This is an interesting book, right here.
You`ve heard of Peanuts, right? Most likely, you`ve read `em. Those comics about the pretty much depressed Charlie Brown, the awesome and bit posh anthropomorphic dog Snoopy, the great thinker Linus Van Pelt, about his sister with anger management issues, about Charlies lil sister...
In this one, Charlie isn`t depressed, Snoopy is more of a dog than human, Linus is still a baby, his sister is pretty much the same (a little nicer, though) and Charlies sis doesn`t exist yet. Also, three characters who are seldom seen these days, were important members of the cast, in these fascinating, early days.
It`s very different from the finished product, and that`s of course, part of the appeal of the collection. It`s a rough diamond, an early experiment. Yet, it`s very close to being ripe. The personalities of our protagonists are shaping up towards their definitive versions, jokes aren`t as funny (if you ask me, that is), but are getting there. There`s even very short (two four strips lasting) bigger stories. Everything looks a bit different, but is beginning to look more and more familiar. Snoopy gets more attention. Pig-pen is introduced in this volume.
In some ways, it`s better than the series will be. How come? Well, if you ever felt dangerously sad towards the overrun Charlie of Brown, you`ll find some relief in this and the previous volume. He`s not yet crushed. Sure, there are moments during what we see in to his future (So to speak. We don`t literally see there.). But they`re of very rare quantity.
Snoopy is cuter in this than he will be. Maybe. Maybe he`s as cute.
There`s still a bit of optimism in the air.
As for the book as a whole...brilliant job. Black and white for the most part, hard covers, enlarged pictures that have been added to a few collage-pages, high quality paper, a short bio of the connoisseur who made the comics question (Schulz, if you honestly didn`t know)...
Like the previous/first one, this volume collects some of the very first few hundred strips of the acclaimed series. Which translates to almost 313 pages. Almost, because on the last page of this volume, that contains comics, there`s two strips, instead of three. Or one Sunday strip. I like that size.
The pieces aren`t from one, but two years, by the way.
I really think that you should read this.