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As the 1950s close down, Peanuts definitively enters its golden age. Linus, who had just learned to speak in the previous volume, becomes downright eloquent and even begins to fend off Lucy's bullying; even so, his security neurosis becomes more pronounced, including a harrowing two-week "Lost Weekend" sequence of blanketlessness. Charlie Brown cascades further down the hill to loserdom, with spectacularly lost kites, humiliating baseball losses (including one where he becomes "the Goat" and is driven from the field in a chorus of BAAAAHs); at least his newly acquired "pencil pal" affords him some comfort. Pig-Pen, Shermy, Violet, and Patty are also around, as is an increasingly Beethoven-fixated Schroeder. But the rising star is undoubtedly Snoopy. He's at the center of the most graphically dynamic and action-packed episodes (the ones in which he attempts to grab Linus's blanket at a dead run). He even tentatively tries to sleep on the crest of his doghouse roof once or twice, with mixed results. And his imitations continue apace, including penguins, anteaters, sea monsters, vultures and (much to her chagrin) Lucy. No wonder the beagle is the cover star not only of this volume, but of the collector's slipcase.
"The Complete Peanuts has framed Charles Schulz’s enduring masterpiece about as well any lifelong fan could’ve hoped." – "The Best Comics of the '00s: The Archives", The A.V. Club
"The Complete Peanuts confronts us afresh with what a brilliant, truly modern and totally weird idea it was to create a comic strip about a chronically depressed child..." – Time
"Fantagraphics' heroic project (designed with subtle, quiet beauty by the caroonist called Seth) enables us to glimpse the moment when 'good ol' Charlie Brown' could say with frowning vehemence, 'The rest of this day can't possibly hold any good for me!'... [Grade:] A" – Entertainment Weekly
"As essential as pop texts get." – The Onion
"Consider replacing those tattered old Peanuts paperbacks with this definitive series." – Booklist
"Even the most demanding Peanuts fan couldn't ask for more. [Grade:] A+" – Comics Buyer's Guide
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