Current Comic of the Month | About the Club
Comics are a funny little storytelling medium, aren't they?
For starters, they're called comic books and comic strips — that implies a certain amount of humor. But they're not only funny in the "ha, ha" way — they're funny in the "hm, peculiar" way, too. Consider this: The most influential comics of the 20th Century, written and drawn by the same cartoonist for over 50 years, almost never come up in conversation in comics stores, at comics conventions, or in articles about comics.
We're talking, of course, about Charles Schulz's Peanuts. You know: Charlie Brown, Snoopy, 5¢ advice, the kite-eating tree — all of that.
Maybe it's because comics is such a marginalized medium that no one likes to talk about Peanuts. It's the successful older brother, loved and respected by newspaper readers across the world. People who wouldn't give Watchmen the time of day and only grudgingly say "hello" to Superman on Saturday morning cartoons light up when you mention Snoopy. With the comics industry constantly bemoaning its own "struggle for survival," who wants to talk about rich, successful, beloved Charlie Brown?
The very first Peanuts strip, dated October 2, 1950:
Though Charles Schulz later confessed to "hating" the first strip, it set the tone for 50 years of Charlie Brown's famous hard luck and indifferent optimism.
Or maybe comics industry pundits ignore Peanuts because it's a newspaper strip rather than a comic book. Strips predated the comic books, and it could be surmised that comic-book readers regard them as naive, incomplete "prototype comics."
For whatever reason, the comics community had been taking Peanuts for granted for a long time. The recent death of Schulz (eerily soon after the publication of his final Peanuts strip) has helped rekindle interest in Peanuts and remind comics aficionados of something we seem to have forgotten: This strip was phenomenally good and phenomenally successful for a phenomenally long time.
Now Fantagraphics Books is embarking on an ambitious 12-year project, reprinting the strip's entire 50-year run in 25 matching hardcover volumes. The Complete Peanuts is a project that's long overdue — as is the attention that's finally being paid to Charles Schulz.
The Heroes and Dragons Comic Club invites you to join us on Thursday, August 5 to discuss this often-overlooked comics masterpiece. As usual, we'll meet at 7:30pm (just after the store closes) in the H&D Game Room. If you've never attended Comic Club before, come and find out why we're the "Best Kept Secret" in the comic book community — and if you're one of our regulars, invite a friend to get reacquainted with Charlie Brown and Linus through the HDCC.
You know the dog's stolen the show when the official web site for Peanuts is Snoopy.com
The official web site of the Charles M. Schulz Museum
Tug's "Pick of the Week" review of The Complete Peanuts, Volume One
The Comics Journal audio interview with Charles Schulz from 1997
Note: This is a large (10MB) file
The Complete Peanuts, Volume One: 1950-1952 is available at Heroes and Dragons with a retail price of $28.95. (Comic Club members pay only $23.16 when they show their membership cards at the counter.)
Comic Club members save 20% on all graphic novel purchases at H&D (not just Comic Club selections)!
Previous Comics of the Month:
|July 2004 |||The Filth|
|June 2004 |||Marvels|
|May 2004 |||Batman: The Dark Knight Returns|
|April 2004 |||Hellboy: Seed of Destruction
Hellboy: The Corpse
|March 2004 |||Superman Past and Present:
Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?
Man of Steel
|February 2004 |||Torso|
|January 2004 |||Sgt. Rock: Between Hell and a Hard Place|
|December 2003 |||Kingdom Come|
November 2003 |
|Batman: Arkham Asylum|
|October 2003 |||Vault of Horror, Volumes 1 and 2|
|September 2003 |||Blankets|
|August 2003 |||Sin City, Volume 1|
|July 2003 |||Astro City: Life in the Big City|
|June 2003 |||The Golden Age|
|May 2003 |||League of Extraordinary Gentlemen|