Travis_J_Smith’s #CBR5 Review #174: The Complete Peanuts, Vol. 4: 1957-1958 by Charles M. Schulz

The-Complete-Peanuts-1957-1958-9781560976707These were a down couple of years for Schulz’s Peanuts strip. Schulz was no stranger to revisiting things; most of Peanuts most iconic aspects (Linus’ security blanket, Charlie Brown and the football, etc.) grew to be well-known through repetition. I accept that, and normally I’m okay with it, as long as he doesn’t appear to be copying and pasting as he does in some of the strips in this volume. Once every couple pages, for example, it seems, Snoopy gets into a tussle with Linus for said security blanket. There are only so many possible variations on that Schulz could use, and he runs through all of them at warp speed. Similarly, Schulz really harps on that joke involving Lucy being a “champion fussbudget.” I didn’t mind it early on, when it first appeared, but again, like with the previous example, there’s little room for variation, and eventually you’ve just heard and seen it all. Continue reading

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Travis_J_Smith’s #CBR5 Review #166: The Complete Peanuts, Vol. 3: 1955-1956 by Charles M. Schulz

Peanuts-1955-1956-Vol-3-9781560976479

To anyone who’s paying attention, I did skip a volume. I placed an interlibrary loan request for volume two as well, but it couldn’t be fulfilled. Not too surprising, considering the luck I have in similar situations.

  • Until my sister bought me The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, I wasn’t able to read every story in the series due to the library’s only collection being incomplete.
  • The Pitt Book Center had The Gunslinger, and every other book in the series… besides its sequel, The Drawing of the Three.
  • The local libraries, oddly enough, have books one and three in Christopher Moore’s vampire trilogy (Bloodsucking Fiends and Bite Me), but not book two.
  • When I placed a hold request for all six parts of The Green Mile, I got them all at the same time… minus one.
  • The local libraries have the first two volumes of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, but no more after them.
  • No branch of the Carnegie Library had a copy of the first Dark Tower graphic novel, The Gunslinger Born, but the Butler library, whose selection of graphic novels is slim and hidden upstairs with the non-fiction, does.

This may or may not have something to do with why I so rarely read series. I should’ve known, with as many volumes as The Complete Peanuts is up to, that this was inevitable. Doesn’t make it any less disappointing, especially given buying a copy is currently out of the question, given what each volume runs you ($20+). I’m sure I’ll find a way to read it eventually, but I can hardly stand reading things out of sequence, and only did it this time because that’s how badly I wanted my Peanuts fix. Continue reading

Travis_J_Smith’s #CBR5 Review #149: The Complete Peanuts, Vol. 1 by Charles M. Schulz

Try as I might, I cannot think of what to say about the The Complete Peanuts, Vol. 1. There’s a great deal I want to say, but putting it all together is presenting me with quite the challenge. Having been a writer in some form for most of my life, I’m used to staring at a blinking cursor surrounded by white space, yet I cannot recall ever being this stumped. So unsure of how to proceed that my only recourse is to ramble on about that in the hopes that it’ll knock me out of my funk. I can’t say it’s working so far, as I still am unsure how to approach this review.

Do I spend it beating myself up over not “discovering” these comics sooner, Peanuts just one of many Sunday comic strips, the movies watched yet only vaguely recollected? Do I whine about this being the only volume available from my local libraries, my luck once more giving me the literary cockblock, much like when the University of Pittsburgh Book Center was missing The Drawing of the Three, yet had every other book in The Dark Tower series in stock? Do I marvel at how prolific Schulz was, The Complete Peanuts up to 19 volumes and counting, each one over 300 pages with three strips per page? Or maybe I remark on how comparatively adorable these early strips were, with Charlie Brown and company the cutest group of misfits you’re ever bound to come across, at least in the world of comic strips? Continue reading