David Mack, Watercolors In The RAINN

Better Read tries each month to point you at something related to Spider-Man comics that we hope you might enjoy, or warn you about something you probably should stay away from. This month, we're really pushing the envelope in both directions. Firstly, we're really stretching the comics connection, and secondly, we're looking to help you in something more than just your search for good entertainment.

This month's recommendation is actually the 2004 RAINN calender. It features fourteen months of stunning artwork depicting Tori Amos. In case you didn't know, Tori Amos is not only an extraordinarily talented singer/songwriter/musician, but a strong supporter of RAINN - the U.S. based Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.

The connection by which I'm justifying selecting the calendar is that July's art is an achingly beautiful watercolor/mixed-media of Tori by David Mack, who I first encountered via his work in Daredevil. Vibrant, moving, evocative. Sure, July is a way off, but there's plenty of other great art to enjoy before then.

Hence, the three recommendations from this month:

  1. Buy yourself a delicious RAINN fund-raising calendar. Order online at www.rainn.org. International orders are accepted, and mine was well-wrapped and shipped promptly.
  2. If you enjoy real music, not just record-company manufactured hype, then go treat yourself a Tori Amos album. A good one to start with is Little Earthquakes. Amazon offers sample clips.
  3. Don't turn away from abuse. If you, our somebody you know is in an abusive relationship, then do something now. We don't all have Peter Parker's sense of responsibility, but we can all make a difference.

You can call RAINN in the U.S. on 1-800-656-HOPE, or reach them online at www.rainn.org. In other countries, look in your phone book, there are always people who will help.