Stab At It, "Pearl in the Snow"
E.R. Jess' web comic Stab At It, published roughly weekly, is a dependably amusing, slightly nerdy, often surreal four-panel exploration of life's absurdities ... except when it's more than that. On Feb. 8, 2016, Jess posted "Pearl in the Snow," a format-buster that was neither four panels nor amusing. It was, in fact, an exquisite three-page meditation on loss and self-reliance and growth. (Plus a kitten, because of course.) In its simplicity and honesty, every perfectly chosen word pierced to the heart, and no matter how many times we've read it, we still mist up every time. A home-grown example of what comics should and can be.
Last March, the Art & History Museums – Maitland's monthlong Art 31 project brought works by a number of internationally acclaimed artists (including Dale Chihuly, Lorrie Fredette and Paige Smith) to the Orlando area. However, nothing topped Jason Hackenwerth's biological balloon sculpture costumes for sheer grin-inducing WTF-ness. You can say they were abstract forms or alien fish; we could only see giant walking naughty bits, and we loved them for it.
The on-ramps are better prospects than the off-ramps, as if merging depends on purging. Outside the I-4 Ultimate construction fences, there's a no-man's-land of heaved purses, flung coolers, thrown books, car parts, children's toys ... the Orlampa Corridor's forgotten detritus, a fascinating linear treasure trove that's constantly changing. You'll need both a driver and a spotter, but the driver needs a fighter pilot's nerves and reaction time. Turn sharp eyes toward any area where they've stopped mowing, and look for piles. At the west side of Kaley, for example, we recently found brass engine parts and a rusty aqua chaise lounge. At Princeton's little westbound on-ramp: an Encyclopedia Britannica – that rare Volume XII – and a dog dish. All fodder for the muse.
1. Blue Star
2. Patrick Greene
3. Denna Beena
1. Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival, orlandofringe.org
2. Winter Park Sidewalk Art Festival, wpsaf.org
3. Artlando, artlando.com
1. Thornton 2nd Thursday Wine & Art Walk, thorntonparkdistrict.com
2. Sanford Alive After 5, facebook.com/aliveafter5
3. 1st Thursdays at Orlando Museum of Art, omart.org
1. VarieTease, thevenueorlando.com
2. Corsets & Cuties, corsetsandcuties.com
3. Rock Hard Revue, rockhardrevue.com
1. SAK Comedy Lab, 29 S. Orange Ave., 407-648-0001, sakcomedylab.com
2. Improv Orlando, 9101 International Drive, 407-480-5233, theimprovorlando.com
3. The Tumbleweed Comedy Tour, tomanddan.com
1. Orlando Ballet, orlandoballet.org
2. DRIP, ilovedrip.com
3. Voci Dance, vocidance.com
1. Florida Film Festival, floridafilmfestival.com
2. Enzian FilmSlam, enzian.org
3. Orlando Film Festival, orlandofilmfest.com