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Top Five Phoenix Arts and Culture Stories of the Week

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If Bob Ross were alive today, he'd be painting happy little trees all over the place in ecstatic fervor for all the arts and culture happenings in Phoenix. To help you see the forest for the trees, here's a recap of the top arts and culture stories of the week.

Saul Goodman, the Real Lawyer, Is Nothing Like His Namesake Character on "Breaking Bad"

S'all good, man -- unless you're calling real-life Washington D.C. lawyer Saul Goodman on a busy Tuesday afternoon to ask dumb questions like, "Any funny stories because you share the name of a shyster lawyer on a popular TV show?"

Turns out the "Breaking Bad" character's namesake, an honored and experienced insurance lawyer with Covington and Burling LLP, is all-business. And he hasn't been catching up on missed episodes of the show, like we've been doing lately.

--Ray Stern

Nine Infamously Haunted Places in Arizona

If there's one upshot to the Valley's idiotic penchant for tearing down older buildings in favor of replacing them with ginormous steel and glass monstrosities, it could be this: At least there's one less place for ghosts to haunt.

It seems like every single vintage building in Phoenix and the rest of Arizona that's still standing has some sort of spooky story of poltergeists attached to it. Just ask Marshall Shore, the "hip historian" and guru of local lore who probably is familiar with many of these same tales. Its one of the reasons why he's conducting a bus tour around Phoenix this Sunday (yes, today) that will explore some of the city's more famous haunts. (Shore will also host a separate tour focused on the murderous exploits of legendary local murderess Winnie Ruth Judd).

The interesting locations in downtown and CenPho that will be featured during both of Shore's tours aren't the only scary sites to be found around the Valley or throughout Arizona, however. In honor of Halloween, we've compiled a list of some of the more notorious spots in our state that are widely considered to be haunted.

See the full list of haunted Arizona.

--Benjamin Leatherman

Why Laurie Notaro's Mother is Threatening Not to Speak with Her

"That's it!" my mother snapped from the other end of the phone. "I'm not talking to you anymore. From now on, we are not talking!"

This was hardly the response I expected after giving my mother a compliment. I was stunned. No, I take that back. I was not stunned, but I guess I didn't expect that strong of a reaction.

"Did you hear what I said?" I reiterated, positive--no, I take that back--hopeful that she had heard me wrong when I told my mother that when I got notes back on a project I was writing, the first thing on the agenda was "More of your mother. Love her."

"I heard what you said, and that's why I'm not talking to you anymore," she explained, her voice rising. "If I don't talk to you anymore, then you can't write about me anymore."

Read the full argument between Notaro and her mother.

--Laurie Notaro

Aidy Bryant Plays Candy Crowley in SNL's Mock-Presidential Debate

New SNL cast member Aidy Bryant took front and center stage last weekend in the sketch comedy show's mock-presidential debate as moderator and CNN correspondent Candy Crowley.

Bryant was signed onto SNL in September along with fellow Second City alum Tim Robinson. (Fair warning: Bryant now works in New York City, but because she grew up in Phoenix, we're still claiming her as our own.)

On Saturday, Bryant moderated the town hall debate between Jay Pharoah as Barack Obama, Jason Sudeikis as Mitt Romney, and other cast members as the shaky and fumbling town hall audience, including host Tom Hanks.

Check out the debate video here.

--Claire Lawton

A Soldier's Daughter's Heart: A Conversation with Graphic Novelist Carol Tyler

Welcome back to Explicitly Graphic, a monthly column by Cynthia Clark Harvey (who's working on a graphic novel of her own). From time to time, Harvey will review graphic novels, talk to artists, and dive into the scene of all things explicitly graphic. Today, she sits down with author and artist Carol Tyler.

Carol Tyler has stories to tell -- both her own and her parents' -- though it's not always clear cut whose generation lays claim to a particular tale.

Tyler's new graphic novel, "You'll Never Know (Book III), Soldier's Heart," released this week, completes the trilogy about her father's WWII service and its far-reaching effects on her family.

"You'll Never Know" Books 1 and 2 are beautiful, with Tyler's masterful use of color adding mood and emotional texture to every page. But it's the story that pulls the reader through.

--Cynthia Clark Harvey

Don't forget to check out Jackalope Ranch's series, 100 Creatives.

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