Screen-Shot-2014-12-28-at-4.10.12-PM“It’s very lonely out here on the pitcher’s mound.”

So utters one of the most well-known, most persistent, greatest manager, and losingest ball player that has ever lived: Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang have been playing baseball for over fifty years, and in that time they have come to symbolize our love and passion for the game. We can always count on Charlie Brown to have his socks knocked off (along with other clothes), Lucy to drop the ball, Snoopy to fall asleep and still be the best shortstop ever, the team to lose badly, and for them all to still come out and play again the next day. It gives us hope to know that when all else fails, Charlie Brown and the gang will be around to play ball with us.

Peanuts is one of my favorite strips and I love seeing the gang play baseball. That being said, I have to admit I really do not like this themed collection. Not because the strips aren’t poignant and well-chosenthey arebut because it takes the strips out of context, so we don’t see how some storylines start or finish because they don’t deal with baseball. Schulz did not write the baseball stories in a vacuum; they could continue on for days or weeks, at times they’d be interrupted by other events. By pulling the strips out of context, this collection sometimes leaves the reader wondering what happened. I would have preferred to see the strips in order and enjoy Peanuts in its entirety, than to just see the baseball strips.

A more positive change that the publishers made is that while the original strips were published in black and white, these strips have been reprinted with color added, likely to help resonate with younger readers. While this may seem like sacrilege to some, the Sunday Peanuts strips have long been in color and the color choices used in this collection match those. To be honest, while reading the book I forgot that the strips were not originally in color because the colors work so well with the characters and seem natural. Both of these changes are positive, as they help readers reconnect with stories or just see them in a new light.

While I appreciate that AMP is trying to introduce new readers to Peanuts, I think it would be best served by putting them in order versus themed. Regardless, this book is one that all ages will enjoy and new readers will delight in discovering the joy and passion that the Peanuts gang brings to baseball.

Pow! A Peanuts Collection
by Charles Schulz
ISBN: 9781449458263
AMP! Comics for kids, 2014
Publisher Age Rating: 7-12

  • Dani Shuping

    Past Reviewer

    This reviewer is not longer actively working on our site, but we would not be here if not for our many dedicated contributors over the years. We thank all of them for their reviews, features, and support! Dani Shuping is currently a wandering librarian looking for a home. She has been involved in libraries for over nine years and and has had an interest in graphic novels since before that time. Dani began the graphic novel collection at Mercer, works with an English professor from time to time on a class on graphic novels, and just recently started a graphic novel book discussion group. She love attendings comic conventions, especially the smaller ones when they can, and one day may just have a comic of their own. Dani can be found at ashuping.net and goes by the user name ashuping where ever they can, such as on Twitter: @ashuping.

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