Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Me by Charles M. Schulz (W.H. Allen 1981) A short, simply written autobiography that extends to Schulz’s inspirations, working process and general thoughts on cartooning, illustrated piecemeal (in black-and-white) with Peanuts strips and unremarkable family photographs. Schulz is justifiably proud of his achievements but comes across rather blandly alongside them.
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown dir. Bill Melendez (CBS, 1966) For the most part a stilted rehash of the comic strips, watchable only for the original and moodily evocative Flying Ace turned Downed Pilot animation. Commonly hailed as a masterstroke, the use of authentic child voices results in a jarring school-play amateurism.
The Complete Peanuts: 1989-1990 by Charles M. Schulz (Fantagraphics, 2013) With the change of decades, Schulz took an increasingly wistful eye to drawing Peanuts—particularly through Charlie Brown, who hankers back to days past and the simple pleasure of spending time with his dog. (Granted, he is also allowed a successful romance!)
The Complete Peanuts: 1993 to 1994 by Charles M. Schulz (Fantagraphics Books, 2014) Spurred perhaps by Rerun’s belated coming of age, Schulz bestows upon the Peanuts gang some nice little touches of character growth (Charlie Brown’s more active pursuit of the Little Red-Haired Girl, for instance). Unfortunately, his once-consummate penmanship is starting to look shaky.
The Complete Peanuts: 1971 to 1972 by Charles M. Schulz (Fantagraphics Books, 2009) An evocatively drawn mix of wit, whimsy and preternatural wisdom. Poor old wishy-washy Charlie Brown remains the unifying figure but there are a good number of delightfully droll (and character-defining) strips involving Peppermint Patty, Sally Brown, and in particular Lucy van Pelt.
Celebrating Peanuts: 60 Years by Charles M. Schulz (Andrews McMeel, 2009) Beautifully presented, with the Sundays reproduced in full colour, this hefty hardcover exemplifies the droll brilliance of Schulz, devoting 100+ large, glossy pages each to the five decades in which Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the gang ruled the world of comic strips.
Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie dir. Steve Martino (2015) As a comic strip, Peanuts ran for fifty years and was never bettered. The film’s 3D animation cannot compete with the vibrancy of Schulz’s stills, yet does succeed as a nostalgia piece capturing the greatly beloved world of perennial also-ran Charlie Brown.