Complete runs of most of the great strips from the Golden Age of American comics have been or are being issued in excellent editions by the likes of Fantagraphics Books, IDW Publishing and Sunday Press Books.  I’m a collector of many of these reprint series, working my way through them with great pleasure.  Here’s a report on my progress through The Complete Peanuts:

I’m in early stages with this strip, in the middle of 1953.  The tone of the strip at this point, wry and genial, is still a bit bland.  The center of the strip, Charlie Brown, has taken full shape as the good-natured but anxiety-ridden everyman he will remain, but the characters around him have yet to coalesce into iconic figures, though Snoopy is closing in on iconic status.

Charles Schulz, Brown’s creator, still seems to see the strip as a series of observations on childhood, not on Life Itself — in short, the universe of the strip has not yet become mythic.  But it’s getting there.

Click on the image to enlarge.