal to discover an insightful review of David Michaelis' Schulz and Peanuts: A Biography written by an unlikely source: Bill Watterson, the man who created Calvin and Hobbes, probably the closest thing to a successor to the venerable and long-dead strip that continues to this day via reprints in thousands of daily American newspapers and very successful book collections from Fantagraphics Books.

Save reviewing some of the more recent Essentials/Showcase collections of Silver Age comics from the comics industry's BIG 2 -- hefty packages of at least 500 pages and all in B&W -- rereading the Peanuts strips in book form once again is a "been-there-done-that" thing I don't care to repeat.

That said, Watterson's seal of approval of Michaelis' biography (debuting at a bookstore near you Tuesday) in the WSJ makes me curious to read more about how Schultz used his strip "to work through private concerns," for example, sparring with his first wife on the comics page with Lucy and Schroeder as surrogates.

Fact is, these historical tidbits are far more interesting to me than reading reprints of most strips, except for Calvin and Hobbes, Doonesbury or The Far Side...