Alabama authorities say a home burglary suspect has died after police used a stun gun on the man.  Birmingham police say he resisted officers who found him in a house wrapped in what looked like material from the air conditioner duct work.  The Lewisburg Road homeowner called police Tuesday about glass breaking and someone yelling and growling in his basement.  Police reportedly entered the dwelling and used a stun gun several times on a white suspect before handcuffing him.  Investigators say the man was "extremely irritated" throughout and didn't obey verbal commands.

Montgomery Education Foundation's Brain Forest Summer Learning Academy was spotlighted Wednesday at Carver High School.  The academic-enrichment program is for rising 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in the Montgomery Public School system.  Community Program Director Dillion Nettles, says the program aims to prevent learning loss during summer months.  To find out how your child can participate in next summer's program visit Montgomery-ed.org

A police officer is free on bond after being arrested following a rash of road-sign thefts in southeast Alabama.  Brantley Police Chief Titus Averett says officer Jeremy Ray Walker of Glenwood is on paid leave following his arrest in Pike County.  The 30-year-old Walker is charged with receiving stolen property.  Lt. Troy Johnson of the Pike County Sheriff's Office says an investigation began after someone reported that Walker was selling road signs from Crenshaw County.  Investigators contacted the county engineer and learned signs had been reported stolen from several roads.

NPR Politics presents the Lunchbox List: our favorite campaign news and stories curated from NPR and around the Web in digestible bites (100 words or less!). Look for it every weekday afternoon from now until the conventions.

Convention Countdown

The Republican National Convention is in 4 days in Cleveland.

The Democratic National Convention is in 11 days in Philadelphia.

NASA has released the first picture of Jupiter taken since the Juno spacecraft went into orbit around the planet on July 4.

The picture was taken on July 10. Juno was 2.7 million miles from Jupiter at the time. The color image shows some of the atmospheric features of the planet, including the giant red spot. You can also see three of Jupiter's moons in the picture: Io, Europa and Ganymede.

The Senate is set to approve a bill intended to change the way police and health care workers treat people struggling with opioid addictions.

My husband and I once took great pleasure in preparing meals from scratch. We made pizza dough and sauce. We baked bread. We churned ice cream.

Then we became parents.

Now there are some weeks when pre-chopped vegetables and a rotisserie chicken are the only things between us and five nights of Chipotle.

Parents are busy. For some of us, figuring out how to get dinner on the table is a daily struggle. So I reached out to food experts, parents and nutritionists for help. Here is some of their (and my) best advice for making weeknight meals happen.

"O Canada," the national anthem of our neighbors up north, comes in two official versions — English and French. They share a melody, but differ in meaning.

Let the record show: neither version of those lyrics contains the phrase "all lives matter."

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School's out, and a lot of parents are getting through the long summer days with extra helpings of digital devices.

How should we feel about that?

Police in Baton Rouge say they have arrested three people who stole guns with the goal of killing police officers. They are still looking for a fourth suspect in the alleged plot, NPR's Greg Allen reports.

"Police say the thefts were at a Baton Rouge pawn shop early Saturday morning," Greg says. "One person was arrested at the scene. Since then, two others have been arrested and six of the eight stolen handguns have been recovered. Police are still looking for one other man."

A 13-year-old boy is among those arrested, Greg says.

Pages

Collaboration Leaves Couple 'Drawn Together'

Oct 17, 2012

What happens to underground artists after they step, blinking, into the harsh, flat light of the upper world? If they are Robert and Aline Crumb, not a whole hell of a lot — at least, not in their approach to their art. As amply demonstrated in Drawn Together, which collects comics the two cartoonists have created together since the late '70s, their specific subjects may change, but how they go about depicting those subjects — their shared impulse for autobiographical, self-deprecating logorrhea — remains constant.

Drawn Together reveals how static their writerly obsessions have remained over the decades, from the '70s (Timothy Leary, Aline's body, sadistic sex) through the '80s (the birth of their daughter, Aline's body, sadistic sex), the '90s (their move to a small French village, their dissatisfaction with Terry Zwigoff's documentary about Robert's family and career, Aline's body, sadistic sex), and the '00s (covering New York Fashion Week and the Cannes Film Festival for The New Yorker, Aline's body, sadistic sex).

It's interesting, too, to watch their styles coexist without melding. Robert writes his dialogue, and draws himself and the backgrounds in his familiar style of disciplined exaggeration buttressed by rigorous drafting skill, employing cross-hatching and chiaroscuro to lend weight and dimensionality. Aline writes her dialogue and draws herself into the panels with less polish but more passion, using thin, wiggly line work reminiscent of naive or outsider art, and seems to relish depicting herself as grotesque. As a result, in panel after panel, Aline appears to float between the work and the reader, like an exuberant two-dimensional child's drawing suspended above the dark, dense, richly detailed world of the comic.

It is Aline who delivers the Crumbs' mission statement: "The more personal, revealing and sniveling, the more interesting," she says. "I wanna feel like I'm snooping, peeking thru the keyhole into somebody's — anybody's — private hell. No detail is too petty if it's honest."

Agree with that sentiment and you will find Drawn Together a richly rewarding reading experience. There is no shortage of petty but honest detail to be found here, from the couple's opinions of their friends to the mechanics of their sex life to sundry disquisitions on their bowel habits.

Disagree with that sentiment, however, and you'll likely find yourself nodding vigorously as, in one panel, a worried Robert Crumb critiques one of their comics:

"We do prattle on! Look at these pages, nothing but talking heads! No action, no suspense, no mystery ... everything's laid bare! 'Ya gotta love Aline 'n' Bob!' Oh boy ..."

He's not kidding. Over the decades, in fact, we see the Crumbs grow increasingly voluble, eager to lay bare in dialogue what they have taken care to depict visually. This tendency to underline eliminates any tension between word and image, moving the work out of the realm of true comics and into that of illustrated text. Thus a walk through the French village they love so deeply becomes oppressive, as we watch the air grow thick with word balloons like thunderheads, forcing us to peer under them and catch only glimpses of the town itself.

Of course, any autobiographical work is by its very nature a mediated experience — the author directs our attention to specific moments and discrete events in an attempt to turn unstructured experience into meaningful narrative. Drawn Together offers something different, animated as it is by the Crumbs' steadfast belief that honesty is all that matters, that their every revelation is somehow revelatory.

They're wrong about that, but it's hard not to love the Crumbs at least a little. They are the couple you've met on vacation, who strike up a conversation in the bar: They are funny and self-aware, and their passion for each other, and for "telling it like it is" as loudly and gleefully and lengthily as they do, makes you want to buy them a drink.

And then leave.

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