Press Picks

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European Comic Show Some of the continent's comic books look remarkably similar to our own, but some are strange and otherworldly. Asterix, Tintin and the Smurfs you already know; but in this exhibit featuring the work of more than 100 cartoonists, you'll also meet lesser-known cartoon heroes from France, Belgium, England, Holland, Spain, Italy and Switzerland. You'll see that, like us, Europeans fantasize about big-breasted babes, superheroes and science fiction. Just as fascinating, though, is how the Europeans see us: Italy's biggest comic star is a square-jawed cowboy named Tex Willer. Thru Dec. 15. Opening reception 6-8 p.m. Houston Public Library, 500 McKinney, 236-1313. Free.

november 22
Houston Press Dome Run Yeah, you think you already know how it feels to run as fast as you can into the Dome -- you've done it plenty of times, sprinting from the distant territory of the outlying parking lots, desperate not to miss one more inning. But today is different: Today, at the end of your aerobic labors, you'll receive a hero's welcome on the Astroturf. Those who complete the 10K course (it passes through the Med Center, Rice and Hermann Park) will be rewarded with a finish on the 50-yard line, broadcast to the race crowd via Diamond Vision. 6:30-9 a.m., race-day registration; 7:45 a.m., 5K fitness run or walk; 8:10 a.m., Dome Run 10K; 9 a.m., The Houston City Championship 10K run; 9:45 a.m., Kids K run. All races except the kids' run begin near the north entrance of the Astrodome grounds and end on the Dome floor; kids begin at the east entrance. 8400 Kirby. For information, call 624-1448. $20 race-day registration includes a T-shirt and post-race festivities; $13 for Kids K (12 and under).

Warehouse Art Crawl Starting somewhere near the intersection of commerce and art, the Fifth Annual Warehouse Art Crawl will guide you through eight warehouse/studios -- artists' domains where you can ogle, ponder and buy, buy, buy all the art your little heart desires (or at least as much as your little wallet can afford). A shuttle service will help you make the circuit, so park anywhere along the route, get on the bus and circle to your heart's content. Admission and the shuttle are free, but you'll have to pay for a commemorative T-shirt. 2-9 p.m., Benner Studios, 2337 1/2 Commerce; Calaway Studios, 2409 Commerce; Eller Wagon Works, 101 Crawford; H.B.S. Warehouse, 1107 East Freeway; Erie City Ironworks, 1302 Nance; Mother Dog Studios, 720 Walnut; Purse Building Studios, 1701 Commerce, 228-0635. Free.

Miracle on Main Street Right about now, all you ex-Yankees have just about had it up to your eyeballs with the warm, sultry, nothing-like-Thanksgiving November weather. And somewhere deep in your chest is a pang of longing for some smidgen of snow, some sky-sent sign of the holidays. Stop fretting. Houstonians can be the most accommodating of folks. And to prove it, Southwestern Bell has made an outdoor ice rink right in the middle of downtown. For 50 days you can skate all you want, and most days you won't even have to wear a coat. Teach the locals all the ins and outs of "broomball," whatever that is, and make yourselves right at home. (Attention, natives: Yes, we know you can skate. But we ask that, in the name of urban harmony, you pretend to learn a thing or two, to make the Yankees think they're good for something.) 10 a.m.-midnight today; broomball, 9-10 a.m. and again at midnight. (See Thrills, Sports for other dates and times.) 1000 block of Main at Lamar, next to Foley's. For information, call 650-3022. $6, adults; $4, kids; $2, skate rental.

Great Houston Cover-Up Here's a fact to make you stop and count your blessings: The average homeless person in the U.S. is nine years old. And winter is really bad when you have no place to go to get out of the cold. With that in mind, Marriott Lodging started the great Houston Cover-Up. Contribute a sweater, blanket or coat and the Marriott folks will wash and deliver it to the Star of Hope, where it will go into the arms and onto the back of somebody who can use it. Drop off items 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Nov. 22 and 23, at Houston's Marriott Hotels, Residence Inns, Fairfield Inns, Courtyards by Marriott and the Renaissance Houston Hotel. For information, call 770-8013.

Michael DeBakey Way back in 1628, an English guy figured out how our blood went around. Then the French got busy, and in 1816, one of their guys invented the stethoscope so we could hear the red stuff go swish swish swish, and in 1967, a South African had the audacity to actually transplant a heart from one unfortunate soul to a much luckier guy. But we Americans have nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to hearts. Ours are big and tacky, and we can, after all, claim surgeon Michael DeBakey as one of our own. His scholarship and achievements in the field of cardiovascular surgery read like the list of what's what in heart repair. Today, he'll speak and autograph copies of his book The New Living Heart, which he wrote for us ordinary boneheads who don't know nothing about fixing hearts, but would like to keep the ones we have in decent repair. 5 p.m., The Museum of Health and Medical Science, 1515 Hermann Drive, 798-8617. $5 minimum donation; includes snackage from Bistro Cuisine.

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Lee Williams