Blockheads, Beagles, and Sweet Babboos
New Perspectives on Charles M. Schulz's Peanuts
A critical reexamination of the Peanuts gang we all know and love
Blockheads, Beagles, and Sweet Babboos: New Perspectives on Charles M. Schulz's "Peanuts" sheds new light on the past importance, ongoing significance, and future relevance of a comics series that millions adore: Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts. More specifically, it examines a fundamental feature of the series: its core cast of characters. In chapters devoted to Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy, Franklin, Pigpen, Woodstock, and Linus, author Michelle Ann Abate explores the figures who made Schulz’s strip so successful, so influential, and—above all—so beloved. In so doing, the book gives these iconic figures the in-depth critical attention that they deserve and for which they are long overdue.
Abate considers the exceedingly familiar characters from Peanuts in markedly unfamiliar ways. Drawing on a wide array of interpretive lenses, Blockheads, Beagles, and Sweet Babboos invites readers to revisit, reexamine, and rethink characters that have been household names for generations. Through this process, the chapters demonstrate not only how Schulz’s work remains a subject of acute critical interest more than twenty years after the final strip appeared, but also how it embodies a rich and fertile site of social, cultural, and political meaning.
"This book is excellent. It will be a central text in the study of Peanuts."- Roy T. Cook, coeditor of The Art of Comics: A Philosophical Approach
"Michelle Ann Abate addresses the lack of critical attention given to Schulz's incredibly well-known strip, and she does so with inventiveness."- Lara Saguisag, author of Incorrigibles and Innocents: Constructing Childhood and Citizenship in Progressive Era Comics
"Blockheads, Beagles, and Sweet Babboos is a useful addition to the critical literature of Peanuts. Abate’s approaches yield some interesting insights and illustrate that there is still much to be said about one of the world’s most popular and critically acclaimed comic strips."- Chris York, International Journal of Comic Art Blog