This is the first increment in a very long career, so I wasn’t expecting the best of the best nor even the usual competent stuff you can expect from any practitioner doing something for very long (and especially with such a high regard as Charles M. Schulz). But what I was expecting was a little indication of his later work. And in that regard I found this first volume of the Peanuts utterly disappointing.
The art is already good (although still a bit bland), but the writing is completely mediocre. There’s really nothing here that stands out, that gives you the impression of good things to come. It’s just a collection of three years of completely boring and utterly trite cartoons (sometimes the punchlines make you go “Huh?!?”, sometimes the cartoon just stops). Admittedly, we all have to learn to walk before we can run, but following that process can be pretty dull.
I’ll try a few volumes more, because I find it hard to believe that someone with this kind of influence and long-lasting effect on other people in the field and readers hasn’t more going for him.