One very real early symptom of the coming apocalypse is the slow death of the independent comic. For years, these little gems have shone in the darkness of the sucky syndicated comics such Family Circus (Don't get me started on Family Circus), but they are often the first thing to disappear from independent newspapers when the economy flops.
Ask your local free indy paper to pick up one of these great comics. Here is my favorite. (I have no financial connection)