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'The Umbrella Academy' Umbrella

"The Umbrella Academy" Umbrella [$24]

For readers of Dark Horse’s The Umbrella Academy -- a comic book series about a dysfunctional family of super-powered siblings adopted by an eccentric genius (think The Royal Tenenbaums meets the Justice League) -- this black-and-white paneled umbrella with a simple, classic design is wicked cool. It’s a practical geek possession because it not only serves as a secret handshake amongst fans, but it also, you know, stops rain from falling on your head. But if you have a comic reader on your list unfamiliar with the Academy, do them a solid and give both the umbrella and the new trade paperback, Dallas. $24 for the umbrella and $14 for the comic. [www.tfaw.com]

Over the Rainbow: An Interview With Herb Alpert

Music legend Herb Alpert discusses his new album, Over the Rainbow, maintaining his artistic drive, and his place in music history. "If we tried to start A&M in today's environment, we'd have no chance. I don't know if I'd get a start as a trumpet player. But I keep doing this because I'm having fun."

Jedd Beaudoin
Music

The Cigarette: A Political History (By the Book)

Sarah Milov's The Cigarette restores politics to its rightful place in the tale of tobacco's rise and fall, illustrating America's continuing battles over corporate influence, individual responsibility, collective choice, and the scope of governmental power. Enjoy this excerpt from Chapter 5. "Inventing the Nonsmoker".

Sarah Milov
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