Size does matter, maybe a little.

§ October 26th, 2022 § Filed under peanuts, publishing § 4 Comments

Was surprised slightly when opening up my Diamond Comics shipment this week (though I shouldn’t be too surprised since I’m the person ordering all this stuff) by the arrival of And A Woodstock in a Birch Tree from Titan Books:

This is, in fact, a facsimile reprint of the original Peanuts Parade book from 1979. Which, by the way, I just happened to have bought back then, having somehow scraped together the necessary $3.95 to acquire it. And as I still have it, here is a pic of that very book purchased by Grade School Mike in the rapidly-receding past:

Now I loved these Peanuts Parade books. I checked every available one out of the school library and the public library, often multiple times. I can still picture these well-worn volumes being held in my hands. I liked these much better than the standard Peanuts paperbacks because 1) they were thicker and had a lot more strips in them, and 2) they were physically bigger, measuring 7 by 10 inches in size.

Hence my surprise when I cracked open that Diamond box and saw the new edition, and its much smaller stature of 5 1/2 by 8 inches. I know you can’t really tell by looking at the scans above, so point your peepers at this pic I took especially for you comparing and contrasting the two editions:

(The back cover of the original features a Sunday strip in color, whereas the back cover of the Titan edition is mostly solid red with a publisher note about this being a facsimile and what strips are reprinted therein.)

Now I realize this, and similar volumes of Peanuts strips, are possibly made redundant by the Fantagraphics Complete Peanuts series. Those are extremely nice, don’t get me wrong, and I’m so glad to have ’em all, but there is a nostalgic value to simply holding a book like this in your hand, original or facsimile. The look and feel, the very format of the volumes, makes them distinct pleasures above and beyond the value of “completeness” that you could otherwise obtain. I have a handful of old oddball hardcover Peanuts strip reprints that I would never get rid of, simply because they’re aesthetically pleasing to me, even if the strips are better curated elsewhere.

But it’s hard to top having my old original and beat-up copy of Peanuts Parade in my hands, connecting me to the ten-year-old I used to be.

4 Responses to “Size does matter, maybe a little.”

  • Andrew says:

    LOVE the Fantagraphics books – read the entire collection from start to finish last year – it was a bit exhausting – the 60s stuff is great but oh, Lucy really takes a toll. The 90s stuff was much better than I had remembered it and loved all the interesting stuff Schulz did with photo realism and different sized panels.

    I have a few of the oversized books you’re referring to – and the paperbacks AND some of the mid -sized editions. Nothing comprehensive although I probably have about 20 of the paperback editions and in pretty good condition. Although, after reading the Fantagraphics editions, I doubt I’ll ever read any of the other collections… still, they are nice to keep. :)

    Thanks for posting this today – reading about Peanuts always makes me smile. ;)

  • Andrew Lee Lopez says:

    Up until those Fantagraphics volumes came out, I loved picking up those paperbacks anywhere I could find them. Still held on to a few until it was time to accept the new collections.

  • Snark Shark says:

    Ohhhhhhhhhhhh I used to find those little paperbacks a LOT and had a bunch of `em!

    Never seen that type before, though!

  • Casie says:

    What a lovely post. Those books always make me so happy. Have a few from my childhood but always tempted at flea markets to buy more. Thanks Mike for bringing up good memories and introducing these new little guys.