Review by Woodrow Phoenix
Volume four of this definitive softcover collection of The Complete Peanuts features every single daily and Sunday Peanuts strip produced by Charles M. Schulz between 1957 and 1958. Many of the strips in this volume had not been seen in sixty years, until they were reprinted in 2005. Jacob Covey’s newly redesigned softcover editions give the new reprints a much fresher feel, the vibrant colour covers with big images show more of Schulz’s own drawing and look very appealing. The cover of The Complete Peanuts Volume 4 is particularly eye-catching with a funny strip featuring Snoopy, Charlie Brown and Schroeder inviting you to read more. Snoopy’s ascendance continues in this volume; playing the violin, imitating bears, penguins and vultures, cooling his head in his dog dish, and trying quite violently to separate Linus from his blanket. Charlie Brown’s long slide into loserville accelerates as he loses so spectacularly at baseball that his entire team turns against him.
This volume includes an introduction by author Jonathan Frantzen, and the usual short biography of Schulz at the end. It also features the original version of an incomplete strip from volume two. The top tier of the Sunday page for 5 May, 1953 was missing, so series designer Seth drew a couple of placeholder panels and the book went to press with a fill-in top tier substituted. But somebody out there had a copy of the complete Sunday page and it is now republished here, looking great.
This fourth softcover volume of The Complete Peanuts is also available in a slipcase with the third volume as a box set: The Complete Peanuts 1955-1958 Gift Box Set Paperback Edition.