Saturday, August 29, 2009

Selected work

For the last few weeks, there's been a tote bag in our backseat with about fifteen of those Fawcett-Crest Peanuts paperbacks inside. Cady Gray likes to read them while we're driving, or anywhere she ends up at loose ends (like during church).

Those particular books come from Noel's childhood library, but my brothers and I had our own storehouse of them as kids. I remember vividly picking them off of rotating racks at any truck stop or souvenir stand we happened upon during family vacations.

Then as now, the provenance of the strips inside was somewhat confounding. Each paperback bore on its cover a cryptic phrase like "Selected strips from You're A Good Egg, Charlie Brown and Good Grief, Snoopy!"

Clearly there were collections that preceded the one I held in my hand. My book was some kind of recombination of previous books. But the books mentioned were not around, and it was impossible to tell if they were originals, or if they themselves were selected from some prior iteration.

Every time I see that phrasing on the cover of whatever comics collection Cady Gray is reading, I wonder whether there's a Patient Zero of those Fawcett-Crest Peanuts paperbacks. Or is it simply turtles all the way down?

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