PEANUTS Reprint Books

by Derrick Bang



Back in the day, before Fantagraphics began its Complete Peanuts reprint program, assembling a more-or-less chronological collection of Peanuts strips could be daunting, since there really was no uniform series of titles. Worse yet, the strips reprinted in American books rarely displayed their date of original publication, and often are not in sequence. (To make things even harder, Schulz was selective about what got anthologized. Unlike some cartoonists, who reprint everything, Schulz originally allowed many hundreds of strips to essentially disappear...but that's another matter.)

The very first collection of Peanuts comic strips appeared in a book appropriately titled Peanuts and first published by Rinehart & Company (later Holt, Rinehart & Winston) in July of 1952. It reprinted strips from late 1950 through early 1952. By 1960 it had already gone through 20 printings.

What follows, then, is what once could be called The Beginner's Guide to Peanuts: the books that you should have sought, if you wished a more-or-less complete history of Charlie Brown and his friends. Take note, though: I've listed original titles here...many of which are long out of print. But most have been reprinted many times, sometimes under other titles and with different contents; for a comprehensive overview of that whole mess, you need to investigate books lists compiled by folks such as Scott McGuire, Nat Gertler and Jym Dyer; you'll find convenient links to them elsewhere.

Early Holt, Rinehart & Winston (HRW) titles appeared in two formats: the familiar 5x8 books, or a horizontal 8x5 version. Daily strips were reprinted in the vertical manner, while Sunday strips were reprinted in the horizontal form. Later editions of the Sunday collections were changed to the vertical format, for the sake of uniformity; once this decision was made, subsequent editions of the earlier horizontal titles were re-issued in the now-standard vertical format. During the middle 1960s, books began mixing daily and Sunday strips, instead of segregating them into different titles.

The following titles are listed in their order of publication. Date and month (when known) of first publication are shown. While this is a more-or-less chronological reprinting of the strips, this cannot be assumed; Itís a Dogís Life, Charlie Brown and You Canít Win, Charlie Brown, for example, both include numerous strips from 1960 and 1961. Furthermore, the contents of all these books were completely random until Thompson is in Trouble, Charlie Brown, which initiated an ongoing tradition of assembling the strips in their (mostly) proper order.


Peanuts

1. Peanuts (7/52)

The cartoons in this debut book have never been gathered in any other title, unlike those found in virtually every other book, which have been reprinted many more times. That makes this one something of a prize...although not a phenomenal prize, because its several dozen printings guarantee the existence of an awful lot of copies.

2. More Peanuts (9/54)

More Peanuts

Good Grief, More Peanuts

3. Good Grief, More Peanuts (10/56)



Sunday strips only


4. Good Ol' Charlie Brown (8/57)

Good Ol' Charlie Brown

Snoopy

5. Snoopy (6/58)

This title is devoted exclusively to cartoons starring Snoopy, some unique, others collected in earlier books.


6. You're Out of Your Mind, Charlie Brown (12/58)

Sunday strips only

You're Out of Your Mind, Charlie Brown

But We Love You, Charlie Brown

7. But We Love You, Charlie Brown (8/59)


8. Peanuts Revisited (10/59)

This book is a prize. It is different in three respects: it is a hardcover, complete with dust-jacket; it has roughly twice as many pages (224, to be exact); and it reprints selected cartoons from the previous four titles, in addition to containing cartoons from 1957-59 not found anyplace else. Although published in five different printings through January 1974, it is very hard to find. Beware the Weekly Reader abridged versions, at only 80 or 100 pages.

Peanuts Revisited

Go Fly a Kite, Charlie Brown

9. Go Fly a Kite, Charlie Brown (1960)


10. Peanuts Every Sunday (4/61)

Sunday strips only

Peanuts Every Sunday

It's a Dog's Life, Charlie Brown

11. It's a Dog's Life, Charlie Brown (2/62)


12. You Can't Win, Charlie Brown (8/62)

You Can't Win, Charlie Brown

Snoopy, Come Home

13. Snoopy, Come Home (2/63)

This title is devoted exclusively to cartoons starring Snoopy, some unique, others collected in earlier books.


14. You Can Do It, Charlie Brown (8/63)

You Can Do It, Charlie Brown

We're Right Behind You, Charlie Brown

15. We're Right Behind You, Charlie Brown (1/64)

Sunday strips only


16. As You Like It, Charlie Brown (10/64)

As You Like It, Charlie Brown

Sunday's Fun Day, Charlie Brown

17. Sunday's Fun Day, Charlie Brown (9/65)

Sunday strips only


18. You Need Help, Charlie Brown (3/66)

You Need Help, Charlie Brown

The Unsinkable Charlie Brown

19. The Unsinkable Charlie Brown (3/67)


20. You'll Flip, Charlie Brown (9/67)

You'll Flip, Charlie Brown

You're Something Else, Charlie Brown

21. You're Something Else, Charlie Brown (1968)


22. You're You, Charlie Brown (1968)

You're You, Charlie Brown

You've Had It, Charlie Brown

23. You've Had It, Charlie Brown (1969)


24. You're Out of Sight, Charlie Brown (1970)

You're Out of Sight, Charlie Brown

You've Come a Long Way, Charlie Brown

25. You've Come a Long Way, Charlie Brown (1971)


26. Ha Ha Herman, Charlie Brown (1972)

Ha Ha Herman, Charlie Brown

Thompson Is in Trouble, Charlie Brown

27. Thompson Is in Trouble, Charlie Brown (1973)


28. You're the Guest of Honor, Charlie Brown (1972)

You're the Guest of Honor, Charlie Brown

Win a Few, Lose a Few, Charlie Brown

29. Win a Few, Lose a Few, Charlie Brown (1974)


Beginning in 1975, HRW switched to a new format, known as the Peanuts Parade Paperbacks. These are larger -- 7x10 -- books, with more pages, and equal to 1-1/2 of the books noted above. In addition to showcasing new strips, the Parade format was used to reprint the contents of the aforementioned titles. (This was done almost at random, and made confusing because the Parade books were themselves assigned numbers which bore no relation to chronological order or the stripsí original appearance.) What follows, though, are only those titles that collect new strips. The numbers shown in parentheses refer to the Parade Paperback number, and reflect the order in which these books were published.

30. Speak Softly, and Carry a Beagle

(PPP#11, 1975)

Speak Softly, and Carry a Beagle

Don't Hassle Me with Your Sighs, Chuck

31. Don't Hassle Me with Your Sighs, Chuck

(PPP#12, 1976)


32. Summers Fly, Winters Walk

(PPP#21, 1977)

Summers Fly, Winters Walk

The Beagle Has Landed

33. The Beagle Has Landed

(PPP#22, 1978)


34. And a Woodstock in a Birch Tree

(PPP#23, 1979)

And a Woodstock in a Birch Tree

Here Comes the April Fool

35. Here Comes the April Fool

(PPP#24, 1980)


36. Dr. Beagle and Mr. Hyde

(PPP#25, 1981)

Dr. Beagle and Mr. Hyde

You're Weird, Sir!

37. You're Weird, Sir!

(PPP#26, 1982)


38. Kiss Her, You Blockhead!

(PPP#27, 1983)

Kiss Her, You Blockhead!

I'm Not Your Sweet Babboo!

39. I'm Not Your Sweet Babboo!

(PPP#28, 1984)


40. The Way of the Fussbudget Is not Easy

(PPP#29, 1986)

The Way of the Fussbudget Is not Easy

Things changed again in 1985, when Topper -- a division of Pharos Books -- took over the publication of chronological reprint titles. Topper concentrated solely on new collections, numbered in order of release. During its short run, this company produced horizontal books in three sizes: the first four are 8.5x5, the next three are 10x7, and the last is 11x8.5.


Dogs Don't Eat Dessert

41. Dogs Don't Eat Dessert

(#1, 1987)


42. You're on the Wrong Foot Again, Charlie Brown

(#2, 1987)

You're on the Wrong Foot Again, Charlie Brown

By Supper Possessed

43. By Supper Possessed

(#3, 1988)


44. Talk Is Cheep, Charlie Brown

(#4, 1988)

Talk Is Cheep, Charlie Brown

It Doesn't Take Much to Attract a Crowd

45. It Doesn't Take Much to Attract a Crowd

(#5, 1989)


46. If Beagles Could Fly

(#6, 1990)

If Beagles Could Fly

Don't Be Sad, Flying Ace

47. Don't Be Sad, Flying Ace

(#7, 1990)


48. Could You Be More Pacific?

(#8, 1991)

Could You Be More Pacific?

Andrews and McMeel took the reins in 1990, but released only two titles in the ongoing chronological series, both squarish books 8-1/2x9. They are not numbered.


Being a Dog Is a Full-Time Job

49. Being a Dog Is a Full-Time Job (1994)


50. Make Way for the King of the Jungle (1995)

Make Way for the King of the Jungle

HarperCollins picked up the torch in mid-1999, and recovered some lost ground by releasing four titles simultaneously. Each book is 8x5 (a return to the original Holt, Rinehart & Winston dimensions!). They are not numbered.


Now, That's Profound, Charlie Brown

51. Now, That's Profound, Charlie Brown (1999)


52. I Told You So, You Blockhead! (1999)

I Told You So, You Blockhead!

Dogs Are Worth It!

53. Dogs Are Worth It! (1999)


54. The World Is Filled with Mondays (1999)

The World Is Filled with Mondays

Right about here, we must acknowledge an earlier Andrews & McMeel anniversary title, which deserves placement in this spot because it reprints a full year of strips -- 5/31/93 to 5/29/94 -- in chronological order. (Although this overlaps what is presented in Dogs Are Worth It and The World Is Filled With Mondays, those two each omit numerous Sunday pages and a handful of daily strips.) This is a trade-sized title, 8-1/2x11.


Around the World in 45 Years

53a. Around the World in 45 Years

(hardcover or softcover, 1994)


Ballantine Books, a division of Random House, grabbed the torch in late 2000. Perversely enough, this company's first release (Peanuts 2000) skipped ahead several years, and reprinted all of 1999 and the little bit of 2000 that Charles Schulz completed before he retired. The company then began to move backwards with each successive book; all of 1998 came next, then all of 1997, then all of 1996, then all of 1995. The books are 8-1/2x9, just like the Andrews & McMeel titles. They are not numbered.

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night, Snoopy

55. It Was a Dark and Stormy Night, Snoopy

(March 2004)


56. The World According to Lucy

(January 2002)

The World According to Lucy

It's a Big World

57. It's a Big World, Charlie Brown

(September 2001)


58. It's a Dog's Life, Snoopy

(April 2001)

It's a Dog's Life, Snoopy

Peanuts 2000

59. Peanuts 2000

(September 2000)


And that is where things stand, for the moment. Aside from plenty of incidental strips over the years, not to mention all the Sunday panels left out of the HarperCollins books, we still a ways to go!

Fortunately, we can take comfort from Fantagraphics' ongoing Complete Peanuts book program. Let's hope they all stay in print!


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All PEANUTS characters pictured are copyrighted by United Feature Syndicate, Inc. They are used here with permission. They may not be reproduced by any means in any form.