Posts Tagged ‘Fantagraphics


2 in 1 Showcase Episode 230: San Diego and Captain America

Another San Diego Comic-Con has come and gone, and this week Blake and Erin get together and talk about the big anouncements from this year’s show: crossovers between Star Trek and the Legion of Super-Heroes, Archie and KISS, the new Fables spin-off, the upcoming relaunch of the Defenders, and much more! They also give their review of Captain America: The First Avenger, do a Rampant Speculation on the upcoming Suicide Squad, and give a few picks. Erin has discovered Tim O’Brien‘s The Things They Carried, and Blake doubles up with Sergio Aragones Funnies #1 and Locke and Key Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at!

Music provided by Music Alley from Mevio.

Episode 230: San Diego and Captain America


2 in 1 Showcase Episode 180: San Diego 2010

Erin is back this week, joining Blake to talk about the news from Comic-Con 2010! In the news we’ve got the Avengers cast, the Chew TV show, the Young Justice cartoon, new Avengers, changes to the Batman family, the return of the Mickey Mouse comic strip, new announcements about a dozen different comics and creators, and more! In the picks, Erin recommends the book Stiff, and Blake loved the second issue of Darkwing Duck. Contact us with comments, suggestions, or anything else at!

Music provided by the Podshow Podsafe Music Network.

Episode 180: San Diego 2010


What I’m Reading: The Complete Peanuts 1969-1970 & 1971-1972

The Complete Peanuts: 1969 to 1970For a few years now, I’ve been waiting patiently every six months for the latest installment of Fantagraphics’ beautiful hardcover editions of The Complete Peanuts. The set, which will ultimately collect every comic strip Charles Schulz created in the 50-year lifespan of the comic strip, will eventually encompass 25 volumes and take 12 years to complete. Although I’ve gotten every book in the series faithfully, I’ve fallen a little behind in actually reading them, so with the time off last week, I sat down and read the 10th volume in the series, which came out last fall, and now I’m going through volume 11, which just hit stores.

Volume 10 collects the strips from the years 1969 and 1970. Although there weren’t any major upheavalsto the world of Charlie Brown and friends in these two years, there are a lot of classic strips. We get Peppermint Patty’s first skirmish against her school dress code, a storyline that would become more prevalent in later years. Snoopy returns home to the Daisy Hill Puppy Farm, only to find himself caught up in a riot. We finally learn the name of the little yellow bird who hangs around Snoopy’s house all the time, and Linus’s special blend of sports drink fails to make Charlie Brown’s baseball teams champions.

Although the book is light on big moments, there are great ones — most of them revolving around Snoopy himself. The sequences where his overactive imagination casts him in the role of a grocery store checkout clerk are even funnier than the earlier series where he becomes the first beagle on the moon. His efforts at being the new Head Beagle meet with amusing disaster, and Charlie Brown again finds himself heartbroken in his pursuit of the Little Red-Haired Girl.

The Complete Peanuts: 1971 to 1972Volume 11, 1971 to 1972, is full of major moments that I remember vividly. When I was a kid, my local library had a few books of Peanuts comic strips that I checked out and read over and over again. Clearly, the strips must have originated in these two years, because some of the comics and stories I remember most fondly are to be found in this volume: for example, Peppermint Patty going to “court” over the dress code that tells her she has to wear a skirt. The summer camp where we first met the bespectacled girl who would become Peppermint Patty’s sidekick, Marcie. Snoopy’s adventures as “Joe Cool” and his infatuation with Miss Helen Sweetstory, author of such obviously brilliant novels as The Six Bunny-Wunnies and Their Layover in Anderson, Indiana. To the writer in me, this last bit appeals greatly. It’s just hysterical stuff.

For the romantic in me, though, I’m even more mesmerized by the continued evolution of Peppermint Patty and Charlie Brown in this edition of the series. Peanuts has always been a comic strip about unrequited love: Charlie Brown is in love with the Little Red-Haired Girl, Lucy is in love with Schroeder, Sally is in love with Linus, Linus is in love with his teacher Miss Othmar, and so forth. In each of these cases, you have one character hopelessly pining away for another, fully aware of the situation and therefore able to wallow in the hopelessness of it.

In this volume, however, we see how Charles Schulz created a subtly different dynamic. Although she doesn’t admit it, although she doesn’t even realize it, this is the volume where it becomes undeniable that tough, rough-and-tumble Peppermint Patty is actually in love with bland, wishy-washy Charlie Brown. When she begins to suspect he has a crush on her, she writes him a letter to “let him down easy,” only to act almost violently offended when she realizes he wasn’t thinking about her at all. She later invites him to the carnival (he wasn’t her first choice, but that is likely due to rationalization on her part), and runs off hurt when he mentions the ubiquitous Little Red-Haired Girl. When Marcie dares to suggest she likes ol’ Chuck, her reaction is so over-the-top that it’s his turn to run off, wounded, while she’s left feeling guilty. Schulz himself once wrote that if anything were ever to come between Peppermint Patty and Marcie, it would be the fact that they’re both secretly in love with Charlie Brown. This book really lays that out wonderfully.

Both books are wonderful, and quite literally a must-buy for Peanuts fans. This series really has been all it was advertised to be.

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