“Good ol’ Charlie Brown” – Collectible Peanuts Comics

by Blaise Tassone

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Introduced in 1950, the comic strip Peanuts has gone on to become an iconic representation of modern America. Featuring Charlie Brown and his friends (including his beagle Snoopy, who has become synonymous with ‘Peanuts’ comics’ as a whole), Charles Schultz’s strip is one of the most popular comics in the world and has inspired merchandising, pop culture references, and animated specials.

Running originally in syndication from October 2, 1950, to February 13, 2000, Peanuts eventually reached 17,897 individual four panel strips and was featured in some 2, 600 Newspapers and various comic books.

For this reason, Peanuts has been called ‘the longest story ever told by one human being’, and the comic actually ended up being a story that impacted the lives of millions.

Seriously, even if you’ve never read Peanuts, you probably still know who Snoopy and Linus and Charlie Brown are. Moreover how many people, myself included, would have completely different experiences of Halloween, Christmas and Easter if it wasn’t for the award winning Peanuts animated features that always aired during the holidays?

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Although to a causal reader, Peanuts may seem indistinguishable from any other syndicated humorous newspaper strip, it was in many ways a unique phenomenon. Mainly this was due to Schultz’s philosophical bent and sharp sociological observations.

At its peak, from 1959-1968, Schultz’s Peanuts comic commented on modern American life giving us memorable observations on how fast society was changing during those tumultuous times and acting as a mirror, reflecting all of our hopes and desires.

 

 

 

 

 

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Tip-Top Comics #173 (March-April 1952) – First Appearance of Peanuts in Comics

Growing out of a strip in his local Minnesota paper, the St. Paul Pioneer, called ‘Li’l Folks,’ Peanuts was a legacy of love from Schultz who struggled for years before he could get it widely published in 1950 and then, after that, producing a strip a day for basically the rest of his life.

A lot of the Peanuts cast were actually based on real life people and even dogs in Schultz’s life (Snoopy, for example, was based on his childhood dog: Spike). It took two years for Peanuts to make it to comics. When it did, it appeared simultaneously in two books. This is one of them. A 5.0 copy of this Golden Age comic is the highest recorded grade sold and that went on Heritage Auction for $3, 120.00 on 11/15/2018.

 

 

 

 

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United Comics #21 (March-April 1952) -– First Appearance of Peanuts in Comics

Tip-Top #137 was published in tandem with this comic: United Comics #21 (March-April 1952). Both have claims to being the very first appearance of Peanuts in comic books. However, with 17 total copies (versus the 14 of Tip-Top) on the CGC census, it has nonetheless sold for more money and in higher grade. A 7.0 was auctioned on Heritage for $7, 767.50 on 08/10/2017.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dell Four Color #878 (February 1958) – First Dell Peanuts Comic

At this point, the beginning of Peanuts heyday, the strip consisted of Charlie Brown and Snoopy, Violet, Schroeder, Lucy (Charlie Brown’s nemesis), Linus, and Pig-Pen. As fans of the comic know, eventually it would include an eclectic gang of youngsters. The most memorable of the Peanuts gang are: Sally, Frieda, “Peppermint” Patty, Woodstock (introduced April 1967; but not named until June 1970 after the Woodstock music concert), Franklin, Marcie, and Rerun.

Peanuts comics are a slice of Americana and these books still sell for very strong prices, a 9.2 of the first Dell Peanuts comic sold on November of 2018 for $6,600.00.

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