Thursday, March 31, 2011

My favorite "Peanuts"


For the past several years, Fantagraphics has been releasing beautifully bound collections, ultimately comprising the entire run of Charles Schulz's comic strip masterpiece "Peanuts".  I've never taken the time to sit down and read any big chunks of the thousands of strips, maybe because such a large work is a bit daunting to try and take on, or perhaps because it's simply always been around and I've always had the idea of "it'll still be around tomorrow".  I don't know that I'll ever own the impressive collections being offered up, but it's nevertheless easy to respect the work that Schulz did over his decades as a prominent cartoonist - he's without a doubt one of America's greatest artistic talents.

I was cleaning out my desk a few weeks ago when I found the above Sunday strip, clipped out and folded in half.  This was published after Schulz's death in early 2000, when newspapers couldn't let go of their longtime stalwart; the paper I got this strip from simply renamed it "Classic Peanuts" and kept printing it.  As far as I could tell, the strips weren't printed in any real order, so even though the language and the art style lend me to think that this wasn't a recent strip, I really don't have any idea of when it was originally published.

It's pretty obvious why I decided to keep this, in that it reminds me of my own dog; Schulz, even though he anthropomorphized Snoopy throughout the strip's history, managed to bring out just what we all love about dogs, and it's readily evident that whichever dog Snoopy was based on, he was loved deeply.

I'm sure that, if pressed, most people could come up with a favorite "Peanuts" strip.  This one's mine.

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