The Great Depression II is over. We survived. We’ve recovered. Or, at least, some of us have: The Dow climbed back over 10,000, and the super-rich have started buying each other’s companies again, triggering skyrocketing bonuses among Wall Street types who, for a few months, had struggled to pay off their yachts. As usual, this amazing wealth may take a while to trickle down to the rest of us. But for now, the fat cats are breathing easier. Celebrate accordingly.
Another reason to celebrate: Comics have returned to the pages of The Village Voice. Yes, they disappeared for a while as the newspaper industry fought through the worst year in its history. (The dailies and magazines don’t seem to be out of the woods just yet.) But what’s an alt-weekly without a comic strip? We brought back Tom Tomorrow’s This Modern World just as soon as we could, and with this Best of NYC issue, we’re running riot with one of our favorite weirdo cartoonists, New York City’s own Mike Wartella.
We asked him to do what the rest of the staff did for this overstuffed annual edition of the Voice: Search high and low for what surprises, amuses, and enamors us, knocks our senses senseless, satisfies our hunger, seduces us, and makes us work up a good, healthy sweat here in the greatest town in the world even in the grip of the greatest financial disaster most of us have ever known. Whether it’s a (relatively) unknown shopping nirvana downtown, a tinnitus-inducing (and Masons-affiliated!) rock venue in Fort Greene, an upstart media blog that’s way better than it has any right to be, or the best damn penis pho in New York, here’s what helped us—and our prodigal cartoonists—live through it.