November 30th, 2009

News

tough but good read

"With food stamp use at record highs and climbing every month, a program once scorned as a failed welfare scheme now helps feed one in eight Americans and one in four children... Virtually all have incomes near or below the federal poverty line, but their eclectic ranks testify to the range of people struggling with basic needs. They include single mothers and married couples, the newly jobless and the chronically poor, longtime recipients of welfare checks and workers whose reduced hours or slender wages leave pantries bare."

Comics

MGK on the state of the union

"I'm just gonna pause for a second here because it's worth reflecting upon how few Big Two books are good as opposed to merely being competent. For DC there's Detective Comics, Batman and Robin, and Secret Six. For Marvel there's Incredible Hercules, Invincible Iron Man, the 'cosmic' books, and whatever comic fills the Iron Fist slot for any given month. That is it at present. (Daredevil's new direction is uneven, Captain America is in a boring lull period, and Amazing Spider-Man is inconsistent on a week-to-week basis.) Eight books between the Big Two that are genuinely good comics and not just placefillers.

"I'll go further than that, though, and say that there are exactly two ongoing runs right now that aren’t just good but indeed excellent, and those are Invincible Iron Man and Detective Comics (which I have seriously come around on after a rereading plus the effect of the two most recent issues). And my simple definition of 'excellent' is this: if the run came to an end with the next issue, would I be disappointed that it was over?"

News

India, Republicans, and daytime TV

THE LATE NEWS:
* "...Many Indians still live with a sense of permanent crisis, of a world out of joint, where violence can be contained but never fully prevented, and where human action quickly reveals its tragic limits."
* Training for war in Afghanistan by way of Louisiana.
* Seeking federal oversight of mass transit in the wake of the Metro crash.
* The Republican party, but united and divided.
* Bonus: man, are they really saying Senator Graham isn't conservative enough?
* What Oprah's departure will mean for daytime TV.
* A critical eye on our modern lust for celebrity status.
* The NYTimes presents a holiday gift guide for graphic novels.