Charles M Schultz Books & Bio. Cheap Books by Charles M Schultz. Book People
Books by Charles M Schultz
Peanuts surges into the 1970s with Schulz at the peak of his powers and influence: a few jokes about Bob Dylan, Women's Liberation and "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex" aside, these two years are as timeless as Peanuts ever was. Sally Brown elbows her way to center stage, at least among the humans, and is thus the logical choice for cover girl ...and in her honour, the introduction is provided by Broadway, television and film star Kristin Chenoweth, who first rose to Tony-winning fame with her scene-stealing performance as Sally in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Two long Summer-camp sequences involve Charlie Brown and Peppermint Patty, who has decided that Charlie Brown is madly in love with her, much to his clueless confusion. Snoopy shows up at camp as well, as does Peppermint Patty's new permanent sidekick, the one and only Marcie. The eternally mutable Snoopy mostly shakes off his World War I Flying Ace identity and turns into Joe Cool, college hipster extraordinaire. He writes a fan letter to his favourite author, Miss Helen Sweetstory, then goes on a journey to meet her, and finally enlists Charlie Brown's help when her latest opus, "The Six Bunny-Wunnies Freak Out," falls afoul of censors. Also, Woodstock attends worm school, falls in love with a worm (perhaps the most doomed unrequited Peanuts love story ever!), and is nearly eaten by the neighbours' cat ...Peppermint Patty is put on trial for another dress code violation ...Snoopy turns Linus's blanket into not one but two sportcoats ...Lucy hits a home run ...and the birth of one Rerun Van Pelt!
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The 12th volume of Peanuts features a number of tennis strips and several extended sequences involving Peppermint Patty's friend Marcie (including a riotous, rarely seen sequence in which Marcie's costume-making and hairstyling skills utterly spoil a skating competition for PP), so it seems only right that this volume's introduction should be served up by Schulz's longtime friend, tennis champion (and 2009 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient) Billie Jean King. This volume also picks up on a few loose threads from the previous year, as the mysterious "Poochie" shows up in the flesh; Linus and Lucy's new kid brother "Rerun" makes his first appearance, is almost immediately drafted onto the baseball team (where, thanks to his tiny strike zone, he wins a game), and embarks on his first terrifying journey on the back of his mom's bike; and, in one of Peanuts' oddest recurring storylines, the schoolhouse Sally used to talk to starts talking, or at least thinking, back at her! The Complete Peanuts 1973-1974 also includes one of the all-time classic Peanuts sequences, in which Charlie Brown's baseball-oriented hallucinations finally manifest themselves in a baseball-shaped rash on his head. Forced to conceal the embarrassing discoloration with a bag worn over his head, Charlie Brown goes to camp as "Mister Sack" and discovers that, shorn of his identity, he's suddenly well liked and successful.
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He turns up first as Snoopy's secretary, then gradually becomes a good friend whom Snoopy helps to fly South ...but it's not until 22 June 1970 that the little bird gains a name, in a perfect salute to the decade that ends with this volume: Woodstock! In other timely stories, Peppermint Patty runs afoul of her school's dress code (those sandals!), Lucy declares herself a New Feminist,A" and Snoopy's return to the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm on a speaking engagement climaxes in a riot and a new love found amidst the teargas ( She had the softest paws...A"). Speaking of Snoopy, this volume falls under the sign of the Great Beagle, as three separate storylines focus on the mysterious sovereign of Beagledom. First Snoopy is summoned by a wrathful G.B. when Frieda submits a complaint about his (Snoopy's) desultory rabbit-chasing efforts; then, back in the Great one's good graces, Snoopy is sent on a secret mission; and finally he himself ascends (briefly!) to the mantle of Great Beagledom. In other news, an exasperated Lucy throws Schroeder's piano into the maw of the kite-eating tree, with gruesome results...Miss Othmar goes on strike and Linus gets involved...Charlie Brown's baseball team has an actual (brief) winning streak. ..Snoopy's quest to compete in the Oakland ice skating competition is thwarted by his inability to find a partner...Charlie Brown goes to a banquet to meet his hapless baseball hero Joe Shlabotnik...Snoopy is left in the Van Pelt family's care as Charlie and Sally Brown head out of town for a vacation...and (alas) the Little Red-Haired Girl moves away...This volume also features a new introduction by renowned illustrator Mo Willems and, as always, gorgeous design by award-winning cartoonist Seth.
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As we rush toward the end of Peanuts' second full decade, Snoopy finds himself almost completely engrossed in his persona as the World War I Flying Ace. Still, Snoopy looms large, so this volume (a particularly Snoopy-heavy one) sees him arm-wrestling Lucy as the "Masked Marvel" and then taking off for Petaluma for the national arm-wrestling championship; impersonating a vulture and a "Cheshire Beagle"; enjoying golf and hockey; attempting a jaunt to France for an ice-skating championship; running for office on the "Paw" ticket; being traded to Peppermint Patty's baseball team, then un-traded and installed as team manager by a guilt-ridden Charlie Brown; as well as dealing with the return of his original owner, Lila. Peppermint Patty, working toward her ascendancy as one of the major Peanuts players in the 1970s and 1980s, also has several major turns, including a storyline in which she's the tent monitor for three little girls (who call her "Sir" - a joke Schulz would pick up later with Peppermint Patty's friend Marcie). Linus's flippant comment to his Gramma that he'll kick his blanket habit when she kicks her smoking habit backfires; Lucy bullies Linus, pesters Schroeder, and organizes a "crab-in"; plus Charlie Brown copes with Valentine's Day depression, the Little Red-Haired Girl, the increasingly malevolent kite-eating tree, and baseball losses. In other words: Vintage Peanuts! All this, plus an introduction by beloved transgressive filmmaker John Waters and award-winning design by Seth.
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In The Complete Peanuts 1963-64: this volume is particularly rich in never-before-reprinted strips: Over 150 (more than one fifth of the book!) have never seen the light of day since their original appearance over 40 years ago, so this will be a trove of undiscovered treasures even for avid Peanuts collectors. These "lost" strips include Linus making a near-successful run for class president that is ultimately derailed by his religious beliefs (two words: "great" and "pumpkin"), and Snoopy getting involved with a group of politically fanatical birds. One wonders: Was it the political edge in these stories that got them consigned to oblivion for so long? Also worthy of note is an extended, never-reprinted sequence in which Snoopy gets ill and heads to the veterinarian hospital...Also in this volume: Lucy's attempts at improving her friends branches out from her increasingly well-visited nickel psychiatry booth to an educational slideshow of Charlie Brown's faults (it's so long there's an intermission!). Also, Snoopy's doghouse begins its conceptual expansion, as Schulz reveals that the dog owns a Van Gogh, and that the ceiling is so huge that Linus can paint a vast (and as it turns out unappreciated) "history of civilisation" mural on it. With an introduction by Bill Melendez.
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In The Complete Peanuts 1965-66: We are now in the mid-1960s, one of Schulz's peak periods of creativity (and one third of the way through the strip's life!). Snoopy has become the strip's dominant personality, and this volume marks two milestones for the character: the first of many "dogfights" with the nefarious Red Baron, and the launch of his writing career ("It was a dark and stormy night..."). Two new characters-the first two from outside the strip's regular little neighborhood-make their bows. Roy (who befriends Charlie Brown and then Linus at summer camp) won't have a lasting impact, but upon his return from camp he regales a friend of his with tales of the strange kids he met, and she has to go check them out for herself. Her name? Peppermint Patty. The Complete Peanuts 1965-66 features a new introduction by Hal Hartley, writer/director of acclaimed independent films Trust, Henry Fool, Kimono, Simple Men, The Unbelievable Truth, and Fay Grim.
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