City Desk

Voice of America, Soothingly Covering the Local Comic-Book Scene

Everybody has their own way of finding their Zen. Some do yoga. Some smoke weed. Some turn cuddling into an odd, process-oriented group activity. Me, I stick to Voice of America Special English, which broadcasts news stories about the awesomeness of American culture to faraway lands, using a limited pool of vocabulary words spoken slowly. Very, very slowly. A VOA Special English broadcast feels simultaneously woozy and soothing, like a chopped and screwed version of NPR, or somebody softly whispering The Elements of Style in your ear.

I've let VOA Special English fall out of my regular listening habits for a while, but Comics DC reminds me of reason to tune in again: Yesterday the network aired a lengthy feature on comic books that includes quotes from staffers at Springfield's NOVA Comics and Games. An excerpt from the show should give you an idea of how simple the storytelling is:

Comics use drawings and words to tell stories that can be funny or serious, or a little of both. Comic books grew out of comic strips in newspapers.

One of the most successful early comic characters in America was Mickey Dugan, better known as "the Yellow Kid." He wore a yellow coat that was too big for him.

He was a character in a comic strip in New York called "Hogan’s Alley" by Richard Felton Outcault. It provided social commentary on the problems of cities.

But you really have to listen to the report to get the full effect. True, you may fall asleep on the Metro while listening to it. But that's a small price to pay for utter peace.

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