Friday, July 22, 2016

Booknote: The Complete Peanuts, 1973-1974

Charles Schulz, The Complete Peanuts, 1973-1974. Seattle, WA: Fantagraphics, 2009. ISBN: 9781606992869.

Genre: comics
Subgenre: humor, children
Format: hardback
Source; my local public library

I continue reading the collections of Peanuts published by Fantagraphics, which are available in my public library. Like other volumes, this one also has a celebrity introduction. Billie Jean King, the tennis great, writes the introduction for this volume. Schulz was a big sports fan, and he especially admire King. This shows in the many strips with sports themes and references found in Peanuts. In this volume, there are various allusions to King. Overall, the sports references seem to shine a bit more in this year of the series.

Other than the sports themes, much of the volume is the same as previous ones. Peanuts overall have a consistent familiarity. This means that such consistency can be very comforting to readers. However, it also means that, like an old relative that you know well, you notice the flaws too. For me, the big flaw in these comics is the constant obnoxious bullying on the part of Lucy along with her persistent and unwelcome stalking of Schroeder. I have expressed this before, and I will say it again: if Lucy was Lou and Schroeder was say Katrina, every other feminist in the U.S. would have crucified Schulz by now. The more I read this comic, the more it amazes me his audience so easily laughed at the bad behavior and gave him a pass. For instance, see the February 1974 strip where she destroys his piano while yelling at him, "are you sure you want to risk losing me?" (180). I think the poor boy would most likely say yes, get lost already.

The highlight of the volume remains in Snoopy and Woodstock. Their interactions and humor always bring me a smile. Also, the storyline in this volume where the kids talk to the school building was cute. In the end, the volume has just enough for me to like it, at least for a while longer. Fans I am sure will enjoy it.

3 out of 5 stars.

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