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The Complete Peanuts Volume 7: 1963-1964 [Hardcover]

Charles Schulz

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Book Description

April 24 2007 Complete Peanuts
"My name is 555 95472 but everyone calls me 5 for short ... I have two sisters named 3 and 4." With those words, Charles Schulz introduced one (in fact, three) of the quirkiest characters to the Peanuts universe, the numerically monikered 95472 siblings. They didn't stay around very long but offered some choice bits of satirical nonsense while they did.

As it happens, this volume in the multi Eisner and Harvey Award-winning series is particularly rich in never-before-reprinted strips: Over 150 (more than one fifth of the book!) have never seen the light of day since their original appearance over 40 years ago, so this will be a trove of undiscovered treasures even for avid Peanuts collectors.


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The Complete Peanuts Volume 7: 1963-1964 + The Complete Peanuts Volume 6: 1961-1962 + The Complete Peanuts Volume 8: 1965-1966
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From Booklist

These 1963–64 strips show Schulz continuing to mine high-grade humor and charm from his small cast and such concerns as Charlie Brown's inabilities to fly kites and procure Valentines, Linus' dependence on his security blanket, and Snoopy's obsession with the contents of his supper dish. Occasionally, something anomalous happens, such as a new kid in the neighborhood; named "5," he didn't stay long. Within a year, the Peanuts' fame would skyrocket with the debut of A Charlie Brown Christmas; animator Bill Melendez sketches the behind-the-scenes story of the show in this volume's introduction. Flagg, Gordon
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Review

"Consider The Complete Peanuts as a revelation ... I felt the looming presence of the author emanating so powerfully from these pages." -- Globe and Mail Book Review

"One can scarcely overstate the importance of Peanuts to the comics, or overstate its influence on all of us who have followed." -- Bill Watterson

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Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  27 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of Unpublished Strips April 20 2007
By John Gentile - Published on Amazon.com
This collection contains an amazing array of strips not seen since they were printed in newspapers. It seems that the publishers of the paperback collections wanted to delete any reverences to specific events or people that were connected to 1963, giving the paperbacks a "timeless" quality.

For example, there's a strip were Snoopy chases two birds off his doghouse, and remarks "I don't trust birds since I saw that movie!"

He is of course referring to Hitchcock's "The Birds" released in 1963.

I loved seeing this strip! What a shame it was lost for 44 years. There is also a strip where Sally asks her brother about Walt Disney. And one strip which was truly a revelation: SCHULZ PARODYING HIMSELF. Linus commenting on the value of a warm puppy! Terrific!

Don't miss this collection, fans!!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They Finally Got It Right June 18 2008
By Mister Myst - Published on Amazon.com
A good addition to this series. The only let-down is that we're seeing more and more strips that have already been collected in other Peanuts books. It was bound to happen though, so I'm not knocking off a star for this.

There are two real gems to this book.
One is the story where Linus (my absolute favorite Peanuts character) runs for class president. I'm betting Schultz had a lot of fun with this. He lampoons the entire election process. This includes the speeches and promises, the press coverage, the polling, and everything else.

The other gem is even more important to me. This is where the title of my review comes into play. They had the great Bill Melendez write the foreward for this book.

Mister Melendez was an animator who wound up directing every single Peanuts movie and special ever made. In addition to this, he also did the voices of Snoopy and Woodstock on most of them (the exceptions being those few specials where Snoopy actually talked). Considering his close association with Schultz and his creation, he really should have been the one to write the foreward back in book 1 when this series started. Instead, throughout this series, we'd get nothing but celebrity endorsement after celebrity endorsement.

I was actually afraid that they'd do this entire series without so much as mentioning the man. Thankfully, these fears came to naught with the release of this book. Like I said, "they finally got it right".

The foreward itself is only 3 pages, but the quality makes up for it. Melendez talks about the events that led up to him meeting Schultz, his first impressions of the man, and how they went from a car commecial to a Peabody Award-winning special ("A Charlie Brown Christmas"), and then to a long and enjoyable career making other animated Peanuts titles (some great; some not so great). This is a story that certainly merits more than 3 pages, but Melendez takes the space he's given and manages both to inform and to satisfy.

If you're a Peanuts fan (especially if you're a Linus fan), click on that buy button. Trust me, you won't regret it.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Peanuts" changes with the times... April 25 2007
By ewomack - Published on Amazon.com
On February 27th, 1963 Linus Van Pelt told Charlie Brown "No problem is so big or so complicated that it can't be run away from." Luckily, Fantagraphics did not heed this advice when taking on the Herculaen project of compiling one of the longest running comics in history. Charles Schulz's "Peanuts," one of the most influential newspaper comic strips ever produced, spanned a generation. It began small, a mere blip, in 1950 and grew to a literal empire that encompassed television, musical theater, books, movies, and advertising. While many derided its rampant commercialism and "cheesy feel good" aura, many others embraced it as an artistic masterpiece that spelunked the human psyche in unique ways. The strip didn't end until 2000 when Schulz retired from his lifelong passion. That leaves some fifty years of daily and Sunday strips to compile. Approximately three hundred and sixty-five strips a year for fifty years multiplies out to one dang big number. If ever a problem to run away from existed, it's this one. Undeterred, Fantagraphics has taken on this twelve and a half year twenty-five volume behemoth. The series so far has spanned fourteen years and seven volumes. In that time "Peanuts" went through considerable changes. "The Complete Peanuts" allows those who weren't there to experience the development and evolution of this masterwork.

When the strip began it focused on Charlie Brown. The artwork was less sophisticated and the characters' personalities were subject to fluctuation. Overall, it more resembled the single-panel strip Schulz drew for the St. Paul Pioneer Press from 1947 to 1950, called "Lil' Folks," than the strip we know today. Schulz returned to single panel cartooning between 1957 and 1959 with "It's Only a Game." But the success of "Peanuts" led him to focus all of his efforts on Charlie Brown, the gang, and that morphing beagle. By 1963, Snoopy dominated the strip. He had become more human than dog. As Snoopy changed from a "real" dog that barked into a surrealistic dynamo with language capabilities, the strip followed him. The physical jokes became more exaggerated (a line drive unclothes Charlie Brown on 3/27/64, Schroeder muffles Lucy with a musical staff on 8/6/64, and Linus's wastebasket towers with rubbish on 7/22/64) and the strip lost some of the cruel hard edge it had in the 1950s (contrast the first two volumes in the series with this one). Lucy in particular was toned down and Charlie Brown's ubiquitous failings became more and more comical and less outright depressing. Schulz also experimented with some new characters. Many didn't last long, such as "3," "4," and "5," who appear in this volume. But some, like Peppermint Patty, who finally appears in the next volume, had staying power. And Snoopy would continue to develop in some interesting new directions. The 1960s were underway, John F. Kennedy was President for half of this volume, the Beatles had landed in America, and the Vietnam war was just beginning to escalate. Some signs of the times appear late in this volume as prototype woodstocks picket with grammatical symbols such as "!," "?" and ";" (from 9/1/64 to 9/12/64). Confrontations and violence occur between the "!" birds and the "?" birds. Snoopy even calls some of them "fanatics" (9/7/64) and decries "it's hard to know what to believe" (9/4/64). These particular strips provide brilliant abstractions of the trouble brewing in the larger world in 1964. Lastly, the 12/6/64 Sunday strip could provide oodles of intellectual fodder for analytic types. Freda wants Snoopy to hunt his natural enemies, rabbits. Instead, he dances and frolics with them. The strip's third panel includes an insert that proclaims "Happiness is loving your enemies." On the last panel, Charlie Brown asks "Now what was that all about?" as if we're supposed to ask ourselves that same question. Brilliant strips like this transcend the funny pages and "Peanuts" included many such moments.

Other highlights include: a spider on the flyball (8/8/64); Snoopy ends a game of catch with his slobber (11/1/64); Snoopy guards the house with a machine gun (4/21/63); Charlie Brown's run-ins with his baseball anti-hero Joe Shlabotnik; "The seat is jammed" (6/22/63); the "we prayed in school today" Sunday strip (10/20/63); Linus's speech to the snowmen (12/29/63); Lucy creates a slideshow of Charlie Brown's faults and bills him for it (1/24/64 - 2/8/64); the parody on "Happiness is a warm puppy" (6/20/64); Snoopy's doghouse gets a full cleaning (6/22/64 - 6/30/64); Linus's reaction to Lucy's "think of the power" (10/5/64); Snoopy's sarcastic jumping up and down (11/27/64). Some strips will look familiar to long time readers, but many will not. Also, some names from the past emerge. The only complaint remains the lack of color on the Sunday strips. But such an immense project probably necessitated some corner-cutting. In the end, we're far better off with black and white Sundays than without this outstanding series. With each volume the "Peanuts" legacy becomes clearer.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Grief, More Peanuts! April 27 2007
By Debbie Anne - Published on Amazon.com
This volume continues reprinting strips from the 1960's, where Schulz was at the top of his form. Snoopy still has a ways to go in his development, the bird(s) who would evolve into Woodstock and his friends are starting to play a more prominent part in Snoopy's life, Pepermint Patty and her friends have yet to appear, but the rest of the Peanuts cast has more or less become their recogniseable selves by this time. A number of the gags and storylines in these strips were later re-used in various TV specials and on "The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show". It is nice to finally see these strips in their chronological order (it is surprising to learn that two strips about Charlie Brown's attempts at obtaining a Joe Shlabotnik baseball card were actually written a year apart, and ran in the reverse order than they were printed in "Peanuts Treasury", because they fit together so well the way Holt, Rhinehart and Winston's editors had them sequenced). As with all the Complete Peanuts books, it is also good to see the strips (especially the Sunday pages) reprinted the way Schulz drew them, as opposed to being reformatted into a comic book page format, or worse, the crazy scattered layouts of the Faucett-Crest paperbacks (which sometimes would pull the artwork out of the panels). This particular book has the best reproduction quality of the new book series so far. Of course, the best reason to buy this book (and the others in this set) is because Peanuts is still one of the best comic strips of all time.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There's Still A Lot of Surprises Here! April 24 2007
By K. Palmer - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I've written reviews for all of the previous versions of the Complete Peanuts and they are all glowing. The 7th installment continues that trend. What amazes me about this book is that there are still a lot of strips that I have never seen before (I'd say 20-25%). I figured as the series continued, I would see less and less unfamiliar comics, but there are still quite a few I don't recall ever seeing. The other reviewers do a good job hitting the highlights, so I won't repeat, but it just is fun to see a complete series instead of the partial series of a particular topic (Snoopy in the hospital comes to mind, I had seen maybe half of the strips over the years, but this collection tells the whole story).

You want this book, you need this book. The next edition (which will come out this fall and will have Charlie Brown on the cover) will begin the biggest shift in the direction of the strip when Peppermint Patty is introduced. I can't wait.

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