BuzzWorthy: A Colorful Decade

By Greg Zinman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, August 27, 2006; 12:00 AM

If repeated viewings of VH1's "I Love the 90s" have failed to transport you to a state of childlike wonder, consider "Let's Paint the '90s!" (Quirk Books, $12.95), which takes recently minted nostalgia to its logical extreme.

Presented as a kindergartner's watercolor/activity book (with paints and brush included), "Let's Paint" allows grown-ups to retain their ironic distance toward the end of the last century while encouraging their creative side. The book's artist, Brie Spangler, can barely wrangle a recognizable likeness of any pop culture luminary from the last 15 years, (save, perhaps, Barney), but hey: That's where the magic of imagination comes into play! The decidedly not-for-kids material includes Mike Tyson biting off Evander Holyfield's ear, Sinead O'Connor ripping up a picture of the Pope on "Saturday Night Live" and Marion Barry grinning lasciviously from a jail cell.

Author Jason Rekulak provides dates to save readers the trouble of Googling when, exactly, George H.W. Bush barfed at a state dinner in Japan (January 8, 1992). He also includes always interesting, occasionally bewildering info-bites about each subject: You may not have known that Kris Kross sold 4 million copies of its debut. Or that when Jesse Ventura became governor of Minnesota, he asked the Dalai Lama if he had ever seen "Caddyshack." The only thing missing here? Kerri Strug.

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