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The Peanuts gang.
Peanuts was a syndicated daily comic strip written and illustrated by Charles M. Schulz, which ran from October 2, 1950, to February 13, 2000 — the day after Schulz's death. The strip was one of the most popular and influential in the history of the medium. At its peak, Peanuts ran in over 2,600 newspapers, with a readership of 355 million in 75 countries, and was translated into 21 languages.<ref>"Saying Goodbye: Friends and family eulogize cartoonist Charles Schulz" February 22, 2000 Pamela J. Podger San Francisco Chronicle</ref> It helped to cement the four-panel gag strip as the standard in the United States<ref name="Walker">The comics: since 1945 Brian Walker 2002 Harry N. Abrams, Inc (New York)</ref>. Reprints of the strip are still syndicated and run in many newspapers.
In addition, Peanuts achieved considerable success for its television specials, several of which, including A Charlie Brown Christmas<ref>"Past Winners Database: 1965-1966 18th Emmy Awards" The Envelope LA Times</ref> and It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown<ref>"Past Winners Database: 1966-1967 19th Emmy Awards" The Envelope LA Times</ref> won or were nominated for Emmys. The holiday specials remain quite popular to this day, and are currently broadcast on ABC in the United States during the appropriate season.
Peanuts had its origin in Li'l Folks, a weekly panel comic that appeared in Schulz's hometown paper, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, from 1947 to 1950. He first used the name Charlie Brown for a character there, although he applied the name in four gags to three different boys and one buried in sand. The series also had a dog that looked much like Snoopy<ref>Li'l Folks - Charles M. Schulz: Li'l Beginnings Derrick Bang - With Foreword by Jean Schulz 2003 Charles M. Schulz Museum ISBN 0974570915</ref>. In 1948, Schulz sold a cartoon to the Saturday Evening Post; seventeen single-panel cartoons by Schulz would be published there.
In 1948, Schulz tried to have Li'l Folks syndicated through the Newspaper Enterprise Association. Schulz would have been an independent contractor for the syndicate, unheard of in the 1940s, but the deal fell through. Li'l Folks was dropped in 1949. The next year, Schulz approached the United Features Syndicate with his best strips from Li'l Folks.
When his work was picked up by United Features Syndicate, they decided to go for the new comic strip he had been working on. This strip was somewhat similar to the panel comic, but it had a cast of characters, rather than different nameless little folk for each page. Maybe the name would have been the same, though, had it been less close to the names of two other comics of the time: Al Capp's Li'l Abner and a now-forgotten strip titled Little Folks. To avoid confusion the syndicate settled on the name "Peanuts", a title Schulz himself disliked. In a 1987 interview, Schulz said of the title Peanuts: "It's totally ridiculous, has no meaning, is simply confusing, and has no dignity — and I think my humor has dignity".<ref>McKinnon, Heather. "Seattle's Fantagraphics Books will release 'The Complete Peanuts'", The Seattle Times, Sunday, February 15, 2004.</ref> The periodic collections of the strips in paperback book form typically had either "Charlie Brown" or "Snoopy" in the title, not "Peanuts", due to Schultz's previously mentioned dislike of his strip's title. The Sunday panels eventually typically read, "Peanuts, featuring Good Ol' Charlie Brown".
Peanuts premiered on October 2, 1950 in seven newspapers nationwide: The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, The Minneapolis Tribune, The Allentown Call-Chronicle, The Bethlehem Globe-Times, The Denver Post and The Seattle Times. At first it was only a daily strip. The first Sunday strip appeared January 6 1952, in the half page format, which was the only complete format for the entire life of the Sunday strip.
The daily strips had by this time been reduced from full page strips to a run of merely four panels. Whilst this reduced the capacity for artistic expression, the scarcity of space afforded the artist allowed Schulz to create a new style for the medium. Schulz made the decision to produce all aspects of the strip, from the script to the finished art and lettering, himself. This decision allowed the strip to be presented in a unified tone, and allowed Schulz to employ a minimal style. Backgrounds were generally eschewed, and when utilised Schulz's frazzled lines imbued them with a fraught, psychological appearance. This style has been described by art critic John Carlin as forcing "its readers to focus on subtle nuances rather than broad actions or sharp transitions."<ref name="Masters">Masters of American Comics John Carlin Yale University Press 2005</ref>
While the strip in its early years resembles its later form, there are significant differences. The art was cleaner and sleeker, though simpler, with thicker lines and short, squat characters. For example, in these early strips, Charlie Brown's famous round head is closer to the shape of an football. In fact, most of the kids were initially fairly round-headed.
Peanuts is remarkable for its deft social commentary, especially compared with other strips appearing in the 1950s and early 1960s. Schulz did not explicitly address racial and gender equality issues so much as he assumed them to be self-evident in the first place. Peppermint Patty's athletic skill and self-confidence is simply taken for granted, for example, as is Franklin's presence in a racially-integrated school and neighborhood.
Schulz could throw barbs at any number of topics when he chose, though. Over the years he tackled everything from the Vietnam War to school dress codes to the "new math". One of his most prescient sequences came in 1963 when he added a little boy named "5" to the cast, whose sisters were named "3" and "4", and whose father had changed the family surname to their ZIP Code to protest the way numbers were taking over people's identities. In 1957, a strip in which Snoopy tossed Linus into the air, and boasted that he was the first dog ever to launch a human, parodied the hype associated with Sputnik 2's launch of "Laika" the dog into space earlier that year. Another sequence lampooned Little Leagues and "organized" play, when all the neighborhood kids join snowman-building leagues and criticize Charlie Brown when he insists on building his own snowmen without leagues or coaches.
Peanuts touched on religious themes on many occasions, most notably the classic television special A Charlie Brown Christmas in 1965, which features the character Linus van Pelt quoting the King James Version of the Bible (Luke 2:8-14) to explain to Charlie Brown "what Christmas is all about." In personal interviews, Schulz mentioned that Linus represented his spiritual side.Peanuts probably reached its peak in American pop-culture awareness between 1965 and 1980; this period was the heyday of the daily strip, and there were numerous animated specials and book collections. During the 1980s other strips rivaled Peanuts in popularity, most notably Doonesbury, Garfield, The Far Side, Bloom County, and Calvin and Hobbes. However, Schulz still had one of the highest circulations in daily newspapers.
The daily Peanuts strips were formatted in a four-panel "space saving" format beginning in the 1950s, with a few very rare 8 panel strips, that still fit into the four-panel mold. In 1975, the panel format was shortened slightly horizontally, and shortly after the lettering became larger to accommodate the shrinking format. In 1988, Schulz abandoned this strict format and started using the entire length of the strip, in part to combat the dwindling size of the comics page, and also to experiment. Most daily Peanuts strips in the 1990s were three-panel strips.
Schulz continued the strip until he was unable to, due to health reasons.
The final daily original Peanuts comic strip was published on January 3, 2000. The final original Sunday strip was published in newspapers a day after Schulz's death on February 12. The final Sunday strip included all of the text from the final Daily strip, and the only drawing: that of Snoopy typing in the lower right corner. It also added several classic scenes of the Peanuts characters surrounding the text. Following its finish, many newspapers began reprinting older strips under the title Classic Peanuts. Though it no longer maintains the "first billing" in as many newspapers as it enjoyed for much of its run, Peanuts remains one of the most popular and widely syndicated strips today, even after six years of reruns.
 Cast of characters
Though the strip did not have a lead character at the onset, it soon began to focus on Charlie Brown, a character developed from some of the painful experiences of Schulz's formative years. Charlie Brown's main characteristic is his self-defeating stubbornness: he can never win a ballgame, but continues playing baseball; he can never fly a kite successfully, but continues trying to fly his kite. Others see this as the character's admirable determined persistence to try his best against all odds. Though his inferiority complex was evident from the start, in the earliest strips he also got in his own jabs when verbally sparring with Patty and Shermy. Some early strips also involved romantic attractions between Charlie Brown and Patty or Violet (the next major character added to the strip).
As the years went by, Shermy and Patty appeared less often and were demoted to supporting roles, while new major characters were introduced. Schroeder, Lucy van Pelt, and her brother Linus debuted as very young children — Schroeder and Linus both in diapers and pre-verbal. Snoopy, who began as a more-or-less typical dog, soon started to verbalize his thoughts via thought bubbles. Eventually he adopted other human characteristics, such as walking on his hind legs, reading books, using a typewriter, and participating in sports.
One recurring theme in the strip is Charlie Brown's Little League baseball team. Charlie Brown is the manager of the team and its pitcher, with the other characters of the strip being on the team. Charlie Brown is a terrible pitcher, often giving up tremendous hits which either knock him off the mound or leave him with only his shorts on. The team itself is also poor, with only Charlie Brown's dog Snoopy being particularly competent. Because of this, the team consistently loses (their all-time record is 2 – 930). However, while the team is often referred to as "win-less", it does win at least 10 games over the course of the strip's run, though most of these wins occur when Charlie Brown is not playing. <ref>Template:Cite web</ref>
In the 1960s, the strip began to focus more on Snoopy. Many of the strips from this point revolve around Snoopy's active, Walter Mitty-like fantasy life, in which he imagined himself to be a World War I flying ace or a bestselling suspense novelist, to the bemusement and consternation of the other characters who sometimes wonder what he is doing but also at times participate. Snoopy eventually took on many more distinct personas over the course of the strip, from "Joe Cool" to Mickey Mouse.
Schulz continued to introduce new characters into the strip, particularly including a tomboyish, freckle-faced, shorts-and-sandals-wearing girl named Patricia Reichardt, better known as "Peppermint Patty." "Peppermint" Patty is an assertive, athletic, but rather obtuse girl who shakes up Charlie Brown's world by calling him "Chuck," flirting with him, and giving him compliments he's not so sure he deserves. She also brings in a new group of friends (and heads a rival baseball team), including the strip's first black character, Franklin, and Peppermint Patty's bookish sidekick Marcie, who calls Peppermint Patty "Sir" and Charlie Brown "Charles." (Most other characters call him "Charlie Brown" at all times, except for Eudora, who also calls him "Charles"; Charlie Brown's sister Sally, who usually calls him "big brother"; and a minor character named Peggy Jean in the early 1990s who called him "Brownie Charles". Also, Snoopy calls his owner, Charlie Brown, "that round-headed kid.").
Several additional family members of the characters were also introduced: Charlie Brown's younger sister Sally, who is fixated on Linus; Linus and Lucy's younger brother Rerun; and Spike, Snoopy's desert-dwelling brother from Needles, California, who was apparently named for Schulz's own childhood dog.
Other notable characters include: Snoopy's friend Woodstock a bird who speaks entirely in vertical lines; Pig-Pen, the perpetually dirty boy who could raise a cloud of dust on a clean sidewalk or in a snowstorm; and Frieda, a girl proud of her "naturally curly hair", and who owned a cat, much to Snoopy's chagrin.
Peanuts had several recurring characters who were actually absent from view. Some, such as the Great Pumpkin or the Red Baron, may or may not have been figments of the cast's imaginations. Others were not imaginary, such as the Little Red-Haired Girl (Charlie Brown's perennial dream girl), Joe Shlabotnik (Charlie Brown's baseball hero), World War II (the vicious cat who lives next door to Snoopy - not to be confused with Frieda's cat, Faron), and Charlie Brown's unnamed pen pal. After some early anomalies, adult figures never appeared in the strip.
Schulz also added some fantastic elements, sometimes imbuing inanimate objects with sparks of life. Charlie Brown's nemesis, the Kite-Eating Tree, is one example. Sally Brown's school building, that expressed thoughts and feelings about the students (and the general business of being a brick building), is another. Linus' famous "security blanket" also displayed occasional signs of anthropomorphism.
 Ages of the Peanuts characters
The passage of time is seemingly impossible to follow throughout the strip: the characters seem to age about two years over the course of over 49 years, but they celebrate several years of holidays. Also, throughout the series, current events (almost always minor ones) affect the characters. In a 1995 series, for example, Sally mentions the Classic Comic Strip Characters series of stamps, which were released four years earlier.
The Peanuts characters generally do not age, or age very slowly, except in the case of infant characters who catch up to the rest of the cast, then stop. Rerun is unique in that he stopped aging in kindergarten. More typically, Linus was born in the first couple of years of the strip's run. He ages from infancy to right around Charlie Brown's age over the course of the first ten years, during which we see him learn to walk and talk with the help of Lucy and Charlie Brown. Linus then stops aging when he is about a year or so younger than Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown himself was four when the strip began, and gradually aged over the next two decades until he settled in as an eight year old (after which he is consistently referred to as eight when any age is given).
 Critical acclaim
Peanuts is often regarded as one of the most influential and well-written comic strips of all time. Schulz received the National Cartoonist Society Humor Comic Strip Award for Peanuts in 1962, the Elzie Segar Award in 1980, the Reuben Award in 1955 and 1964, and the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999. A Charlie Brown Christmas won a Peabody Award and an Emmy; Peanuts cartoon specials have received a total of 2 Peabody Awards and 4 Emmys. For his work on the strip, Charles Schulz is credited with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a place in the William Randolph Hearst Cartoon Hall of Fame. Peanuts was featured on the cover of Time Magazine on April 9, 1965, with the accompanying article praising the strip as being "the leader of a refreshing new breed that takes an unprecedented interest in the basics of life."<ref>"Good Grief" Time Magazine Apr. 9, 1965</ref>
Considered amongst the greatest comic strips of all-time, Peanuts was declared second in a list of the greatest comics of the 20th century commissioned by The Comics Journal in 1999<ref>Tom Spurgeon, Art Spiegelman, Bart Beatty et al, "The Top 100 English-Language Comics of the Century," The Comics Journal 210 (February 1999)</ref>. Peanuts lost out to George Herriman's Krazy Kat, a strip Schulz himself admired and accepted the positioning in good grace, to the point of agreeing with the result.<ref>Fantagraphics (October 13, 2003). FANTAGRAPHICS BOOKS TO PUBLISH THE COMPLETE PEANUTS BY CHARLES M. SCHULZ. Press release. Retrieved on 30-11-2006.</ref> In 2002 TV Guide declared Snoopy and Charlie Brown 8th<ref>TV Guide (July 26, 2002). D'oh! Bugs Bunny Edges Out Homer Simpson. Press release.</ref> in their list of "Top 50 Greatest Cartoon Characters of All-Time"<ref>TV Guide's 50 greatest cartoon characters of all time CNN html accessed 30-11-2006</ref>, published to commemorate their 50th anniversary.
Cartoon tributes have appeared in other comic strips since Schulz's death in 2000. In May of that year, many cartoonists included a reference to Peanuts in their own strips. Originally planned as a tribute to Schulz's retirement, after his death that February it became a tribute to his life and career. Similarly, on 30 October 2005, several comic strips again included references to Peanuts, and specifically the It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown television special.
A series of statues were erected in St. Paul, Minnesota (Schulz's hometown) which represented a different character each year. The "Peanuts on Parade" tribute began in 2001 with Snoopy statues, followed by Charlie Brown in 2002, Lucy in 2003, Linus in 2004, and Snoopy and Woodstock lying on top of Snoopy's doghouse in 2005.
In 2001, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors renamed the Sonoma County Airport, located a few miles northwest of Santa Rosa, the Charles M. Schulz Airport in his honor. The airport's amusing logo features Snoopy in goggles and scarf, taking to the skies on top of his red doghouse. A bronze statue of Charlie Brown and Snoopy stands in Depot Park in downtown Santa Rosa.
Schulz himself was included in the touring exhibition "Masters of American Comics" based on his achievements in the artform whilst producing the strip. His gag work is hailed as being "psychologically complex", and his style on the strip is noted as being "perfectly in keeping with the style of its times""<ref name="Masters"/>
 Television and film productions
- See also: Peanuts in popular culture
In addition to the strip and numerous books, the Peanuts characters have appeared in animated form on television numerous times. This started when the Ford Motor Company licensed the characters in 1961 for a series of black and white television commercials for the Ford Falcon. The ads were animated by Bill Melendez for Playhouse Pictures, a cartoon studio that had Ford as a client. Schulz and Melendez became friends, and when producer Lee Mendelson decided to make a two-minute animated sequence for a TV documentary called A Boy Named Charlie Brown in 1963, he brought on Melendez for the project. Before the documentary was completed, the three of them (with help from their sponsor, the Coca-Cola Company) produced their first half-hour animated special, the Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning A Charlie Brown Christmas, which was first aired on the CBS network on 9 December 1965.
The animated version of Peanuts differs in some aspects from the strip. In the strip, adult voices are heard, though conversations are usually only depicted from the children's end. To translate this aspect to the animated medium, Melendez famously used the sound of a trombone with a plunger mute opening and closing on the bell to simulate adult "voices". A more significant deviation from the strip was the treatment of Snoopy. In the strip, the dog's thoughts are verbalized in thought balloons; in animation, he is typically mute, his thoughts communicated through growls or laughs (voiced by Bill Melendez), and pantomime, or by having human characters verbalizing his thoughts for him. These treatments have both been abandoned temporarily in the past. For example, they experimented with teacher dialogue in She's a Good Skate, Charlie Brown. The elimination of Snoopy's "voice" is probably the most controversial aspect of the adaptations, but Schulz apparently approved of the treatment. (Snoopy's thoughts were conveyed in voiceover for the first time in animation in the animated version of the Broadway musical "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown".)
The success of A Charlie Brown Christmas was the impetus for CBS to air many more prime-time Peanuts specials over the years, beginning with It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and Charlie Brown's All-Stars in 1966. In total, more than thirty animated specials were produced. Until his death in 1976, jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi composed highly acclaimed musical scores for the specials; in particular, the piece "Linus and Lucy" which has become popularly known as the signature theme song of the Peanuts franchise.
In addition to Coca-Cola, other companies that sponsored Peanuts specials over the years included Dolly Madison cakes, Kellogg's, McDonald's, Peter Paul-Cadbury candy bars, General Mills, and Nabisco.
Schulz, Mendelson, and Melendez (and his studio Melendez Films) also collaborated on four theatrical feature films starring the characters, the first of which was A Boy Named Charlie Brown (1969). Most of these made use of material from Schulz's strips, which were then adapted, although in other cases plots were developed around areas where there were minimal strips to reference. Such was also the case with The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show, a Saturday-morning TV series which debuted on CBS in 1983 and lasted for three seasons.
By the late-1980s, the specials' popularity had begun to wane, and CBS had sometimes rejected a few specials. An eight-episode TV miniseries called This is America, Charlie Brown, for instance, was released during a writer's strike. Eventually, the last Peanuts specials were released direct-to-video, and no new ones were created until after the year 2000 when ABC obtained the rights to the three fall holiday specials. The Nickelodeon cable network re-aired the bulk of the specials, as well as The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show, for a time in the late 1990s under the umbrella title You're On Nickelodeon, Charlie Brown. Many of the specials and feature films have also been released on various home video formats over the years. Eight Peanuts-based special have been made posthumously. Of these, three are tributes to Peanuts or other Peanuts specials, and five are completely new specials based on dialogue from the strips, and ideas given to ABC by Schulz before his death. The most recent, He's a Bully, Charlie Brown, was telecast on ABC on November 20, 2006, following a repeat broadcast of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.
 Theatrical productions
The Peanuts characters even found their way to the live stage, appearing in the musicals You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Snoopy!!! — The Musical, and in "Snoopy on Ice", a live Ice Capades-style show aimed primarily at young children, all of which have had several touring productions over the years. <ref>"Plymkids' ruff guide to Snoopy" Western Daily Press 03 February 2006</ref>
You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown was originally an extremely successful off-Broadway musical that ran for four years (1967-1971) in New York City and on tour, with Gary Burghoff as the original Charlie Brown. An updated revival opened on Broadway in 1999, and by 2002 it had become the most frequently produced musical in American theatre history<ref name="Walker"/>. It was also adapted for television twice, as a live-action NBC special and an animated CBS special.
Snoopy!!! The Musical was a musical comedy based on the Peanuts comic strip, originally performed at Lamb's Theatre off-Broadway in 1982. In its 1983 run in London's West End, it won an Olivier Award. In 1988, it was adapted into an animated TV special. The New Players Theatre in London staged a revival in 2004 to honor its 21st anniversary, but some reviewers noted that its "feel good" sentiments had not aged well.
 Other licensed appearances and merchandise
Over the years, the Peanuts characters have appeared in ads for Dolly Madison snack cakes, Hostess Zingers, Butternut Bread, Friendly's restaurants, Cheerios breakfast cereal, and Ford automobiles. Pig-Pen appeared in a memorable spot for Regina Vacuum Cleaners.
They are currently spokespeople in print and television advertisements for the MetLife insurance company. MetLife usually uses Snoopy in its advertisements as opposed to other characters: for instance, the MetLife blimps are named "Snoopy One" and "Snoopy Two" and feature him in his World War I flying ace persona.
The characters have been featured on Hallmark Cards since 1960, and can be found adorning clothing, figurines, plush dolls, flags, balloons, posters, Christmas ornaments, and countless other bits of licensed merchandise.
The Apollo 10 lunar module was nicknamed "Snoopy" and the command module "Charlie Brown". While not included in the official mission logo, Charlie Brown and Snoopy became semi-official mascots for the mission, as seen here <ref>Template:Cite web</ref> and here. Schulz also drew some special mission-related artwork for NASA , and at least one regular strip related to the mission, where Charlie Brown consoles Snoopy about how the spacecraft named after him was left in lunar orbit.
The 1960s pop band, The Royal Guardsmen, released several Snoopy-themed albums and singles, including their debut album in 1966 featuring the song "Snoopy vs. the Red Baron", which made it to number two on request charts. The band followed with several other Snoopy-themed songs, but they did not do as well: The Return of the Red Baron, Snoopy and His Friends, Snoopy's Christmas and Snoopy for President. Many of these featured cover art by Charles Schulz.
In the Sixties, Robert L. Short interpreted certain themes and conversations in Peanuts as being consistent with parts of Christian theology, and used them as illustrations during his lectures about the gospel, and as source material for several books, as he explained in his bestselling paperback book, The Gospel According to Peanuts.
In 1980, Charles Schulz was introduced to artist Tom Everhart during a collaborative art project. Everhart became fascinated with Schulz's art style and worked Peanuts themed art into his own work. Schulz encouraged Everhart to continue with his work. Everhart continues to be the only artist authorized to paint Peanuts characters.
The characters were licensed for use in 1992 as atmosphere for the national Amusement park chain Cedar Fair. The images of the Peanuts characters are used frequently, most visibily in several versions of the logo for flagship park, Cedar Point. Knott's Berry Farm, which was later acquired by Cedar Fair, was the first theme park to make Snoopy its mascot. Cedar Fair also operated Camp Snoopy, an indoor amusement park in the Mall of America until the mall took over its operation as of March 2005, renaming it The Park at MOA, and no longer using the Peanuts characters as its theme.
The Peanuts characters have been licenced to Universal Studios Japan.
The Peanuts gang have also appeared in video games, such as Snoopy in a 1984 by Radarsoft, Snoopy Tennis (Game Boy Color), and in October 2006, Snoopy vs. the Red Baron by Namco Bandai. Many Peanuts characters have cameos in the latter game, including Woodstock, Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Marcie and Sally.
Peanuts has also been involved with NASCAR. In 2000, Jeff Gordon drove his #24 Chevrolet with a Snoopy-themed motif at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Two years later, Tony Stewart drove a #20 Great Pumpkin motif scheme for two races. The first, at Bristol Motor Speedway, featured a black car with Linus sitting in a pumpkin field. Later, at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Tony drove an orange car featuring the Peanuts characters trick-or-treating. Most recently, Bill Elliott drove a #6 Dodge with an A Charlie Brown Christmas scheme. That car ran at the 2005 NASCAR BUSCH Series race at Memphis Motorsports Park.
In April of 2002 The Peanuts Collectors Edition Monopoly Board was released by USAopoly. The game was created by Justin Gage a prolific collector and friend of Charles and Jeannie Schulz. The game was dedicated to Schulz in memory of his passing.
Peanuts strips have been reprinted in many books over the years. Some represented chronological collections of strips, while others were thematic collections, such as Snoopy's Tennis Book. Some single-story books were produced, such as Snoopy and the Red Baron. In addition, most of the Peanuts television animated specials were adapted into book form.
Charles Schulz always resisted publication of early Peanuts strips, as they did not reflect the characters as he eventually developed them. However, in 1997 he began talks with Fantagraphics Books to have the entire run of the strip, almost 18,000 cartoons, published chronologically in book form. The first volume in the collection, The Complete Peanuts: 1950 to 1952, was published in April 2004. Peanuts is in a unique situation compared to other comics in that archive quality masters of most strips are still owned by the syndicate. All strips, including Sundays, are in black and white. The following books publish much of this previously-unreproduced material.
- Chip Kidd, ed. (2001) Peanuts: The Art of Charles M. Schulz. New York: Pantheon Books. ISBN 0-375-42097-5 (hardcover), ISBN 0-375-71463-4 (paperback).
- Derrick Bang with Victor Lee. (2002 reprinting) 50 Years of Happiness: A Tribute to Charles M. Schulz. Santa Rosa, California: Charles M. Schulz Museum. ISBN 0-9685574-0-6
- Derrick Bang, ed. (2003) Lil' Beginnings. Santa Rosa, California: Charles M. Schulz Museum. The complete run of Li'l Folks (1947 – 1950) ISBN 0-9745709-1-5
- Schulz, Charles M. Peanuts Jubilee: My Life and Art with Charlie Brown and Others. New York: Ballantine Books, 1975. 224pp. ISBN 0-345-25132-6-795 (paper). 
- Charles M. Schulz (2004) Who's on First, Charlie Brown?. New York: Ballantine Books. ISBN 0-345-46412-5.
- Robert L. Short (1965) [The Gospel According to Peanuts]. Westminster John Knox Press: ISBN 0-664-22222-6
- The entire run of Peanuts, covering nearly 50 years of comic strips, will be reprinted in Fantagraphics Books'. The Complete Peanuts, a 25-volume set to come out over a 12-year period, two volumes per year, one coming out in the month of May and the second coming out in October. The final volume is expected to be published in the year of 2016.
|1||The Complete Peanuts: 1950 to 1952||ISBN 1-56097-589-X||May 2004|
|2||The Complete Peanuts: 1953 to 1954||ISBN 1-56097-614-4||October 2004|
|3||The Complete Peanuts: 1955 to 1956||ISBN 1-56097-647-0||May 2005|
|4||The Complete Peanuts: 1957 to 1958||ISBN 1-56097-670-5||October 2005|
|5||The Complete Peanuts: 1959 to 1960||ISBN 1-56097-671-3||May 2006|
|6||The Complete Peanuts: 1961 to 1962||ISBN 1-56097-672-1||October 2006|
|7||The Complete Peanuts: 1963 to 1964||ISBN 1-56097-723-X||scheduled for May 2007|
|8||The Complete Peanuts: 1965 to 1966||ISBN 1-56097-724-8||scheduled for October 2007|
|9||The Complete Peanuts: 1967 to 1968||ISBN 1-56097-826-0||scheduled for May 2008|
|10||The Complete Peanuts: 1969 to 1970||ISBN 1-56097-827-9||scheduled for October 2008|
|11||The Complete Peanuts: 1971 to 1972||scheduled for May 2009|
|12||The Complete Peanuts: 1973 to 1974||scheduled for October 2009|
|13||The Complete Peanuts: 1975 to 1976||scheduled for May 2010|
|14||The Complete Peanuts: 1977 to 1978||scheduled for October 2010|
|15||The Complete Peanuts: 1979 to 1980||scheduled for May 2011|
|16||The Complete Peanuts: 1981 to 1982||scheduled for October 2011|
|17||The Complete Peanuts: 1983 to 1984||scheduled for May 2012|
|18||The Complete Peanuts: 1985 to 1986||scheduled for October 2012|
|19||The Complete Peanuts: 1987 to 1988||scheduled for May 2013|
|20||The Complete Peanuts: 1989 to 1990||scheduled for October 2013|
|21||The Complete Peanuts: 1991 to 1992||scheduled for May 2014|
|22||The Complete Peanuts: 1993 to 1994||scheduled for October 2014|
|23||The Complete Peanuts: 1995 to 1996||scheduled for May 2015|
|24||The Complete Peanuts: 1997 to 1998||scheduled for October 2015|
|25||The Complete Peanuts: 1999 to 2000||scheduled for May 2016|
Each of the Fantagraphics books contains an index by subject for the comics reprinted within its volume. This allows users to find, for example, all strips containing Linus. Each volume features a picture of a single cast member on the front cover. These pictures generally look like mugshots. Another character appears on the book's spine.
Each of the volumes has an introduction written by a famous person. Authors and famous people who have created intros so far include Walter Cronkite, Garrison Keillor, Matt Groening, Jonathan Franzen, Whoopi Goldberg and Diana Krall.
 External links
- Snoopy.com: Official Peanuts Website
- Snoopy's Home: Charles M. Schulz's home page
- Peanuts Collector Club
- Peanuts Collectible Ornaments Guide
- AAUGH.com: Peanuts Book Collecting Guide
- Peanuts Animation and Reprints Page
- Charles M. Schulz Museum website
- NCS Awards
- The Complete Peanuts: 1955-1956
- Peanuts Gang Wikia
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