Three Cheers for Fantagraphics

The “Peanuts” reprint series is a super idea and I’m glad it saved the publisher. For ages and ages the earliest years of the strip were effectively suppressed — yeah, the characters didn’t look “right,” but you wondered if there weren’t other reasons — the rare reprints I would run across revealed an angrier, more caustic and subversive comic strip than even the one I remembered from the’60s. The work certainly found a more all-things-to-all-people groove before the big bland-out of the ’70s, but it’s a fascination and joy to watch how that evolved.

2 thoughts on “Three Cheers for Fantagraphics

  1. I just got the two from 1963-1966, when Snoopy really begins to take over. Red Baron, the trip to the puppy farm, etc. There is still so much to savor, but the inevitable downturn of the Seventies is starting. I need to get the ones from the 50s, as I only have the ones from 1959.

  2. It’s a very interesting arc. I have no serious criticism of Schultz as a newspaper cartoonist. I understood what was going on in the strips as I read them (the jokes and the wider-society implications). And can see how these threads came about through the historic material. As with all truly popular pop culture, the sizzle is discerning how this worked out in the world. And I don’t mean the damned blimp and what looks like a very, very tired new movie. “Peanuts” final subversive lesson? Once you become a universally loved brand, you have to stop kicking against the pricks.

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