In Vol. 20 of the Complete Peanuts series, which collects the 1989-1990 newspaper strips, Charlie Brown gets a girlfriend, Snoopy gets jury duty and much more.
Our latest volume is particularly dense with romantic intrigue, as Marcie and Charlie Brown end up at camp together, sending Peppermint Patty into mad jealousy (especially since Marcie can’t resist teasing her)… and an old friend of Charlie Brown’s attempts to look him up again but confuses him with Snoopy and goes on a date with him instead. But the most crucial event in romance is Charlie Brown’s romance with Peggy Jean even though he’s so flustered in his first conversation with her that he ends up stuck with the name “Brownie Charles” for the duration of her relationship (“I kind of like it…”). This volume also introduces yet another Snoopy sibling, Olaf, who is humiliatingly invited to enter an ugly-dog contest (and, even more humiliatingly, wins). Plus lots of Zen-like Spike-and-cactus strips, Sally Brown non-sequiturs, D-minuses for Peppermint Patty, and wise thoughts from Franklin’s grandpa… Snoopy treks through the wilderness as the Beagle Scoutmaster and through the desert as the World Famous Sergeant of the Foreign Legion, Woodstock takes a whack at being the King of the Jungle, Lucy enjoys Michael Jackson on her boom box, Marcie’s perfectionism leads to a crack-up, Pigpen runs for class president, Snoopy gets called to jury duty… and for a change, Lucy pulls the football out from under Charlie Brown.
About the Author
Charles M. Schulz was born November 25, 1922, in Minneapolis. His destiny was foreshadowed when an uncle gave him, at the age of two days, the nickname Sparky (after the racehorse Spark Plug in the newspaper strip Barney Google).
In his senior year in high school, his mother noticed an ad in a local newspaper for a correspondence school, Federal Schools (later called Art Instruction Schools). Schulz passed the talent test, completed the course, and began trying, unsuccessfully, to sell gag cartoons to magazines. (His first published drawing was of his dog, Spike, and appeared in a 1937 Ripley's Believe It or Not! installment.) Between 1948 and 1950, he succeeded in selling 17 cartoons to the Saturday Evening Postas well as, to the local St. Paul Pioneer Press, a weekly comic feature called Li'l Folks. It was run in the women's section and paid $10 a week. After writing and drawing the feature for two years, Schulz asked for a better location in the paper or for daily exposure, as well as a raise. When he was turned down on all three counts, he quit.
He started submitting strips to the newspaper syndicates. In the spring of 1950, he received a letter from the United Feature Syndicate, announcing their interest in his submission, Li'l Folks. Schulz boarded a train in June for New York City; more interested in doing a strip than a panel, he also brought along the first installments of what would become Peanutsand that was what sold. (The title, which Schulz loathed to his dying day, was imposed by the syndicate.) The first Peanuts daily appeared October 2, 1950; the first Sunday, January 6, 1952.
Diagnosed with cancer, Schulz retired from Peanuts at the end of 1999. He died on February 13, 2000, the day before Valentine's Dayand the day before his last strip was publishedhaving completed 17,897 daily and Sunday strips, each and every one fully written, drawn, and lettered entirely by his own handan unmatched achievement in comics.