Peanuts: Scotland Bound, Charlie Brown is a really sweet, fun graphic novel that will delight Peanuts fans of all ages.
Peanuts: Scotland Bound, Charlie Brown
Donna Almendrala and Bryan Stone (Letters): Jason Cooper (Writer); Jewel Jackson (Color Assist); Robert Pope (Art and cover); Hannah White (Colors and Cover)
May 4, 2021
Scotland Bound, Charlie Brown has a surprising pedigree. A long-shelved Peanuts project, it was originally storyboarded by Charles M. Schulz and Bill Melendez in the hope of adding to the franchise’s long list of tv specials. Now, it has been redeveloped by BOOM! Studios into an original graphic novel.
Charlie Brown is over the moon because he is pen pals with a girl from Scotland called Morag. He’s got a huge crush on her, and when he learns that in a few months her town will host an international music and arts festival, he becomes determined to go there and meet her. After his attempt at a car washing business goes bust, he takes Lucy’s suggestion and tries to run his own carnival with a Scottish theme, imbued by brand new confidence. Soon Charlie has enough money for a flight, and Lucy, Linus, and Schroeder go with him. Fate, however, intervenes to complicate Charlie’s crush on Morag…but something even better might be waiting for him around the bend.
When you read Peanuts, you’re on the lookout for charm, sardonic life lessons, and maybe a little bit of emotional enrichment. Scotland Bound adds a wonderful new tale to Schulz’ legacy – it’s warm, filled with bites of childish wisdom (favorite moment: Lucy wondering aloud why America stopped placing extra “es” on our street signs as they do in Scotland) expressed through lovely, colorful art.
All of the usual Scottish cultural landmarks are explored — Linus is obsessed with the Loch Ness Monster, the whole gang takes a train trip, they have a meal of haggis, they meet highland “coos” — as well as some unexpected places, such as the Olde Towne Theater and Mary King’s Close. It’s a good balance between history, gentle humor, character development, and tender plot. Charlie does – as per tradition – get dumped on by the universe, but he also manages to pull off a wonderful triumph.Snoopy is his flirty, show-off self, making friends with sheep in some enviable splash panels. Schroder and Lucy continue to battle, and Schroeder’s focus is on making his big onstage international debut. Lucy, meanwhile, becomes one heck of a golfer. Eventually, Schroeder is made to see Lucy’s worth when she helps him get over a case of the jitters. And Linus’ encounter with what he thinks is the Loch Ness Monster results in a spooky but gently resolved overnight camping trip. A new character, Nell, who is part of Charlie’s host family, is a charming and sweet presence in the book. My only complaint is that there’s very little Peppermint Patty and no Marcie in the body of the story.
Parents, guardians and other assorted grown children will likely be delighted with how the book addresses the importance of determination, the value of friendship, and the worth of confidence and bravery.
Writer Jason Cooper is wise not to mess with the Schulz formula, and Robert Pope knows how to draw the kids in bright, sharp, delightfully designed panels. The color work is gorgeous, and everything pops and sings visually. Adults who remember the show’s legendary specials and the Peanuts strip itself will be pleased to add the book to their shelves.
Peanuts: Scotland Bound, Charlie Brown is a warm, cozy and sweet-natured experience that will please anyone of any age who’s a fan of the Peanuts franchise.