Monitor Picks

Computer software for comparison car shopping, a nifty website for 'The Simpsons,' and a dusty motorcycle trip across Africa are among the five things we think you'll really like this week.

Dazzle that dealer

About 8 in 10 car shoppers reportedly start the hunt online. And hand-helds like the iPhone keep making it easier to take the Internet mobile. Enter a niche-filler: the new, small-screen-formatted Accessible from mobile browsers, it puts vehicle listings – searchable by zip code – alongside deep research, smart target price estimates, even directions to competing dealers for when negotiations break down.

Don't call 'Em the funny pages

Douglas Wolk, a contributing editor at Publishers Weekly, has long written about comics for a host of national magazines and papers. Now, in a fun new book called Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean, Wolk digs below the surface of the medium. Why are comics experiencing a popular resurgence? And can graphic novels ever attain literary legitimacy? Wolk says yes on the latter; to find out about the first, you'll have to buy the book.

A cold case, revisited

Evil should never be called elegant, but Longford, now on DVD, is just that. The film covers some of the most notorious killings in British history, the so-called "Moors Murders," which were committed by Myra Hindley and Ian Brady. In this study of forgiveness, Jim Broadbent stars as the British lord who ransomed his good name by supporting Hindley's bid for parole. Extras include first-hand accounts.

Mmm... Marketing

No Hollywood blockbuster is complete nowadays without a flashy promotional website. But The Simpsons Movie has gone above and beyond. Click through the site's virtual Springfield to discover downloads, games, and plenty of Simpsons-brand slapstick shtick. Our favorite feature: a create-your-own Simpsons character generator.

Long way down

For actor Ewan McGregor and pal Charley Boorman, a relaxing vacation is motorcycling from Scotland to South Africa. Follow their trip at

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