Everything I Need to Know I Learnt from Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz

Everything I Need to Know I Learnt from Peanuts
by Charles M. Schulz
Running Press, 2010

This 60th anniversary cash-in showcases an aspect of Peanuts many people dislike – the sentimental moralising that first became apparent in the popular Happiness is a Warm Puppy in 1963. This is Peanuts stripped of its melancholy, and what’s left is about as interesting as a cardboard box.

The reprinted strips in this compilation are mostly from late-period Peanuts when Schulz’s linework began to be affected by his health problems, and the strip eased into a long calcified plateau in which the young characters of the strip took on the worldview of senior citizens – anyone who began reading it from the ’80s onwards will remember it like this, although taken in its entirety it is arguably the world’s greatest newspaper comic strip.

This collection was not assembled by Schulz, who died in 2000, and despite some nice design, it is entirely redundant. Stick to the excellent Fantagraphic reprints instead, especially from the strip’s purple period from the mid-’60s to mid-’70s.

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