It's A New Peanuts Comic, Charlie Brown : Monkey See Well, sort of, anyway. It's actually a graphic novel adaptation of a new Peanuts special that's based on classic Peanuts strips. Got all that?
NPR logo It's A New Peanuts Comic, Charlie Brown

It's A New Peanuts Comic, Charlie Brown

Copyright © 2011 Peanuts Worldwide LLC Kaboom! Studios hide caption

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Kaboom! Studios

Copyright © 2011 Peanuts Worldwide LLC

Kaboom! Studios

Well, sort of.

Technically, it's a graphic novel adaptation of an all-new Peanuts straight-to-DVD movie, which in turn is based on several classic Peanuts strips. Got that?

Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown will be released on DVD on March 29th; the accompanying graphic novel, published by kaboom!, should be in stores about the same time.

From the previews, it would seem that what we're looking at here is essentially a collection of Linus-and-his-blanket-gags strung into a narrative by Charles Schulz's son Craig and Stephan Pastis, with art by Bob Scott, Vicki Scott and Rob Zorman.

And although the art deviates not a whit from Peanuts' signature style, in the translation from strip to movie and back to graphic novel, the makers of this book seem to have afforded themselves a bit more room to play with the form than ol' Four-Panel Schulz ever did. In some cases it's purely cosmetic, adding design flourishes in the gutter between panels, as here:

Page from Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown Copyright © 2011 Peanuts Worldwide LLC hide caption

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Copyright © 2011 Peanuts Worldwide LLC

Page from Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown

Copyright © 2011 Peanuts Worldwide LLC

And in other cases there's what seems like an honest-to-Sparky formally innovative playfulness with page layout:

Page from Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown Copyright © 2011 Peanuts Worldwide LLC hide caption

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Copyright © 2011 Peanuts Worldwide LLC

Page from Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown

Copyright © 2011 Peanuts Worldwide LLC

Back when I was but a barefoot boy with cheek of deathlike pallor, Peanuts was my drug of choice. My friends and I would check out our elementary school library's copies of Peanuts compilations again and again. We loved them, memorized them, attempted to ape Schulz's deceptively simple style. (My friend David mastered latter-day, fat-nosed Snoopy; I never managed to draw Linus' oddly bulbous head without making him look like John Merrick in a stripey shirt.)

We had strong opinions on the Peanuts television specials. First came A Charlie Brown Christmas (for the dance number); next came It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (for "I got a rock."); A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving came in at a distant third (for Peppermint Patty's astonishingly jerky, I'ma-invite-myself-and-two-other-people-over-for-dinner-behavior which, in the WASPy Philadelphia suburbs of my youth, seemed astonishingly transgressive).

And that was it. Oh, there were other Peanuts specials made, of course, but none had the power to excite and enthrall the way the Big Three could.

We'd joke about it, in the jaded, cynical manner of world-weary third-graders everywhere.

"It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown," we'd say, and snicker over our Jolly Ranchers.

We grew older, and our attention drifted away from Peanuts to Bloom County, Calvin and Hobbes, The Far Side and Doonesbury. Yet still they kept churning out Peanuts specials; and when, in the 80s, the home video market exploded, it was Sherman- bar-the-door.

Because, I mean: It's Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown. Oh, 1984. You were a cruel and heartless mistress.

There follows a list of actual Peanuts specials produced between 1965 and 2006. Only four of the following are made up. Can you spot the fakes?

1. This is America, Charlie Brown

2. Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown

3. Life is a Circus, Charlie Brown

4. She's a Good Skate, Charlie Brown

5. Why, Charile Brown, Why?

6. Snoopy's Getting Married, Charlie Brown

7. There's No Time for Love, Charlie Brown

8. Someday You'll Find Her, Charlie Brown

9. That Looks Infected, Charlie Brown

10. It's a Mystery, Charlie Brown

11. You're in the Super Bowl, Charlie Brown!

12. You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown

13. It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown

14. It's the Pied Piper, Charlie Brown

15. Play it Again, Charlie Brown

16. Did You Ever See Old Yeller, Charlie Brown?

17. It's Magic, Charlie Brown

18. Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (And Don't Come Back!) (FILM)

19. It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown

20. A Boy Named Charlie Brown (FILM)

21. I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown

22. Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown (FILM)

23. A Charlie Brown Angioplasty

24. He's Your Dog, Charlie Brown

25. It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown

26. What Have We Learned, Charlie Brown?

27. You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown

28. Is This Goodbye, Charlie Brown?

29. It's Your First Kiss, Charlie Brown

30. Snoopy's Reunion

31. You're the Greatest, Charlie Brown

32. Happy Birthday, Charlie Brown

33. It's Spring Training, Charlie Brown

34. He's a Bully, Charlie Brown

35. It Was My Best Birthday Ever, Charlie Brown!

36. It's an Adventure, Charlie Brown

37. You're Bumming Me Out Here, Charlie Brown

38. What a Nightmare, Charlie Brown!

39. It's the Girl in the Red Truck, Charlie Brown

40. Lucy Must Be Traded, Charlie Brown

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The fakes: 9, 16, 23 and 37.