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Kevin Garnett's spine illustrated

Posted by Dan Wasserman  November 22, 2008 07:48 AM

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Looking for the perfect holiday gift for the basketball fanatic who appreciates both quirky prose and knockout graphics? Look no further. “The Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac” (Bloomsbury, $23) is your pick and roll. Written by the bloggers from FreeDarko, and designed and illustrated by Jacob Weinstein, the offbeat almanac runs, jumps and shoots through the modern NBA with abandon.

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The graphics are sharp, innovative and powerful. The caricatures are dead-on. The authors have put up a rich website with slideshow, including a graphic analyzing the makeup of Kevin Garnett's spinal column (Backbone of a True Soul, slide #9).

Reviewing the book for the New York Times Tommy Craggs writes, "...it is likely the only sports almanac in existence that features a manifesto (“In rejecting the old N.B.A., we seek not to spite our forebears but to silence those who proclaim the league’s decrepitude”); cooks up winkingly abstruse statistics like “cancer effect” (e.g. Stephon Marbury and the Knicks); provides an etymology of the hoop slang “swag” (it derives from “swagger” and was popularized by Arenas when, after sinking a game-winner, he declared, “My swag was phenomenal!”); and name-drops Amiri Baraka, Martin Buber and Chris “Birdman” Andersen." (Thanks to Drawn! for the tipoff.)

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Dan Wasserman has been cartooning for the Globe editorial page since 1985. He has published two collections of drawings, "We've Been Framed" (Faber & Faber, 1987) and "Paper Cuts" (Ivan R. Dee, 1995). His cartoons are widely reprinted and are syndicated internationally by Tribune Media Services. He draws more quickly than he types.
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