Read the Early Ones--They're Change Your Perceptions — 8 years ago
I grew up reading Peanuts and, although I liked the comics, I never really bonded with them. Sure, I could see why comics artists were appreciative of Schulz’s work, even laudatory. He influenced generations and the strip had a clean line and almost archetypal characters. But as I came of age, Schulz’s humor seemed to change; it became more nostalgic and almost sentimental. I didn’t see him tackling the existential issues some critics had attributed to his style. Plus, I was ruined by the animated television specials, which in turn specialized in schmaltz and not Schulz.
But then I made a commitment to read the strips once I heard the entire collection was going to be released. NOW I understand why Peanuts holds the place it does. The characters in
Schulz’s earliest strips are more volatile, they’re darker, they’re struggling with their identity. I understood their conflicts and complexities, which are made all the more compelling because of Schulz’s style. And in turn, I now appreciate the later strips because I have a better undertanding of Peanuts; it was a comic that continue to grow and challenge the artist and his audience over its entire production run.
I’m now truly a Peanuts’ convert. Buy the books, read them, share them with your friends and loved ones.