When I was kid, I read the newspaper. Well, not really. Only sort of, if I’m being honest. What I really read was the Sunday comics.
I recall vividly the images of Charlie Brown, Spiderman, Calvin & Hobbes, Hagar The Horrible, Blondie and Dilbert. They were a reason to get me to pick up the paper and maybe read some of the rest of it.
Sometimes I ended up in the sports section, and maybe once in a while I read something else. More often than not, it was just the Sunday funnies.
I looked forward to reading the comics. It was something I could do that let me sit next to my dad as he would read the paper. I would get to take my own section and read through it. It was a way to feel like a grown-up without having to inherit the stress and anxiety that comes with being a grown-up.
I feel like the world would be better off if we read the Sunday comics again. I went to look for them and I didn’t know where to look anymore.
I realize they still exist in some form online, but as far as I can tell, my local Sunday newspaper no longer carries them. Maybe they’re buried somewhere as a half page insert, but the stand-alone section is long gone.
The serialized stories were important because they got me used to coming back to find out what would happen next. It wasn’t like today’s binge-heavy entertainment culture, where you can watch the entire new season of a show in six hours. You had to have patience to wait seven days to get the next five frames of the story. It trained me that all good things come to those who wait, and that lesson is one my kids don’t fully understand.
Maybe it’s a good thing the Sunday comics are gone because my kids have no need to read the newspaper — and truth be told, I don’t want them to read the news yet. I write this article after listening to the news reports about the shootings in Gilroy this past weekend. It makes me sick to realize that little kids can’t go to school or summer festivals without the real chance that they could end up in a hospital, shot by someone who was having a “bad day.”I wish for a future where my kids' kids can read the Sunday comics and smile, while sitting next to their parents and simply being happy to be there.
Maybe I’m the naive one here?
I think I learned that from Charlie Brown. He kept trying to kick that football over and over again, no matter how many times it got pulled out from under him. He may have been a little down on himself, but he always got back up and tried again. That’s a lesson I want my kids to have, and it depends on me to tell them. Right now, I’m not getting any support from good old Charlie Brown.