Only What's Necessary (Hardcover)

Charles M. Schulz and the Art of Peanuts

By Chip Kidd, Geoff Spear (By (photographer)), Jeff Kinney (Contributions by), Jean Schulz (Contributions by), Karen Johnson (Contributions by), Paige Braddock (Contributions by)

Abrams ComicArts, 9781419716393, 304pp.

Publication Date: October 20, 2015

List Price: 40.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Charles M. Schulz (1922–2000) believed that the key to cartooning was to take out the extraneous details and leave in only what’s necessary. For 50 years, from October 2, 1950, to February 13, 2000, Schulz wrote and illustrated Peanuts, the single most popular and influential comic strip in the world. In all, 17,897 strips were published, making it “arguably the longest story ever told by one human being,” according to Robert Thompson, professor of popular culture at Syracuse University. For Only What’s Necessary: Charles M. Schulz and the Art of Peanuts, renowned designer Chip Kidd was granted unprecedented access to the extraordinary archives of the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa, California. Reproducing the best of the Peanuts newspaper strip,all shot from the original art by award-winning photographer Geoff Spear, Only What’s Necessary also features exclusive, rare, and unpublished original art and developmental work—much of which has never been seen before.

About the Author

Chip Kidd is a graphic designer and writer, and editor-at-large for Pantheon. A three-time Eisner Award winner, he has written and designed over a dozen books on comics including Peanuts: The Art of Charles M. Schulz. His novels, The Cheese Monkeys and The Learners, were national bestsellers, as was True Prep: It’s a Whole New Old World (with Lisa Birnbach). Other books include Go: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design and the forthcoming Judge This. He lives in New York City.

Geoff Spear shot all the photography for Batman Collected, Batman Animated, Bat-Manga!, Peanuts: The Art of Charles M. Schulz, and Mythology: The DC Comics Art of Alex Ross. His award-winning photographs have appeared regularly in Vogue, Entertainment Weekly, GQ, Newsweek, and the New York Times, and on numerous book covers.

Praise For Only What's Necessary: Charles M. Schulz and the Art of Peanuts

“This glorious tome is equal parts museum and monument, a masterwork of curatorial rigor and an affectionate homage.”

“What’s most striking is the wealth of original art.”

“It’s a coffee-table book to end all coffee-table books—not just a beautiful object, but something anyone can flip through for an hour.”