onsdag 14 november 2012

Vicki Scott & Paige Braddock: It's Tokyo, Charlie Brown

You know those old Peanuts movies and specials? Those that basically took a bunch of gags from the strip and strung them together to form part of the movie, and then had the plot sort of develop from there?

Well, that is pretty much what this is, albeit in comics format. Writer-penciller Vicki Scott starts off the book with some baseball gags from the strip, emphasizing Charlie Brown's lack of skill and his team's lack of success, and then throws in the kicker: the kids become selected as goodwill ambassadors in the president's "Young Ambassadors Program", and will travel to Japan to play baseball against another kids team.

That sets the stage for the gags and character interactions to follow. Marcie reads the guidebook to Japan, learning more about the country and teaching her friends a little about it in the process, Charlie Brown gets caught up in the moment and makes nice speeches to his friends about their responsibilities as goodwill ambassadors and nobody listens to him, and Woodstock gets mugged by the food in the Japanese restaurants they visit. Finally, the play baseball against a Japanese kids' team, and play at their usual level of competence (especially Charlie Brown), and Scott throws in a plot twist to keep it all from becoming an unhappy ending.

All in all, this really is an excellent Peanuts TV special. I won't compare it to Schulz' strip – really, how could you? – but it's a good, entertaining story with some nice touches and that is faithful to Schulz's characters. It's 100 pages, and I thought it was well worth my time reading them. Recommended.

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