Charles Schulz enters his fourth decade as the greatest cartoonist of his generation, and Peanuts remains as fresh and lively as it ever was.
(How do we know it’s 1980? Well, for one thing Peppermint Patty gets herself those Bo-Derek-in-“10” cornrows — Peanuts’ timelessness occasionally shows a crack!)
That said, The Complete Peanuts 1979-1980 includes a number of classic storylines, including the month-long sequence in which an ill Charlie Brown is hospitalized (including a particularly spooky moment when he wonders if he’s died and nobody’s told him yet), and an especially eventful trek with Snoopy, Woodstock, and the scout troop (now including a little girl bird, Harriet). And Snoopy is still trying on identities left and right, including the “world-famous surveyor,” the “world-famous census taker,” and Blackjack Snoopy, the riverboat gambler.
In other extended stories, Snoopy launches an ill-fated airline (with Lucy as the agent, Linus as the luggage handler, and Marcie as what it was still OK then to call the stewardess)… Peppermint Patty responds to being leaked upon by a ceiling by hiring a lawyer (unfortunately, she again picks Snoopy)… plus one of the great, forgotten romances of Peanuts that will startle even long-time Peanuts connoisseurs: Peppermint Patty and…“Pig-Pen”?!
"Although Schulz’s much-loved comic strip is considered timeless — the continued reprinting of decades- old episodes in today’s newspapers attests to its perennial appeal — it wasn’t immune to contemporary trends. In these episodes, Peppermint Patty advocates for women’s equity in sports and gets Bo Derek-inspired cornrows. In other anomalous sequences, Charlie Brown’s pals express uncharacteristic affection for him when he’s hospitalized, and Peppermint Patty falls in love with — of all people — Pig-Pen. But most of the strips here display the comfortable tropes, from Snoopy as a WWI flying ace to Linus awaiting the Great Pumpkin, that Peanuts fans grew to love during its five-decade run." – Gordon Flagg, Booklist