It’s not every day that you find history in your backyard, but that’s exactly what happened to me on January 11th.
I have a very generous fence. It transforms the multitude of shipwrecks and jetsams that dare to escape our garbage cans into a refreshing vision of what a bouquet should be. Sometimes it even depletes treasures.
So that day, as I was gathering presents from this plethora of plastic in my trash can, something caught my eye. Half-folded, nestled among a bed of sheets and wrappers like an almost literal diamond in the rough, was a newspaper from 1988. Specifically, it was the Sunday comics section of the issue of the Yakima Herald-Republic January 24, 1988. Didn’t recognize many headlines.
Its edges were worn and yellowed, but otherwise intact. The dirt had barely marred its surface. The pages were loose enough that he could have gotten off the press yesterday.
I’ve seen copies of books in libraries as old as this section of comics in worse condition. And you don’t often see something twice your age flying in the wind. So what was he doing in the wind?
Was it the commemoration of a special date for someone’s family member or friend?
Had the paper served as padding in a long-forgotten box?
Was it just a really good number?
And why was it in such good condition, blowing some 34 years later?
Whether or not this is the truth, this last theory seems to have some support. It was a very good number.
I was first introduced to Bill Watterson’s “Calvin and Hobbes” a few years ago when I found a copy of “The Days Are Just Packed” on my family’s shelf. “Calvin and Hobbes” follows the antics of Calvin, a young boy, and Hobbes, his all-too-real stuffed tiger, as he navigates life, adventure, and the search for the perfect opportunity to kick a ball. of water. It’s a shame that this legendary tape isn’t in production yet, and it was nice to see a journal of those glorious days when it was.
“Prince Valiant in the Days of King Arthur” is another comic that caught my eye. Originally written by Hal Foster, the tape was later covered in 1980 by John Collen Murphy, who wrote the 1988 installment. “Prince Valiant” caught my eye because it had a distinctive, detailed style, almost like that of a comic. “Prince Valiant” also used an overarching storyline, which very few comics I know of do. The closest I’ve seen to something similar is, on occasion, “For Better or Worse” by Lynn Johnson.
“Uncle Art’s Funland” by Art Nugent also stuck with me. This tape seeks to entertain you not only with humor, but also with a series of games and puzzles. It was a fun and unique way to sign off the comics section.
It was also interesting to see which of the comics from that time were still in print today. Classics like Jim Davis’ “Garfield,” Lynn Johnson’s “For Better or Worse,” and Art Sansom’s “The Born Loser” have stood the test of time. Charles Schulz’s “Peanuts” and Bob Thaves’ “Frank and Earnest” also graced the pages during this time, although they appear in a different section of the newspaper today. We also have a richer selection of comics available today compared to 1988, with today’s Sunday paper marking an eight comics lead over its 1988 counterpart’s 15 comics.
The next time you see trash flying, don’t be afraid to recycle it if you can. And, hey, you never know if you’ll find something unexpected along the way.
• Magnus Fulton is a sophomore at West Valley High School.