So it appears that with Fantagraphics’ The Complete Peanuts: 1989 to 1990, we are fully into the “Snoopy likes cookies” jokes phase of the strip:
I remember picking up a couple of the softcover strip collections way back when, while Peanuts was still being produced, and noticing the proliferation of cookie-related punchlines. I wasn’t particularly fond of these strips then, as many of the jokes seemed to me at the time really only technically “punchlines,” where the humor of any particular installment seemed to be, as noted, “Snoopy likes cookies.”
I think my stance on this pressing issue is a bit more forgiving now, since I find myself enjoying the strips not so much as, you know, any kind of deep insight into the human (or beagle) condition, or as a laugh-out-loud gag, but as just a…I don’t know, a soft smile or a quiet sense of gentle bemusement as a familiar character repeatedly expressed his quirk. Also, I think I’ve since come to appreciate Schulz’s commitment to the cookie joke repetition…he decided that Snoopy liked cookies, that he thought it was funny, and by God he was going to use his comic strip to explore every freakin’ facet of that comedy gem. Plus, the dude did work on this strip for fifty years. If anyone deserved being cut a little slack, it’s him.
There may also be a small element of reappreciating someone’s work in the light of “well, there ain’t gonna be no more, so enjoy what you have.” I’ve mentioned this before in relation to Jack Kirby’s 1970s output, which was mocked in some quarters at the time, but now try to find someone who doesn’t love Devil Dinosaur.
Also in this book is this reference to Siskel and Ebert, as Sally and Charlie Brown discuss a movie they’re about to see:
Well, to be fair, that could be a reference to Jeffrey Lyons and Michael Medved, who were also hosting a movie review TV show at the time.
And here’s yet another terrifying example of Snoopy just straight-up speaking:
Or Schulz just merged the thought balloon and the “woof woof woof” speech balloon together, but that possibility is not nearly as fun.