Today, the Boston Herald reported that MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, one of the architects of President Obama's health care reform bill, was working with Thomas LeBien, editor of the graphic novel version of The 9/11 Commission Report, to create a comic book with the goal of making the 2,400-page bill a little easier for non-politicians to understand.

Of course, the comments from the Herald's readers are... well, about what you'd expect from the comments of a news story about a controversial political issue.

Despite the fact that the Herald goes to the almost-mandatory well of pointing out that this comic will likely not feature Captain America or the Joker -- which means it won't clear up my questions about whether prescriptions for Super Soldier Serum are covered by Medicare -- it does point out that this is something the medium of comics excels at. The union of words and pictures that we think of as "comics" excels at getting information across efficiently, which is why it's been used as the basis for everything from superhero stories to training manuals for the Army. There are misunderstandings of the bill on both sides of the aisle, and while Gruber is no doubt in favor of it, his claim to use the facts of the bill might help to clear things up.

The comments on the article are the usual insanity of personal attacks and misspelled vitriol, but mixed in with the usual online responses to divisive issues there were a few folks who took the opportunity to take pot-shots at the medium itself:

You know, it's nice that over fifty years after Frederic Wertham cashed his advance check for Seduction of the Innocent, the very existence of comic books is still being hailed as the downfall of Western civilization.

Um, actually, Kryptonite has traditionally been shown to have no ill effects on humans, and since Superman has Purple Healing Ray coverage through the Justice League, I doubt this plan would work. Major Super-Villain Fail.

Marvel, Bluewater and Image would seem to agree with you.

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