I think I first ran across this book over at Robot Johnny and ordered it without closing the laptop.
Printed by the Schulz Museum and lovingly edited by Derrick Bang, ‘Li’l Folks’ – Charles M. Schulz: Li’l Beginnings is a treasure not only for fans of Peanuts, but gag cartoon fans as well.
Few are aware of Schulz’ years of gag work (he sold 17 to The Saturday Evening Post) for the St. Paul Pioneer Press, but thanks to Bang and company this collection of previously largely ignored work is now easily accessible and a fascinating read.
The entire Li’l Folks run of 1947-1950 is presented exactly as they appeared in the newspaper, occasional missing eyes and all, and Schulz’ gentle sophisticated humor is blossoming. As good as the cartoons are, however, the editor’s annotations really make this volume shine; commenting on influences, characters, gags that found their way into Peanuts, and other fun asides with a zeal that is astounding.
My only wish would be for this remarkable piece to be rereleased in hardcover.
Please grab a copy while they’re still available.