Publisher: BOOM! Studios/Kaboom
Editor: Shannon Watters
BOOM! Studios have brought together a huge collection of noted illustrators and writers – both old and new – on their Kaboom! imprint with the sole purpose of celebrating the life and work of Charles M. Schulz, and the enduring legacy of his iconic characters. The resulting tome – Peanuts: A Tribute to Charles M. Schulz – features the work of over 40 artists, and makes for a hugely satisfying reading experience.
The almost overwhelming number of contributors creates a treasure trove of wildly varied tributes throughout the collection. Peanuts: A Tribute to Charles M. Schulz has too many highlights to detail in full, but there are a few stand-outs: some are autobiographical, like Matt Groening, Jonathan Lemon and Chynna Clugston Flores’ pieces about the effect that Schulz’s work had on their lives; some put their own spin on the world of Peanuts, like Paul Pope’s touching story about Snoopy and Schroeder with its weirdly realistic artwork, and Roger Langridge’s flipped perspective on Snoopy’s never-ending duel with the Red Baron; and some contributions are simply beautifully drawn and coloured splash pages, ranging from Tony Millionaire’s gloriously grotesque caricatures to Ryan Sook’s enchanting, sunlit garden scene.
While comic book tributes are often an exercise in lazy anthologising and sychophantic praise, Peanuts: A Tribute to Charles M. Schulz achieves that rare distinction of being truly worthy of bearing the great man’s name. The sheer breadth of talent and stylistic variation on display is spellbinding for fans both young and old, all the while centred on characters who have enchanted whole generations. Those looking for a work forged in the true spirit of Peanuts which is more than just a simple retread need search no further.