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The Complete Peanuts Volume 6: 1961-1962 [Hardcover]

Charles M. Schulz
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

Oct. 17 2006 Complete Peanuts
The popular series that launched a comic strip renaissance enters its second decade. Schulz adds another new cast member; two, in fact: the obnoxious Frieda of "naturally curly hair" fame and her inert, seemingly boneless cat Faron.

The rapidly maturing Sally, who was just born in the previous volume, is ready to start kindergarten and not at all happy about it. Lucy and Linus' war over the security blanket escalates, with Lucy burying it, cutting it apart, and turning it into a kite and allowing it to fly away. Linus is forced to wear glasses, sees the unexpected return of his favourite teacher and coaxes Sally into the cult of the Great Pumpkin.

Snoopy, meanwhile, becomes a compulsive sprinkler-head stander, unhappily befriends a snowman or two and endures a family crisis involving a little family of birds. And in one of the strangest continuities in the history of Peanuts, the Van Pelt parents become obsessed with a tangerine-coloured pool table!

And with Schroeder on the cover, it's entirely fitting that well-known jazz singer-songwriter Diana Krall writes the introduction.


Frequently Bought Together

The Complete Peanuts Volume 6: 1961-1962 + The Complete Peanuts Volume 5: 1959-1960 + The Complete Peanuts Volume 7: 1963-1964
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From Booklist

At the start of the 1960s, Schulz had entered into a satisfying routine of putting his beloved characters through their annual paces. Charlie Brown's baseball team went down to perpetual defeat in the summer, Linus vainly awaited the Great Pumpkin and Lucy pulled the football in the fall, and Schroeder celebrated Beethoven's birthday in the winter. These strips introduce Frieda, the girl with "naturally curly hair," sadly destined to remain a second-stringer, and for a brief period in them, Linus sports eyeglasses. Singer Diana Krall contributes a heartfelt introduction. Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

'... as powerful a comic art-piece as anything out today... will delight Peanuts aficionados.' Observer --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A dream-come-true for Charlie Brown afficionados June 5 2010
Format:Hardcover
If you grew up on Charlie Brown (and who didn't?) and bought the paperback books and reread them a hundred times, this is the series you've been waiting for. I have all the books that have been published so far from 1950 to 1970 something. Every original comic strip (including Sunday features) is included in an attractive, incredibly well-bound format. It is very clear to me that a lot of heart and care has gone into the making of this collection. Each book has an introduction from "celebrities" such as Whoopi Goldberg, Walter Cronkite, Matt Groening, Garrison Keillor sharing the impact of Charles Schulz's characters and creativity in their life. There is also an in-depth account of Schulz's own influences and life events reprinted at the end of each book. The size of the book is also well designed. Each thick book contains two years of comic strips, but is still easy to hold and read. What a gift I gave myself when I bought these! And the editors plan to keep on going until they reach the year 2000 and the whole body of Sparky Schulz's work is in our eager little hands to savour forever.
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  29 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Masterwork At Its Height Nov. 5 2006
By John D. Cofield - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Here we have Charles M. Schulz at his height. The Peanuts world is almost complete, with the main caste of characters set: Charlie Brown the neurotic, Linus the philosopher, Lucy the loudmouth, and Snoopy the . . . well, Snoopy. Other characters include the original Shermy, Violet, and Patty, who are beginning to fade away, Schroeder, who is playing Beethoven with ever greater intensity, and little Sally, who must have had one of the fastest infancies in history! The newest character is Frieda with the naturally curly hair. Frieda caused one of Schulz's few missteps, when he had her introduce a cat (which he then realized, too late, that he couldn't draw) which made Snoopy act too much like a real dog. Fortunately Schulz realized the problem right away, and Faron the cat only appears in a few strips.

The old standbys are here: the Great Pumpkin, Lucy and the football, the hapless baseball team, and Snoopy's rich fantasy life. I also enjoyed the random references to American life in the early 1960s: especially an eerie strip from 1962 in which the kids speculate on the possibility of the Bomb dropping, with Lucy screaming "Don't Say It!" Schulz could not have known that that October the world would come closer than ever before or since to nuclear holocaust, so this is further evidence that Peanuts' popularity stems from its links, conscious and unconscious, to our own inner lives and fears.

Its hard to wait six months or so between volumes in this series, but we can endure it in happy anticipation of the advent of treasures yet to be revealed, such as the first time Snoopy climbs into that Sopwith Camel
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SCHULZ AT THE HEIGHT OF HIS CREATIVE GENIUS! Nov. 22 2006
By Tim Janson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
When I was a kid, I used to go with my Mom almost every Saturday to the local Montgomery Ward department store. While she's be looking at clothes, I'd be in the book section checking out the B.C. or Peanuts paperbacks. She bought me one every time we went and I had dozens of them. Now, over 30 years later, I remember these strips like I had just read them last week. It's amazing how much you can recall something you really loved after so many years. To me, this is the beginning of the height of Schulz's work on the strip. The character's looks and personalities have totally matured into what we know them best as today.

Jazz superstar Diana Krall kicks off this volume with her introduction and her reminiscences closely mirror my own, and I suspect many others as well. This volume opens with Lucy burying Linus' blanket in a hidden spot, hoping to cure him of the habit of carrying it around. On one hand, this is monumentally callous of Lucy, and yet it also shows the tough love she has for her little brother. I'm sure I didn't understand this 30 years ago. Snoopy saves the day by digging up the hidden treasure, much to his glee and Lucy's consternation.

The memories flooded back as I read these strips for the first time in over three decades, and yet they were still as fresh, still as funny as ever. No Woodstock yet, but that doesn't stop Snoopy from entertaining many other birds on the roof of his doghouse. And of course Snoopy's imagination is in high gear as he imagines himself as a fierce, jungle prowling cat, a swinging gorilla, and even a cow. There's also a slew of topical references such as Charlie bemoaning that Willy McCovey didn't hit the ball three feet higher. Classic!

Interestingly, it is Linus, and not Charlie Brown who suffers from Pantophobia (the fear of everything) as he visits Lucy's psychiatric help booth. "A Charlie Brown Christmas" uses the strip almost word for word except for Linus being the patient instead of Charlie Brown.

My favorite strips were always the holiday ones and this volume doesn't disappoint with Linus writing to the Great Pumpkin and doing his best to find the most sincere pumpkin patch to wait for his arrival. In the strips from 1962, we again see where these are some of the strips that were used for "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" Specifically where Sally screams at Linus and demands restitution for missing out on trick or treating as she spent the night with him in the pumpkin patch. We again see a character switch from strip to cartoon as it's Lucy and not Sally who asks Santa Claus to bring her "Tens and Twenties".

This was simply a delight for me to read and just serves to prove how good Schulz really was...

Reviewed by Tim Janson
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Polkas, Schottishes, and Waltzes" Oct. 20 2006
By ewomack - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
After twelve years most comic strips plummet in quality or fizzle out altogether. But by 1962 Charles Schulz was still only revving his engines. Peanuts had hit its stride. Not only that, the main characters, with the possible exception of Snoopy, had developed into the personalities that would endure to the strip's finale. Charlie Brown had lost the few scraps of confidence he possessed from the 1950s. Now everything he touched turned putrid - a kind of reverse King Midas syndrome. Lucy and Linus, defying accusations of perpetual youth, grew up. They were babies in the 1950s, remember? Then adults were completely obliterated. Schultz would never again experiment with inserting grown ups into his comic. They were instead reduced to muted trombone blats in the tv specials and invisible off-screen abstractions within the strip. Schulz must have realized that portraying adults made the half-child half-adult characters seem more childlike than intended. Thrusting pairs of towering full grown legs into the frame made it harder for adult readers to identify with those precocious dumbell shaped children. This juxtaposition gave them too much context in the real world and compromised their abstraction. So, for the sake of the adult readers, out went the adults. Peanuts was never a kiddie strip. And, following more than a decade of publication, it reached a level of sophistication rarely attained on the funny pages.

This sixth volume closes with Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, and Snoopy firmly established as the strip's core cast. Schroeder and Sally, though they appear often, remain more supporting characters. Some previous mainstays such as Shermy, Violet, and Patty have started to fade into the periphery. In their stead some new ones arrive. Linus introduces Charlie Brown to Frieda with her naturally curly hair and her gelatinous cat, Farron. She, much like Pigpen, remains a one joke character. Schulz does create chemistry between her and Snoopy, though. Frieda often exhorts him to get off his duff and chase rabbits. Snoopy finally agrees, but doesn't admit to her that "I don't even know what a rabbit smells like." She also comes between Lucy and Schroeder, albeit temporarily. Snoopy gives Lucy pouncing lessons, and she puts them to use to mangle the intruding newcomer. Although she appears often in this volume, Frieda never became a true regular.

Snoopy remains the ever phantasmagoric dog. He continues to imitate animals such as vultures, gorillas, rabbits, a calf ("Mooo!"), a gargoyle, and even a teddy bear. When Linus starts wearing glasses, he pilfers them and role plays: "Gentlemen, I'd like to present to you the new chairman of the board!" To aggravate Schroeder he plays "Polkas, schottishes, and waltzes" on a concertina. Snoopy always represented the height of anthropomorphism. Proto-Woodstocks invade his house day and night. Some sleep there, some have meetings there, and some just have cold feet. Also, in a wave of pathos, Snoopy befriends numerous snowmen only to watch them melt into puddles. He clutches at them and sobs as they disintegrate, but Charlie Brown notices that "he wasn't too sensitive to eat the carrot." One could argue that Snoopy was responsible for the majority of Peanuts' success. He added more than a touch of slapstick surrealism to the comic. Not only that, he also remains one of the most recognizable characters in American popular culture.

Linus' traumatic blanket loss reoccurs throughout this volume. Many get in on the action. Lucy buries it, makes flannelgraph shapes with it, and cuts it into glass wipes. Snoopy often snags it right out of his hands. Linus also loses a bet with Miss Othmar, who we never see, and she garnishes his tapestry of security. Never underestimate a blanket as a weapon, though. On January 3rd, 1961 Linus violently whacks a nickel out of the sky with the corner of his blanket. Also, in one of the more bizarre strips, July 18th, 1961, he scares off taunters by using the blanket to disguise himself as Count Dracula. They run in terror. Security blanket, indeed.

Schulz often referred to the May 28th, 1961 Sunday page in interviews. Apparently his daughter asked "am I buttering too loud for you?" one morning at breakfast. This became the answer exemplar for the inevitable question "so where do you get your ideas?"

Schulz also appreciated history, as evidenced by his later D-Day anniversary Sunday panel. In 1961 he celebrated the centennial of the Civil War by putting Union hats on Charlie Brown, Linus, and Snoopy. At first he doesn't explain them, but soon other characters start to ask "when does the centennial end?" Such subtle touches added immeasurably to the strip's depth.

Peanuts showed no signs of stagnation at the end of 1962. Many traditions, such as the Great Pumpkin and the annual pulling away of the football, were already established. Those who read Peanuts in the 1970s or 1980s would instantly feel at home in the 1960s strips. That's because, with the exception of some later additions, Schulz had his groundwork fully laid down by this time and continued to ride a rising wave. Peanuts would later dominate popular culture, though some would deride it as overly commercial. In hindsight, the strip speaks for itself regardless of the Dolley Madison and MetLife spots. Peanuts invigorated the comics page, but also set an impossibly high standard to follow. No subsequent strip, possibly excepting Calvin and Hobbes, has come close to the breadth and depth that Charles Schulz put into his semi-adult semi-child balls of neuroses.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How consistant can you get? April 7 2007
By Johnny Heering - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This volume of The Complete Peanuts cover the years 1961 and 1962 in their entireties. The most noteworthy event of this book is the introduction of Frieda, the girl with the "naturally curly hair". Soon after her debut, the running gag where Frieda tries to get Snoopy to chase rabbits is used for the first time. Also introduced at this time was Frieda's cat Faron, who only made a few appearances before disappearing. Many of the jokes from this volume were later used in Peanuts television specials, most notably the Christmas and Halloween specials. Peanuts was one of the greatest comic strips of all time, and 1961 and 1962 are certainly among it's best years. Highly recommended.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Peanuts, the Hey Day Feb. 20 2007
By TG Theodore - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Can't go wrong with ANY volume of this set! Schulz was at his peak in the 60's and early 70's. This one continues the great collection of this timeless strip.

It's fun to see some of these again for the first time in 40 years. Still just as enjoyable as an adult!
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