Winter can be a rough time for the cigar lover. For many it's too cold to stand outside for an hour, and the dry air makes it difficult to maintain the proper humidity unless you've got a really good humidor and humidity control system. I find it to be a perfect time for cigars packed in tubes.
While the glass or aluminum tube isn't a perfect seal, it does a pretty good job of protecting the cigar against lots of environmental factors. They're also popular for taking to the golf course, traveling, gifts, or any occasion when you don't want to lug around a travel humidor. This is a Partagas Natural #10, 7½"x49. Cameroon wrapper, Dominican and Mexican filler. Cherry and cedar flavors, wonderfully mild. A long thin cigar smokes faster than a thick cigar, but the length still allows for a moderation of flavor. Highly recommended, and it's light enough for the novice or occasional cigar smoker.
The graphic novel here is The Quitter by Harvey Pekar, with art by Dean Haspiel. Harvey Pekar is famous for his American Splendor series of comic books, drawn by dozens of different artists over the years. We're not talking about superheroes in spandex leaping over tall buildings: the autobiographical books are about an old guy in Cleveland complaining about his life or musing on the world around him. For instance, the award-winning Our Cancer Year was co-written with his wife and covered a painful struggle with his diagnosis and treatment.
The Quitter takes a lot of stories that had been told piecemeal over the years and documents Pekar's early life in an orderly fashion. His childhood with Jewish immigrant parents, his pugilistic teenage years, and his aimless and conflicted early adulthood. Sounds depressing, right? Well, it can be, but I'm a fan of Pekar for two reasons. 1) He's brutally honest and regardless of who is drawing him, it's evident that this is a living and breathing human being. 2) It's a sometimes loving, sometimes harsh, but always real view of my second city, Cleveland. I've walked through the neighborhoods and patronized the little local establishments that serve as the backdrop of the stories, and reading them can take me back instantly.