Each book in the ongoing Complete Peanuts series (Fantagraphics) is beautifully designed by the Canadian cartoonist Seth, and features two years of thoughtfully reproduced daily and Sunday newspaper cartoon strips. This magnificently conceived project, whose latest addition is the sixth volume (1961–1962), will keep the work of Charles M. Schulz on the shelves of bookstores for years to come. It’s interesting to speculate on how the American public would react to Peanuts if Schulz were just starting out today. The great man’s mix of whimsical angst and irreverent theology would probably displease bohemians and conservatives alike. In the reputedly prim 1950s, Shulz found not only acceptance but also massive commercial success, perhaps due to the high artistic status that cartoonists enjoyed at that time. Schulz was a true scholar of pre-war newspaper strips and fully cognizant of publishers’ and readers’ willingness to engage with challenging and eccentric cartoons. Dip into any volume of this history to dispel any notion that complex form and content in comics is a recent phenomenon.