Art. What is it good for? You go to the museum and look at paintings by dead Europeans, and you know you're supposed to be thinking deep thoughts and pondering the mysteries of the human endeavor, but all you're really wondering is if the museum gift shop still has any of those chocolate mummies left over from the Egyptian Art Exhibit. Chocolate mummies, tee-hee...
It's not your fault if the art doesn't speak to your soul; it might just be that you haven't found the art that speaks the same language as your soul. Don't give up. Instead, go to the Ink About It comic book artist show at the Contemporary Gallery of Art at St. Louis Community College-Forest Park (5600 Oakland Avenue, 314-644-9231) and revel in the wonder of artists straining against the misconception of comics as entertainment for children. Local boys Matt Kindt, Andrew Robbins and RFT contributing illustrators Kevin Huizenga, Dan Zettwoch and Ted May, among others, flex their nibs and create worlds confined only by their imagination (and the conventions of telling stories within a sequential-panel framework.) Ink About It opens Monday, March 1, and runs through March 26. The opening reception is on Friday, March 19 (thanks to spring-break issues), but this gives you time to examine the art and then formulate some really smarty-pants questions. "Mr. Huizenga, who do you think would win in a drawing fight between Jack Kirby and Winsor McCay?" Discuss quietly until the artists show up. -- Paul Friswold
It Came From Outer Space
And stopped by Webster Groves
A sci-fi film based on a Ray Bradbury story is like a rap album produced by the Neptunes; their mere presence guarantees quality. So it is with It Came from Outer Space, where a meteor crashes near an Arizona town and the residents begin behaving oddly, making a scientist (Richard Carlson) suspect something's amiss. Like most great sci-fi, though, it ends up less about space monsters and more about the monsters from Earth. Webster's new Mondo Matinee film series will show it in glorious 3D (duck those boulders!), with cartoons preceding the movie, just like in the '50s. Admission is $5, and the film shows at 1:30 p.m. in the Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood Avenue). For information, call 314-968-7487. -- Niles Baranowski
Skip the Oscars
And watch movies instead
February 29 is a special day for film lovers. For some, it means the 76th annual Academy Awards. For others, to whom Oscar is merely their hot dog's first name, February's extra day means bonus time in 2004 to ingest movies. Those not tuning in for the awards' broadcast, those who would rather spend the four-plus hours watching the long version of The Wicker Man, comparing the original and theatrical cuts of The Big Sleep or listening to Johnny Depp read the letters of Hunter S. Thompson on the Criterion Collection edition of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas -- those people should hop on over to the Movie Nut (131 West Jefferson Avenue in downtown Kirkwood), where you can rent DVDs for as low as $2 (a cup of coffee, to many). A small shop with a limited but lovingly picked selection, the Nut offers titles not available at most chain stores and some quality films just resurfacing on DVD. This month "Best Picture" winners of the past are only $1, so you can afford to bring home The English Patient with your Schizopolis, Audition and Naked Lunch. -- Jedidiah Ayres
Primus Sucks Again!
Primus, those plug-ugly bastardos from the dark side of funk/rock's underbelly, are back on the road pimping their wacky brand of music, and this time they mean it. With an early set that spans their entire career (except for Sailing the Seas of Cheese) and a second set that is nothing but Seas of Cheese, Primus are practically guaranteeing you'll go home sick of them. At the Pageant (6161 Delmar Boulevard, 314-726-6161, $31) at 8 p.m. Play "The Chastising of Renegade!" -- Paul Friswold
Correction published 3/3/04: In the original version of "Pow!", we misspelled the name of comic book legend Winsor McCay. The above version reflects the corrected text.