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Headsup: Because Everyone is Beautiful at the Ballet

An ongoing attempt to make sense of the onslaught of new swag that people want you to buy. Should you? I’ll try and help.

The Point Is... by Dov Davidoff CD Cover Art
Storming Las Vegas by John Huddy Cover Art

The cool thing about Comedy Central putting out scads of comedy albums is that even a shut-in like myself who never goes to comedy clubs and doesn’t watch television can suddenly find himself confronted with new comedy. Such is the case with Dov Davidoff (and his disc here, The Point Is…) who I had never heard of before but now won’t forget because A) he has a really cool name and 2) the dude is actually quite funny. He reminds a bit of Bobcat Goldthwait in that his material comes from all over the place and his delivery is deceptively manic which hides how thoughtful (and sometimes hilariously wrong) it is. Fans will want to grab this, people who aren’t fans will want to give it a try. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

Okay, here’s the title of this audiobook. Check this out. Storming Las Vegas: How a Cuban-Born, Soviet-Trained Commando Took Down the Strip to the Tune of Five World-Class Hotels, Three Armored Cars, and Millions of Dollars. That title of this book by John Huddy is the best goddamn title you will hear this week. Is there anything about that which doesn’t draw you in? It’s summons up an image of Tom Clancy rewriting Ocean’s Eleven and getting Michael Bay to direct the damn thing. Blackstone Audio has it unabridged read by Stefan Rudnicki. And get this: it’s not even like Ocean’s in that they only had an hour or so to get in and get out. This assault on Vegas took place over sixteen freaking months. In-sane. The book clocks in at thirteen and a half hours across eleven discs. (Click here to buy the audiobook; click here to buy the book, both from Amazon.)

TwoMorrows Back Issue 27 "Comic Book Royalty" Issue Cover Art
TwoMorrows Alter Ego 76: Joe Simon

The latest issue of Back Issue takes a focus on the water-breathing heroes. There’s a great article on Aquaman’s mad stories of the 70s and 80s (which offers insight into DC at the time as well as the sea king), plus that other sea king, Namor, and his history. And no look at Atlantis would be complete without a rundown on DC’s Arion, who, because he was made a part of Power Girl’s history is now just as confused as the regular DCU. You also get a look at Doctor Doom, Black Panther and Brian Bolland and Mike W. Barr revisit Camelot 3000, which I still think is a damn fine series. My favorite bit of art (and because these are from TwoMorrows, you know they’re full of good stuff–I don’t have to tell you this by now) is a page which takes a page from Barr’s original script through four different languages in its final form. Nice. Also, a quick look at Night Force, which I cannot freaking believe has not been revived for Vertigo. I’d do for it real cheap, it’s such a no-brainer. Anyway, the mag is excellent as always. And you need it if you’re a comics fan. So grab it already. (Click here to buy it from TwoMorrows.)

Also of note is the Joe Simon issue of Alter Ego. How Joe Simon is this issue? The interview with Simon runs through Page 52, for crying out loud. Granted, it’s not wall to wall words, it’s also got–yes, you guessed it–enough cool and archival art stuff to choke all of Hydra. But yes, most folks know that Simon was a co-creator of Captain America. He also co-created the Boy Commandos, ran the parody magazine Sick, oh, did a few other things and is still around. So he’s got a crapload to talk about. In addition to all of that posterity, there’s a look at All-American Comics (which got snagged by DC in 1946). As always, if you like comics back when they were good, then you need to grab this. The interview alone is worth the price of admission. (Click here to buy it from TwoMorrows.)

In Classic Style: The Splendor of American Ballet Theatre by Nancy Ellison Cover Art

There’s just something I find appealing about books that could be used as bludgeons. That is the case with Nancy Ellison’s In Classic Style: The Splendor of American Ballet Theatre, and generally when a book is that freaking huge, it’s because it’s got photos or art or something that begs hugeness. And that’s the case here, as she presents photography detailing the work of the American Ballet Theatre. Productions represented include of course Swan Lake but also Othello, Sleeping Beauty, Romeo and Juliet and others. Apart from the opening words from Ellison, Kevin McKenzie, and Rachel S. Moore, and introductions and credits for each production, you’ve got wall to wall photos. The book is over two hundred pages long, so if you enjoy ballet or just fine photography, or work in theatre and want to check out some up close and personal productions shots, then this book from Rizzoli is right up your alley. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)