December 21, 2006


Stickmen. By Peter Vegas. Andrews McMeel. $7.95.

A Collection of Sexy Quotes. By Michelle Brown. Andrews McMeel. $12.95.

     Still searching for some stocking stuffers?  Here are a couple that won’t deplete your wallet too much, that are good for some seasonal enjoyment, and that – in one case, anyway – can even give you a head start on Valentine’s Day.

     Stickmen is just what the title says: a book filled with those little stick figures that everyone doodles now and then.  You know the type: long vertical line for body, shorter horizontal line for arms, two splayed lines for legs, and a circle for a head.  Peter Vegas plays with the ultra-simple form through modest changes and dialogue balloons.  For instance, one Stickman tells another, “I’m getting a tattoo,” and the other reasonably asks, “Where?”  One Stickman is labeled “Parking Warden” and has a diagonal line through his circular head (since the slashed circle is commonly used to mean “no parking”).  Two Stickmen are seen next to a more fully drawn character (with face, hair, etc.), and one Stickman asks the other, “Who’s your fancy friend?”  One Stickman is missing the usual circle on top, and another asks, “Where’s your head at?”  The humor here is mild, sometimes juvenile, with no pretense to profundity or any lasting effect – making this a nice little stocking-stuffer sort of book to generate mild amusement and then, perhaps, be passed along for someone else to enjoy (since it takes very little time to go through the whole thing).

     It takes longer to go through A Collection of Sexy Quotes, and that’s a good thing, since there is actually some depth to this selection by Michelle Brown – and the book should continue to be fun at least until Valentine’s Day (you could even save it until then and give it as a gift at that time).  There is nothing really smarmy here – the quotations are far milder than anything in even an average rap song – and there is a surprising amount of wit to go with an assortment of flippant remarks.  There is no apparent arrangement of the quotations, so you can open the book anywhere and enjoy it serendipitously.  Pages are laid out in multiple type faces – some quotations are quite large, sometimes in color, while others are quite small – but there does not seem to be any connection between the size or placement of a comment and its profundity or wittiness.  There are gems on every page; each reader will have a different view of which are genuine and which are made of glass and paste.  Among the many comments is this from famed operatic diva Maria Callas: “Love is so much better when you are not married.”  From Mae West: “Give a man a free hand and he’ll run it all over you” – and “I feel like a million tonight.  But one at a time.”  Cary Grant: “I think making love is the best form of exercise.”  Shakespeare: “Is it not strange that desire should so many years outlive performance?”  Dorothy Parker: “Brevity is the soul of lingerie.”  Woody Allen: “Love is the answer, but while you are waiting for the answer, sex raises some pretty good questions.”  George Bernard Shaw: “Dancing is a perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire.”  Not everything here will make you think – the comments by modern celebrities tend to be on the crude side – but there is truly something here for just about anyone interested in sex.  That is, for just about anyone.

No comments:

Post a Comment