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Picks and Pans Review: There's No Business Like Soul Business

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by Doug Marlette

Sometimes the heavens smile upon you and sometimes they don’t. Marlette has been truly blessed, coming out now with this cartoon book about a less than divine TV evangelist. The subject of religious zeal gone astray is, of course, full of pathos too, but Marlette, a political cartoonist for the Charlotte Observer, plays the situation for laughs. The star of this book, a running character in Marlette’s strip Kudzu, is the acquisitive Rev. Will B. Dunn. He is not solely devoted to raising funds. Among the guests on his TV show is Shirley MacLaine, though she appears in her “most recent incarnation”—as a sugar-frosted flake. He also dabbles in updating Biblical language: “If we don’t change our ways, we’re dead meat.” In short, while it may be hard to act more outrageous than some of his real-life counterparts, Dunn makes a sincere effort. (Peachtree, $6.95)