Charles Schulz •
Snoopy, Come Home •
The title character here needs no introduction. This collection of vintage Peanuts strips shows Snoopy masquerading as everything from the Mad Punter to a gargoyle to the president of the Pinecrest PTA. The world’s best-loved beagle was enjoying his salad days during the 1960s, unable to put a paw wrong. Surely this is the only dog in existence who babysits for birds, plays shortstop on a Little League team, and relaxes by standing on his head in water sprinklers.
As for the supporting cast, you can forget the stereotypes of cutesy comic-book kids. The Peanuts youngsters—none of them over the age of eight—are greedy, philosophical, stubborn, anxiety ridden, sarcastic, argumentative, and just plain weird. (Meaning that they’re much like adults, only shorter.)
Schulz once described cartooning as “a ‘fairly’ sort of proposition. You have to be fairly intelligent: If you were really intelligent you’d be doing something else. You have to draw fairly well: If you drew really well you’d be a painter. You have to write fairly well: If you wrote really well you’d be writing books. It’s great for a fairly person like me.” A typically modest statement from one of the major creative geniuses of the 20th century.
Struggling artists may find consolation in knowing that his early teachers told Schulz he had no talent for drawing and should pursue a different career.
We are forever and fervently grateful that he didn’t listen. A world without Snoopy is unimaginable.
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