Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Greatness Never Fades

Each week, after I finish reading the comics sections of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (which I receive daily) and the Rome News-Tribune (which I receive by mail a few days late), I set them aside and take them to my friend Charles Rutledge. I began doing this when Mark Schultz & Gary Gianni took over Prince Valiant, because the RNT is the only paper in this area that carries that strip, as far as I know.

Charles recently told me how much he was enjoying the chance to rediscover some of Charles Schulz's best Peanuts strips, which are being reprinted in syndication. This strip in particular, which you can read in larger form here, was one that particularly impressed him. As Charles remarked, it's easy to forget how very good Peanuts was in its prime; these reprints help to remind us all what a brilliant creator Schulz was.

If your only experience with Peanuts is through the final years' worth of strips, which were produced by a much more sanguine and introspective Shulz, these early strips are bold, confident, and unpredictable. That's what made Peanuts cutting-edge for its time, and that's what makes it a classic today. If you've forgotten how good this strip was, check out the first four Fantagraphics volumes of The Complete Peanuts, each of which reprints two years' worth of the strip (Sundays and dailies) in chronological order. You'll be glad you did.


Lanny said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lanny said...

Brilliant indeed! The end was a suprise, which is half the essence of humor - the other half being truth.

Vintage PEANUTS is the best.