A guest post by Dr Matt Finch

Snoopy was my first comic book hero.  Before I could read, before I could even follow the stories from frame to frame, I used to flip through the dozens of Peanuts books we had lying around our home, hunting out the pictures of Charlie Brown’s taciturn dog.

Charles Schulz, the creator of Peanuts, was a master cartoonist who could convey volumes with a minimal number of pen strokes.  The image above, capturing Snoopy in a soaring act of imagination, is potent because, though wordless, it belongs to the world of storytelling (and therefore literature) as much as art.

It took time for my infant self to fully make sense of Charlie Brown and company, but once I did, there was another mystery waiting for me – the inscriptions by my Mum and Dad in every edition.  It took a few years for…

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