Jason Poland got started cartooning playing Mario Paint on Super Nintendo, and from there graduated to doing Robbie and Bobby for The Daily Cougar. Now it's easily the most amusing web comic in the city. Call it a darker version of Calvin and Hobbes for the Cartoon Network generation. That's as good a description as any, and it shows off the playful dichotomy Poland brings to the comic. One second it's as lighthearted and irreverent as Family Circus, and then the next it's like one of those Bug-Eyed Earl anecdotes from Red Meat. The web format gives Robbie and Bobby an edge and room to explore the format, and Poland uses every inch of that space.

In a city where the car is king, there'd better be some good car washes. Fortunately, Houstonians have a healthy array of lathering options, even if it's just a quick-and-cheap gas station drive-through. But if you want a cut above without breaking the bank, we recommend Splash. For $16 to $23, depending on your vehicle, you get an interior vacuum, hand wash with lamb wool mitts, chamois hand dry, wipe-down wash, window cleaning, rim cleaning and free tire dressing — all in about 15 minutes. Splash also offers a bevy of more comprehensive services, such as detailing and waxing, for a reasonable cost. It's open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and with two other locations in town, there's a good chance you won't have to drive too far. Your car will thank you, trust us.

For 12 years, the dudes at this family-owned shop have been making your hazy dreamz come true. They carry some of the finest glass accessories, hookahs, shisha, vaporizers, e-cigs, kratom, tattoo supplies, premium lighters and even body jewelry. Some of the glass pieces, including stellar creations by Pure, HELIX, Sheldon Black, US Tubes, Illadelph and others, are simply works of art. These folks pride themselves on customer satisfaction, so whether you're a lifelong smoker or a newbie, you will be treated with the utmost courtesy and respect, and the staff will help you find exactly what you need. Now if you'll excuse us, we hear some brownies calling our name.

We recently towed an inoperable but sentimentally valuable 21-year-old Dodge truck that had been literally put out to pasture on a family farm north of Waco to a nearby dealership. The place demanded $5,000 just to replace the fuel pump. Two months later, after said fuel pump conked out, we hauled the truck to Arthur's Auto Service, where owner Arthur Cruz asked only $356 to repair the "repaired" fuel pump. Cruz also fixed the interior lights for free — "All I did was turn them up" — and charged only $150 to resurrect the A/C from years of inactivity. Next time, wherever a vehicle conks out, we'll slap that sucker on a flatbed bound for Arthur's and be the richer for it. Arthur and wife Bertha's kindly natures and low fees are straight out of Mayberry.

I W Marks

For seven generations and 35 years, the Zadok family has brought Houstonians the finest shininess. Boasting several Gemological Institute of America graduates on staff, the Zadok crew knows just about all there is to know about jewelry. Whether you're looking for loose diamonds or watches, or you need your precious stones serviced (heh), Zadok can do it all. Jewelry brands include A & Furst, Bulgari, Tacori and Marco Moore. And the timepiece collection includes watches from Hublot, Michele, Breitling and Montblanc. With more than 12,000 square feet of first-class inventory, Zadok is the best. And you and yours certainly deserve the best, right?

We've done the math, and we've spent a total of 10,475 hours perusing Big LeRoy's online parts finder. It's downright addictive. This junkyard has a huge inventory, and if for some reason the part isn't listed (we struck out on a rocker panel for a 1976 Peugeot 504), there's a nationwide locator that can have it delivered in a jiff. The hyper-specific seeker can also search for parts via VIN. It's all about customer service, which is especially welcome when you're dealing with car trouble.

Murder by the Book

One-click online shopping for books might be great for those3 a.m.impulse buys, but there's something missing from those transactions — an experienced, knowledgeable bookseller. That's where brick-and-mortar shops like Murder by the Book come in. Dedicated to mysteries and thrillers, it has a staff of dedicated, book-loving readers. Wondering if you should pick up the latest Ace Atkins release? There's someone on the staff who has already read it — and everything else Atkins ever wrote — and can tell you how that title stacks up against the rest. Been thinking about the newest Daniel Silva novel? Chances are you can meet Silva — and dozens of other best-selling authors — at one of the frequent Murder by the Book readings. Mystery and thriller novelists from around the world make it a point to visit the shop when they're coming to Texas. So do smart readers.

Whether you're on the hunt for a particular type of protein shake or an obscure supplement to help you amp up those beefcake arms, the Nutrition Depot has the answer to all your nutritional queries. The universe threw in an extra dose of Muscle Milk when it brought Nutrition Depot to life in West U. The locally owned shop is one of a kind, with a knowledgeable staff that knows just abouteverything there is to know about nutrition in pill form. That little bit of vitamin-powered oomph keeps us going back, time and time again.

Big Kat's Tattoo and Barbershop

Unless you're the type who wakes up early to get in line before the doors open, chances are good you're going to wait a bit to get your hair cut at Big Kat's. Service this good comes with a price, but when a place has this much character, you won't even mind the wait. These guys do things the traditional way, just with a few more tattoos than your grandfather's barber might have had. If you've ever been to a sweaty punk show, you'll feel right at home, and if you haven't, don't fret — these guys will treat you right no matter who you are. Go ahead and get the straight-razor shave, too. You deserve it.

We've got nothing against cab drivers, and frankly, people who do often wind up sounding a little racist once they elaborate. But sometimes you want to feel like a high-roller and order your own private driver, even though you don't have Mr. Big money to drop on the endeavor. That's where Uber comes in. All you have to do is download the app, create an account, tell it where you are and off you go. We took an Uber car all the way from Willowbrook Mall to Hobby Airport recently, and the grand total was $45. Not a bad way to cross the sprawl in style.

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