Review: Woodstock: Master of Disguise

WoodstockMasterofDisguiseSeries: Peanuts
Published by: Andrews McMeel Publishing
ISBN: 1449458270
ISBN 13: 9781449458270
Published: April 2015
Pages: 224
Format reviewed: eVersion from NetGalley
Site: Author Site
Goodreads: Book Page
Stars: Five out of Five
Lists: Recommended

Peanuts has always been incredibly important to me. Though I read a lot of comics as a kid, Peanuts was undisputably the BEST. I was sick a lot as a child, and second-hand stores near us sold bucketloads of the smaller books for $2 each, so I was often allowed $10 to try to find books we didn’t already have at home. I had a pretty good memory for it, too. My parents would flick through a book and not be sure if we already had it, but I could read one or two comics and determine either ‘nope I’m getting it’, and ‘yes we have it, it’s by the footstool’ or something.

When Charles Schulz died, I was pretty inconsolable for at least a week. 14 years old and completely lost, as Peanuts had been with me my whole life. I never really believed he would stop writing comics, and for him to die so eerily near the final printing of his comic strip sent me into a fairly deep depression for someone so young. Over someone I certainly had never met but owned literally nearly every single comic strip he’d ever done, and many other books about his life and work.

There’s something so witty and beautifully simple about the Peanuts comic strips. So many silent characters, such a large cast for usually only three panels, and having lasted for fifty years is pretty incredible. We have the first ever strip where they say ‘Oh, here comes Charlie Brown… how I hate him,’ (so cruel) to the last one that literally makes me get a bit teary (when I’m not usually so), Snoopy at his typewriter for Schulz to say goodbye to us all… this is a comic script that had incredibly depth and breadth.

So then we come to Snoopy (easily the face of Peanuts, sorry Charlie Brown), and his sidekick Woodstock. They have an odd relationship; somehow they show that though they’re an unlikely pairing, friendship knows no limits. Though we see Snoopy roll his eyes at Woodstock quite often (see cover), despite the fact Snoopy is also quite ridiculous quite often, we know that they’d do absolutely anything for each other (though maybe I’m getting a bit carried away now… bear with me here.)

Throughout this collection we see a wide range of the shenanigans they get up to and how they support each other in all they come across, whether it’s whether Woodstock thinking he needs to go on a diet, or wants to know whether Santa Claus visits birds. This is a very nice collection of reprints (clearly, as all strips have been long printed ago now!) and it captures Woodstock very nicely. There are also activities, fun facts, and other cool extras at the end of the book which would be great for kids, and I’d really recommend this for Christmas or a birthday as it’s such a good collection that a child should keep for years and years.

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