It’s the first ever Peanuts graphic novel, Charlie Brown!

Last week people were speculating over the announcement that Kaboom! — BOOM! Studios’ new all-ages comics imprint — would be publishing something Peanuts-related. Was it strips reprints? Comic book reprints? What?

The reality is that it’s an ALL NEW adaptation of a new Peanuts animated movie, Happiness Is a Warm Blanket Charlie Brown, which Warners Home Video is releasing in March.

The tie-in graphic novel adaptation is by original creator Charles M. Schulz and adapted by Craig Schulz and Stephan Pastis, with art by Bob Scott, Vicki Scott and Ron Zorman. As you can see from the attached preview, it’s drawn in the official Peanuts style.

Although the idea of anyone doing Peanuts but Sparky himself is strictly forbidden in the comics religion, if you’re going to do something new, an adaptation of a movie based on the comic strip is not completely blasphemous.

This March, join Charlie Brown, Linus, Snoopy and all your favorite PEANUTS characters as Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown, the very first PEANUTS graphic novel ever published, is released by newly-launched all-ages imprint kaboom! Based on the work by PEANUTS creator Charles M. Schulz himself, this graphic novel is sure to delight a whole new generation of PEANUTS fans!

“We’re honored to publish such a beloved property,” BOOM! Studios Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Ross Richie said. “I can think of no better way to kick-off our new all-ages imprint kaboom! than with the first PEANUTS graphic novel ever published!”

Adapted from the brand new animated special from Warner Home Video, Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown features Charlie Brown’s kite-flying woes, Linus’ insecurities, Lucy’s unrequited love for Schroeder and everyone’s favorite beagle, Snoopy, in a lively and colorful spin through Charles Schulz’s imagination. This 80 page, 7×10, hardcover graphic novel ships this March at the suggested retail price of $19.99 in conjunction with the all-new PEANUTS animated feature of the same name available on DVD from Warner Home Video March 29, 2011.

Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown is written by original creator Charles M. Schulz and adapted by Craig Schulz and Stephan Pastis, with art by Bob Scott, Vicki Scott and Ron Zorman.

“New original PEANUTS comic book content is a tradition that goes pretty far back in comic book publishing,” said BOOM! Studios Editor-in-Chief, Matt Gagnon. “Dell Comics published ‘Tip Top Comics’ which featured new PEANUTS comic book content created under the guidance of Charles Schulz. ‘Tip Top’ ran from 1936 until 1961, creating well over 40 original PEANUTS stories and countless covers. It’s exciting to be a part of the return of PEANUTS to the comic book format.”

The Happiness is a Warm Blanket graphic novel and DVD dovetails into a larger campaign launched in January when PEANUTS proclaimed 2011 as “The Year of ‘Happiness Is…’”. Throughout the year, the classic PEANUTS concept, which cartoonist Charles M. Schulz coined in 1960 with “Happiness is a Warm Puppy,” will be celebrated with special-themed products, cross-branding partnerships, social media campaigns and nationwide activities.

Launched last week, kaboom! is the brand new name for BOOM! Studios’ three year old all-ages imprint previously known as BOOM Kids! This year sees kaboom! launch with the premiere of the PEANUTS graphic novel, followed closely by an all new original series by fan-favorite Roger Langridge entitled SNARKED! along with Scholastic’s WORD GIRL. Taking over the branding on BOOM!’s current publishing of classic Disney stories, the kaboom! logo will now be gracing other previous BOOM Kids! titles such as Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Uncle Scrooge and fan-favorite DARKWING DUCK, CHIP ‘N’ DALE RESCUE RANGERS and the recently announced DUCKTALES.









  1. School book clubs used to offer paperbacks which adapted the animated specials. They were basically photo-comics, taking the images from the actual television special, which rarely tied into the comic strip.

    Then there was the Saturday morning cartoon, which did adapt storylines from the comic strips.

    So what we have now is a mixture of the two. HiaWBCB is based on the comic strips, and animated. Then that animated cartoon is being adapted, by artists, into a graphic novel.

    The general public won’t care.
    The Schulz purists might be alarmed, but given the precedents, shouldn’t really be concerned.

    What’s more interesting… “Warner Home Video”… they didn’t nail down the publishing license as well? Mark Horak might be on the hot seat.

    Even more interesting… Running Press has an edition as well… 9780762440726 $13.95

    No data for the Kaboom edition in Books In Print…

  2. Book adaptations of specials was an ongoing thing even at the time Warners got the DVD license, so it was not surprising that it was not automatic that they got the book rights as well.

  3. “Although the idea of anyone doing Peanuts but Sparky himself is strictly forbidden in the comics religion”

    What church are you going to? My congregation is fine with the comics drawn by Sasseville, Hale and others. On the other hand, we excommunicate heretics who weren’t actually friends with Schulz but call him “Sparky” in a pathetic attempt to seem cool.

  4. It not Sparky, so it’s odd seeing it on the “printed” page. But it’s in line with the animated specials, so I’m fine with it. Overall it’s a pretty good impersonation.

  5. I dunno … it seems like a series of one-page gags … a comic strip blown into or rearranged as a full page.

  6. Didn’t Mr Schulz say in his will that he didn’t want anyone to draw new Peanuts comics after he died? If so, how they heck can they get away with this from a legal standpoint?

  7. @Jonathan
    Maybe he wanted only the strip to end. Peanuts was both the personal and artistic strip and the big business (tv shows, merchandising, comic books and so on). Schulz accepted the business, and I think that a graphic novel is part of it, as well as movies and children books.
    IMO he wanted the end of the strip because it was the inmost part of Peanuts.

  8. The samples up top are all old Peanuts gags — just redrawn/reinterpreted for a comic book page instead of a strip. So the content remains the same, but the visual representation is different (and in some cases completely new). A really interesting experiment.

    That being said, I think it looks cool.

  9. The release does say the original story was written by Schulz and adapted by his son, so it has to be approved of the Schulz estate. And since it’s based on a TV special/home video movie, this may have been in the pipeline before he died, so it would make sense that they’d want to complete the project.

    I’ll agree that Snoopy looks like he’s being drawn from an earlier style than the rest of the gang.

    And regardless of who wrote it, a lot of the pages shown are really funny. I’ll definitely have to take a peek at this one.

  10. The comic strip was and is sacrosanct, but other artists had been involved in non-strip projects, going back to comic book stories of the 1950s, into book format with the original 1965 book adaptation of A Charlie Brown Christmas drawn by Dale Hale. Paige Braddock is working on this new graphic novel – she’s someone that Schulz hired for his studio, and whose own illustrations can be seen in the adaptations of specials released by Little Simon starting the year after Schulz passed. And certainly the animation was always made up of thousands of drawings by other artists; Schulz was not himself an animator.

    This particular animated work was not in the pipeline before he died, but it is made up of storylines and gags from the strip.

  11. Am I the only one shocked to see Pastis is involved in this project? He used to really rail against this sort of comic strip nepotism…

  12. I think it looks good.

    However, if we’re looking for things that make it “like” Schulz or “unlike” Schulz, the thing that sticks out to me and makes an unhappy impression is the lettering. It’s a font made from Schulz’s lettering style, but the perfect computer uniformity doesn’t mesh well with the idiosyncrasy of Schulz’ linework (or an imitation of it).

    That’s a nitpick, but I think it’s interesting that something so familiar as PEANUTS feels different when one minor element is changed.

  13. Brad: “The samples up top are all old Peanuts gags — just redrawn/reinterpreted for a comic book page instead of a strip.”

    Ok, then … so I could read the same thing in the PEANUTS reprint paperbacks? I was hoping this would be something original in all respects.

  14. Rich, the Running Press edition (9780762440726) might contain the original strips.

    It seems to be designed like the other classic Peanuts gift books, but instead of text facing an illustration on the opposite page, this book will actually have a narrative. Perhaps the actual strip panels will be reproduced 2×2 on each page.

  15. Again, this is just based on the samples so what do I know, but as a Peanuts nerd, these are all old stories from the strips — the one where Lucy buries Linus’ blanket is a classic. So they’ve taken that story, with the same narrative beats, and drawn some completely new panels for it. Some are reinterpretations of old ones, but others are all new.

    The last 3 or so ‘new’ TV specials were similar in that they just took individual strips/stories and strung them together to make a special. But they weren’t that great because they never told a whole story like the old ones did (and they didn’t have those cool watercolor-y skies). But this is different because where the TV shows just animated strips (sounds so easy, right?) this is making new panels. I wouldn’t say new art and old stories, but I would say a new presentation. It’s like Linus Beyond (sorry).

    But yeah, you could go into Half-Price Books or the Strand and read the Linus digging for his blanket story in any number of Peanuts collections — but they would look different from the above. So these comic are doing something new and really interesting. They are not, as some sites are reporting, “all original material.”

  16. While I don’t have my copy of the Running Press edition (it’s zooming through the mail system right now), I’d be very surprised if it does have the strips; while Running Press has reprinted some strips for their gift book line, this book is not part of that line but part of their kids line. They’ve done a fair number of Peanuts kids books, but no strip reprints in that line.

  17. I’ll agree that Snoopy looks like he’s being drawn from an earlier style than the rest of the gang.

    I’d say that all of the artwork looks like Schulz’s style, circa 1962, not just Snoopy. The difference is also noticeable with Charlie Brown; he looks a little different than modern readers would be used to. But Linus is also clearly a throwback; look at his face when he’s at bat on the second page.

  18. Having got the other edition of Happiness is a War Blanket, Charlie Brown, I can now definitely confirm that it is not a strip reprint, but is a storybook – prose and illustrations (by Paige Braddock and Vicki Scott.