Since 2004, Fantagraphics Books has been publishing a complete hardcover compendium of all 50 years’ worth of Peanuts comic strips, and this May, the 25th volume will hit bookstores—with a foreword from none other than Barack Obama.
“Like millions of Americans, I grew up with Peanuts,” Obama writes. “But I never outgrew it.”
Obama joins a grand, varied collection of introduction writers that includes Walter Cronkite, Jonathan Franzen, Billie Jean King, Al Roker, and Paul Feig. The 25th volume covers Jan. 1, 1999, through Feb. 13, 2000, when the final strip hit print just one day after creator Charles Schulz died in his sleep. The new volume will be the penultimate installment, with the final installment to follow in October. Fantagraphics president and co-founder Gary Groth told the New York Times that Obama was “inevitably at the top of the list” of candidates to write the foreword, and that CNN’s Jake Tapper, another one of the many former introduction writers, put the publisher in touch with the White House.
Obama’s foreword has not been released in its entirety. But from what snippets we have, it seems to echo the introduction Obama once gave the Peanuts Christmas special on ABC, which emphasized the decades-long role Peanuts has played in American life by unifying people across the country through its charming lessons. “For decades, Peanuts was our own daily security blanket,” Obama writes in the foreword. “That’s what makes Peanuts an American treasure.”