Friday, January 13, 2017

Brad Ricca

Brad Ricca is the author of Mrs. Sherlock Holmes and Super Boys, and winner of the Ohioana Book Award for Nonfiction and the Cleveland Arts Prize for Literature.

Recently I asked the author about what he was reading. Ricca's reply:
I am reading The Complete Peanuts 1999-2000 by Charles Schulz that I just got for Christmas. Before you say are you twelve? I will politely respond that Peanuts has always been, for me, the best example of narrative storytelling there is. That, and I like stories about depressive kids with dogs. This is the last collection of Fantagraphics’ brilliant repackaging of the entire series so it’s a little bittersweet. Because though I don’t remember all the strips (though I read them all in the newspaper, more or less), I know the last one that waits for me at the end – that giant panel, full- shot of Snoopy waxing nostalgic over his typewriter as Schulz says goodbye. We knew he was sick, and he would sadly die soon after, but – to be totally knock-on-wood honest – it was still kind of a disappointing panel. I remember wanting more of an ending to it all – but what would that be? A date with the Little Red-Haired Girl? Kicking the ball out of Lucy’s hand? Or a kind of “Where Are They Now?” like the end of Fast Times at Ridgemont High where we find that Linus grew up to be a non-profit arts coordinator in Laguna Beach – who always wears a blue scarf? Sally would probably be in the F.B.I. special crimes unit. Rerun would have a gold record. And Charlie Brown? He might be head of a rotisserie baseball league where he somehow owned all the teams. And one of them would be named “Snoopy’s Sluggers.” Of course that is all nonsense. Schulz’s last panel was perfect, we soon figured out, because Peanuts never ends, it just loops around and around like that blue blanket, with no real end or beginning, just a big space in the middle to hold onto.
Visit Brad Ricca's website.

The Page 99 Test: Mrs. Sherlock Holmes.

--Marshal Zeringue