It's Only a Game

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It's Only a Game (book cover).jpg

It's Only a Game was a sports-and-game-oriented comics panel by Charles M. Schulz, creator of Peanuts. This panel feature ran for fifteen months, from October 1957 to January 1959.

Schulz and cartoonist Jim Sasseville (who also assisted Schulz on Peanuts stories for various comic books) produced this strip which appeared in newspapers four times a week, including Sundays. Schulz created the strip and produced the first few weeks worth of strips himself; after that, while Schulz was responsible for most of the written content and rough artwork, Sasseville was brought on board to provide some of the gags and all the finished artwork, done in Schulz's style. (Schulz continued to receive sole credit for the comic.)

Despite the resemblance to the children in Peanuts, most of the characters in these cartoons were adults. The comic focused on games, which could range from card games and board games to classic 'sporting' games, or even recreational activities. Unlike most other sports comics, the sporting activities focused on many amateur sports, like golf and ping pong.

The strip was modestly successful, although its unusual three-times-a-week publication schedule (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) may have limited its placement in many newspapers. A Sunday strip was also offered to newspapers, consisting of the three panels from earlier in the week, along with a bonus fourth panel in an elongated format.

Given the growing popularity of Peanuts and the resulting demands on his time, Schulz canceled the strip after 63 weeks.

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