Unpacking Peanuts Launches a "Re-Read" of the Greatest Comic Strip of All Time


Trio of cartoonists launch podcast to read all 17,897 "Peanuts" comic strips on the centennial of Charles Schulz’s birth - Challenge listeners to join


100 years ago, one of the greatest artists to ever work in any art form was born: Charles M. Schulz. To celebrate a century of Schulz, three cartoonists are inviting fans around the world to re-read all 17,897 Peanuts comic strips along with them. Their journey will chart the development, humor, and heart of Schulz’s work, which left a lasting impact on millions of readers as well as the comics medium and even the English language.


Unpacking Peanuts is a new podcast hosted by New York Times Best-Selling author Jimmy Gownley (Amelia Rules!), Harold Buchholz (Executive Producer and writer of Mystery Science Theater 3000), and Michael Cohen (co-creator of first ever comic book price guide, Argosy, 1965), who bring not only their lifelong love and admiration of Peanuts to the project, but decades of insight into the strip’s impact on the medium and the world.


The podcast was initially Gownley’s idea. “It’s been a rough couple of years for all of us,” says Gownley “and I found myself returning to Peanuts first as a source of comfort. But I soon realized that this strip is more than nostalgia. It’s as vital now as it ever was. Maybe more so. That’s what inspired the re-read. That and the idea of talking in-depth with cartoonists about Peanuts as a work of Comics art.”


Gownley reached out to friends and fellow cartoonists Buchholz and Cohen to propose the reread and podcast. “What a delight it is exploring this strip with two talented and insightful artists,” said Buchholz. “Celebrating how Peanuts’ characters, themes, and artistry have made such a positive impact on popular culture has led to fun, fascinating, and surprising conversation.” Buchholz launched his latest project, the Instagram comic strip Sweetest Beasts, in 2020.


Cohen, a longtime fixture on the comic scene who recently completed his own long-term comics project, Tangled River, leapt at the chance to revisit a childhood favorite. “Way back in 1955 I was 5 years old when I stumbled on a copy of an early Peanuts reprint book. It was one of my first reading experiences, and led to dozens of rereads of all the collected books.” said Cohen. “Peanuts helped shape my sense of humor and experience of the world as a kid, and I continue to be in awe of Schulz’s astounding talent.”


Unpacking Peanuts begins March 15, and will be available wherever podcasts are found. (http://pod.link/unpackingpeanuts) Following a special multi-episode premiere, new episodes will be released every Tuesday. Listeners can sign up for the reread at unpackingpeanuts.com.


Gownley says the podcast has already been a positive experience. “Rereading Peanuts and discussing it in such attentive detail has been a complete joy. It’s a profound and hilarious work of art that can speak to anyone. I hope everyone out there accepts our invitation and comes along for the ride.”