Italian creators Luca Debus and Francesco Matteuzzi will bring their unique style to tell the story of a very American legend — Peanuts creator Charles Schulz. Top Shelf will release Funny Things: A Comic Strip Biography of Charles M. Schulz next year.
“While Schulz was working on his last strip, looking back on five decades of Peanuts characters and situations, he laughed and said: ‘I really drew some funny things,’” Matteuzzi said. “That phrase, Funny Things, stuck with me since I first read it: it’s both accurate and a huge understatement of what he accomplished. So simple, and yet so powerful, just like the strips he left us which we will cherish forever.”
Here’s the description from Top Shelf:
Starting with the last days of his monumental career, Funny Things jumps back and forth in time to narrate both Schulz’s artistic achievements and the personal episodes that formed him as an author and human being, ultimately shaping him into the most beloved cartoonist on the planet. From full-color Sundays to black-and-white dailies, every strip provides a laugh as well as a piece of insight into his remarkable life story. Filled with affection, charm, and poignant observation, Funny Things imagines Schulz through the lens of the very world he created, inviting us all to meet the man behind the blanket.
“Charles Schulz stated several times that he never created any art in his lifetime,” Debus said. “He believed cartoons belonged to the fleeting nature of newspapers and therefore couldn’t stand the test of time. With this book, we want to prove him wrong. By narrating his life, we celebrate his legacy as arguably the most influential cartoonist to ever live and try to understand his complex identity as both the man and the artist behind Peanuts.”
Here’s a look at the interior pages, which will feel familiar to anyone who ever curled up with the funny pages from their local newspaper during Peanuts heyday:
“Readers of Funny Things will delight in spotting the real-life inspirations and references to iconic Peanuts lore, such as Schulz’s love of baseball, classical music, a little red-haired girl, and a sweet black & white dog who might be wiser than any human,” said Top Shelf editor Leigh Walton. “But they’ll also get a profound sense of his religious faith, his understanding of loneliness, his immense ambition, and his rich family life.”
Funny Things is due out next August.