PAPERBOY: Slow-Jamming The Alt-Weeklies

paperboyartthumbnail.jpgBY DAVE ALLEN Like time, news waits for no man. Keeping up with the funny papers has always been an all-day job, even in the pre-Internets era. These days, however, it’s a two-man job. That’s right, these days you need someone to do your reading for you, or risk falling hopelessly behind and, as a result, increasing your chances of dying lonely and somewhat bitter. That’s why every week PAPERBOY does your alt-weekly reading for you. We pore over those time-consuming cover stories and give you the takeaway, suss out the cover art, warn you off the ink-wasters and steer you towards the gooey center. Why? Because we love you!


CP: A DIY gift guide, with Philly’s craftiest weighing with the tips of their respective trades. I’m as amazed as Holly cp_2009-12-03.jpgOtterbein that so many creative folks came forward with their season’s best, including a homemade bath-bomb from Sarah Powell, an easy-than-it-sounds approach to silk screening from Jeremy Lauder and (drool) bleu-cheese tartlets from Birchrun Farms. They even dug up an artisan puzzle-maker! Two rhetorical questions come to mind: Who’d have thought? And, guess what my little cousins are getting this year?

Jack Zylkin’s Center City apartment was once his workshop, complete with a kitchen-counter drill press and wood chips strewn across his living room rug. The 25-year-old electrical engineer has since found solace as a member of DIY workspace Hive76 (915 Spring Garden St., There, he makes things that help him make things, like a workstation to prototype puzzles. Why puzzles? “When they fit together, it seems so random that a bunch of shapes would interlock perfectly,” he says. “For a second, there’s some hidden order to the universe.”

The picks and instructions are all great, but even better is the look of the whole feature. It’s worth grabbing in print: Sidebars with recs for the craft-impaired really hold the whole thing together. Best of all: no recession-wallowing. Feast or famine, DIY never goes out of style.

1202cover_big.jpgPW: More, more, more — another holiday gift guide! There’s almost no overlap with CP’s choices, which is nice, but that recession-wallowing I mentioned as pleasantly absent in CP’s round-up? It’s all over PW’s.

Philly, we’ve been riding a rickety-ass caboose of a crisis year hitched to a train wreck of a decade. According to the news, everyone’s broke, the city’s crumbling and we’re probably drunk and/or high on painkillers. Your family sucks, you can’t afford to turn the heat on and the love in this world is dissolving as quickly as edible underwear.

And that’s not even the lead-in to the gift suggestions: “We know you’re broke and unemployed and the last thing you want to think about is buying holiday gifts instead of vital life purchases like, say, groceries.” But we’ll push past the pity to the recs, which are copious and solid: for gourmands, for the tech-savvy, for indie-whimsy-crafty-types. There’s even a sterling lineup of graphic novels — take that, givers of boring books! And I’ll admit I wasn’t feeling the holiday-disasters section at first, but on a second read, I can dig it. Hard times might just make for happier holidays.


CP: Homeless can’t count on the stimulus; stick to the United Negro Pizza Fund. AI: Athletic Intelligence? Rihanna’s latest: Lay off the woman, didn’t you hear she got beat up? My nerves are jangling just reading about this joint.

PW: Sounding the gong for Kong. Nothing says Christmas like a carnivorous plant. The headline in print on this one is way better.

WINNER: CP takes it. You can’t beat the smart look of their holiday layout. What’s with PW’s typeface on the gift guide headlines? Sigmas for E’s? Is this ABC Family?

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