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IDW Publishing has acquired the rights to yet another timeless classic. Charles Schulz’s Peanuts will return this winter in the Artist’s Edition format. It will be the first in the Artist’s Edition library to focus exclusively on a single comic strip.
While IDW’s Popeye the Sailorman is older by twenty or so years, Peanuts is arguably the most iconic piece to arrive at the publisher yet. Schulz wrote and drew the exploits of Charlie Brown and the gang from 1950 until the year 2000, when he passed.
Running for half a century, published in 2600 different newspapers, translated into 21 different languages, Peanuts made a massive impact on the world of comics. When IDW starts creating new Peanuts material, their respective creative team will have quite the standard to live up to. After all, few titles were owned and controlled by their lone and beloved creators for such an expanse of time.
I’m not alone in my measure of the acclaimed strip’s magnitude. IDW CEO Ted Adams grew up with Charlie Brown and asserts, “In the world of comic art, it does not get any bigger than Peanuts.”
Of course, there has, as of yet, been no mention of new Peanuts material. For the moment, IDW is focused on the Artist’s Edition. It’s an appropriate nod to Schulz and his half-century’s worth of influence. Scott Dunbier, editor of the Artist’s Edition, correctly points out that “[Schulz’s] importance to comics and comic history cannot be understated.”
I expect it will be a great compilation whose release is long overdue. It would be hard to have grown up in the United States and not have been exposed to at least one Charlie Brown holiday special. Peanuts are truly a mainstay in American culture. I just wonder how long we’ll have wait until IDW churns out a Mars Attacks Charlie Brown.