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Weekly Recommendations for September 26, 2002

Each Thursday (or Friday, since some weeks we seem to be running behind on everything),’s staff of whackos will wrack our brains to give you interesting and new things to do over the weekend. Books, movies, whatever. We’ll throw them out, you do with them what you will. And hey…if you have something you want to recommend–whatever it is–drop us a line.

Incidentally, we’ve provided links where we can for you to buy the stuff or find out more if you’re interested, courtesy of those Amazon types. Hey, come on, we can’t be totally selfless in this, can we?

Harpo Speaks! cover art

Book of the Week: Harpo Speaks! by Harpo Marx with Rowland Barber. One might expect little from the silent Marx brother (who spoke quite well off-camera–just not on), but he wasn’t a member of the famed Algonquin Round Table because of his good looks. Harpo’s book is over twice as long as Groucho‘s autobiography, and also much more in-depth. While Groucho would often go for the punchline, Harpo relates the numerous anecdotes from his life in a very informative, almost conversational fashion. Which is not to say that humor doesn’t abound throughout, because it’s an exceptionally funny little tome.
Sigil, Vol. 1 graphic novel
Graphic Novel of the Week: Sigil, Vol. 1: Mark of Power by Barbara Kesel, Ben Lai & Ray Lai. On the surface, this book looks like just another foray into science fiction. Prepare to be surprised–I sure as hell was. Never afraid to toy with the genre’s conventions or yank the rug out from under your expectations, it’s such a pageturner that you’ll blow right past the nifty little one-page essays the creative team placed between each issue. But that’s okay, you can always go back and dig them later. Worthy.

Transmetropolitan #60

Comic Book of the Week: Transmetropolitan #60 by Warren Ellis & Darick Robertson. This week’s pick is the end of an era. The book that survived DC’s failed sci-fi imprint only to become a flagship of their Vertigo line. Spider Jerusalem is an inspiration to bitter self-abusing bastards everywhere. And Ellis and crew manage to make him go out with the utmost in style. We’ll miss him, but supreme kudos for a book that manages to leave the stage without losing its testicles on the way out.

Monsters, Inc. DVD

DVD of the Week: Monsters, Inc.. Okay, so it’s Pixar. The movie’s good, fine, but Pixar makes DVDs so packed you’d think they were Criterion. I personally think it’s the Pixar editions that shamed Diz into doing their Platinum Series (like Snow White). But anyway, this gives you everything from a crazed demonstration of binaural recording to the best commentary ever (for the “Mike’s New Car” short) to a tour of Pixar’s new facility. Which, trust me, you’ll want to work at. (The full review is here.)

Big Daddy: Cutting Their Own Groove CD

CD of the Week: Cutting Their Own Groove by Big Daddy. You’ve probably never heard of these whackos. They do sick and twisted gestalts of classic tunes with more modern favorites. For example, can you imagine the Talking Heads’ “Once in a Lifetime” combined with “Day-O”? No? How about “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” with “Welcome to the Jungle”? It’s out of print, though, so find it–at a used CD store or online someplace–and proceed to laugh your arse off. (Update: It is available as an MP3 download from Amazon, however. I recommend you get it that way.)


Beverage of the Week: Zompo! Ah, well, at first glance I wasn’t sure what to make of this stuff. I mean, energy smoothie sure, but an Italian energy smoothie? What’s the big deal about that? Well, I’m still not sure–but I know the stuff is tasty. Nice and smooth and packed with the shotgun approach to stimulant additivies, try my fave flavor–Wild Berries and Cream. Is good. (Update: It’s not clear whether or not Zompo still exist, sadly.)

Magnum ice cream bar

Ice Cream of the Week: Magnum Bars. Those of you lucky enough to live in the UK or elsewhere where these are found know that they are the best. Chocolate on the outside, then ice cream, or with a layer of something yummy like caramel in between the two. Thespia has been taunting us with the memory of these lately. Like Dove bars in the U.S., but oh so much yummier, they are heaven on a stick.