The history of the Village Voice, New York’s free culture newspaper, is a perfect microcosm of media evolution from print to digital. Founded in 1955, it became a powerful voice for “the counter culture” in the tumultuous 60s, and the only way to find an apartment in the 90s via its classifieds. Then came digital, the paper changed hands several times while shrinking to an anorexic tabloid. The once ubiquitous kiosks where it was given away for free are mostly used as receptacle for homeless people’s detritus now.

Along the way comics were one of the Voice’s best known features. Jules Feiffer, Ben Katchor, Tom Tomorrow, Lynda Barry and many more were among the defining commenters on their times. But those too dwindled away, the victim of budget cuts.

But now, it seems, comics are coming back to the Voice. The Voice has added two strips, Normel Person by Lauren Weinstein and Penny by Karl Stevens. And both are excellent.

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Weinstein’s strip is a one panel exploration of life and themes; she’s been missing from comics for a while and it’s wonderful to have her back. I ran into her at Comic Arts Brooklyn over the weekend and she was pretty excited about the gig.

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Steven’s strip is a sort of 21st century Garfield, only much better, with a photo realistic cat thinking deep thoughts while humans babble on about how cute she is. Only two strips in, but I’m sold.