Flamingo Boy

This is the issue I worked on, my first week as a volunteer at The Onion. I am not pictured here.

The cover of The Onion from late 1988. The masthead from previous issues has not changed but . Below that, the design is spare but clean.
Cover of “Flamingo Boy issue” of The Onion from 1988.

We received a very earnestly-worded letter to the editor and I think it was the first time many of us (not entirely me, as I had gotten a crash course in what was being jokingly referred to — by the activist left, where the phrase originated; before it got coopted by the centrists and the right — as “political correctness”) had been asked to think about these issues. I have to give credit to the activists who make stirs about stuff like this, you got to us early and made a difference all the way 35 years in the future. We still made fun of you — that’s just who we were — but we were always on the same side.

A very blurry scan of the staff box of The Onion from late 1988. My name and title are there, which is described in the caption below.
Staff box of The Onion Volume 14 Number 5.

“Layout Guru and Hi-tech Wiz” was someone else’s idea. When I was given the opportunity (the very next issue) they allowed me to change my job title to “Layout Technology Thaumaturgist” which remained my title throughout my tenure. There was a long conversation about it in the office that week which included multiple attempts to get a laugh out of the joke (stolen shamelessly from Dragon Magazine), “You thau my ’turgist, I’ll thau yours.”

Oh, and that “Jonathan Hart Eddy” character was me.

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Johanna Wilder

Yes, indeedy.