Top positive review
Peanuts and L'il Folks
on 1 September 2016
Twenty fifth volume in the series of hardback books which collect the comic strip Peanuts.
This contains all Peanuts cartoons from it's final year, 1999-2000.
It follows the same format as others in the series. Starting with a one page introduction, in this case from Barack Obama, you then get the year's worth of cartoons. With three of the daily strips to a page. And the longer sunday ones to a page of their own. Although it does end on a sort run of sunday ones. And the famous final cartoon in which Snoopy types Charles Schulz's goodbye.
The amazing thing about reading through this year's worth of them [one hundred and sixty four pages worth] is just how great the standard is. Given that the cartoon had been going since 1950, that is a superb achievement. You don't get the running storylines that there were occasionally in the cartoon in years gone by, but some themes do carry over for a few instalments. And some, such as Rerun doing underground comic strip art and his desire for a dog and/or a bicycle, do keep cropping up.
So many of them do make you laugh out loud. So they are quite simply a delight to read.
But that's not all in the volume. The second half of it, over 140 pages, features L'il Folks. A cartoon that Schulz drew before Peanuts, which appeared in his local newspaper. There's a two page introduction all about. Then a L'il Folks strip on each page following. These are one panel gag cartoons, three to four of them to a page. They are in many ways a proto Peanuts. They're a bit more conventional, although you do get a dog occasionally doing funny things. You do also get a character called Charlie Brown on occasion. And one of one panel gags was actually reworked into the first Peanuts strip ever.
It is also, as a whole, pretty funny. With a great many of them that will also make you laugh out loud. This is the first time this cartoon has been properly released in any format like this, so it's a fascinating addition to this series and a really good read as well.
The book concludes with an index to the Peanuts strips, and a two page summary of Schulz's life history.
A product that couldn't be bettered. A really great read and a great way to preserve classic cartooning for posterity.