There have been several books about Schulz and Peanuts (as opposed to collections of the strips) over the years, early examples being 1965’s Gospel According to Peanuts, and 1975’s Peanuts Jubilee. Published a year before Shultz’s death, 1999’s A Golden Celebration featured running commentary by the master himself. With its similarly large format, decade-oriented organization sprinkled with trivia, that book could have been an inspiration for the newest addition to the canon of Peanuts appreciation: Celebrating Peanuts.
What can any new book bring to this already crowded subject? Surprisingly, a nostalgic sense of joy. This book wants the work taken seriously, focusing on two key aspects: Schulz as hard-working artist, and Peanuts as pop culture phenomenon.
It’s a single volume in a large hardcover format, accompanied by a slipcase. It doesn’t offer all of the comics, but it offers a heck of a lot. Celebrating Peanuts seems aimed at fans (at all levels of fanaticism) who want comprehensive and colorful overview of the entire run of Peanuts in a single volume.