Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Classics - Fun With Peanuts

As further proof that we're living in the Golden Age of comic strip reprints, we only have to look at what passed for reprints when I was young.

For most of the '60s and '70s, most of the comic strip reprints that were available were in small paperback books, like this collection - Fun With Peanuts.

The books, of course, featured reprints of classic comic strips from the mid-1950s by the legendary Charles Schulz, and featured Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, Schroeder and Pigpen (and a few others that didn't last long in the strip, like Violet).

The strips weren't presented in chronological order and the Sunday strips weren't included (or if they are, they severely cut).

The big problem the book had to overcome was the change in format. Comic strips are, of course, typically long and flat, so to adjust each one to fit on the page, each one was re-formatted to remove the borders, add some Ben-Day highlights, change to borders and otherwise retool each one.

Here's a good example of how it worked:

But despite all those changes, I (and millions of readers starved for comic strip collections) scooped these up and read them to pieces (as the well-worn cover will attest).

Today, we have wonderfully complete collections with quality reproductions - I've been gleefully scooping them up - but I still have great affection for these ratty, read-to-within-an-inch-of-its-life paperbacks.

They were a gateway to a lost world at a time when such things were hard to find.

Grade: A+


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