Peanuts Every Sunday By Charles M. Schulz [Fantagraphics, $50]
We know Christmas was a couple of months ago, but the helpful elves at Fantagraphics never stop doing superior work. They recently began a massive project, a 10-volume series featuring color reproductions of the Sunday editions of Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts The first volume in this venture serves up a fantastic collection of the strip from 1952 through 1955, recoloring them to match the original hues and to avoid sharp syndication colors. You’ll find very young versions of the gang and Snoopy in this edition, and it’s quite fun to trace the origins of the more sophisticated characters we’re more familiar with from later years and the animated specials. There are some curmudgeons online who are complaining about the book’s unconventional size (13.2 inches x 9.3 inches), because it doesn’t fit nicely with the rest of the art books on their shelves. But come on! The whole reason to have this volume is to relive the joy of reading the Sunday morning funnies — and that’s why the larger format is absolutely vital to the experience. Keep ’em coming, folks!