The Week in Pictures

From a kidnapping in Mexico to starlets at Sundance, here's a look at what dominated the headlines this week SLIDE SHOW

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    (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

    The Week in Pictures

    Zimbabwe worms

    In this photo taken Sunday, Amalinda Ndlovu shows her catch while harvesting mopane worms in Gwanda, Zimbabwe. In Zimbabwe as well as most parts of southern Africa, mopane worms are a staple part of the diet in rural areas and are considered a delicacy in the cities. They can be eaten dry, as crunchy as potato chips, or cooked and drenched in sauce.

    (Photo by Victoria Will/Invision/AP Images)

    The Week in Pictures

    Mariel Hemingway

    Actress Mariel Hemingway from the film "Running From Crazy" poses for a portrait during the 2013 Sundance Film Festival on Sunday in Park City, Utah.

    (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

    The Week in Pictures

    Beyoncé

    Beyoncé sings the National Anthem at the ceremonial swearing-in for President Barack Obama at the U.S. Capitol during the 57th presidential inauguration in Washington, Monday.

    (AP Photo/Anis Belghoul)

    The Week in Pictures

    Algeria

    Algerian firemen carry a coffin containing a person killed during the gas facility hostage situation at the morgue in Ain Amenas, Algeria, Monday. At least 81 people have been reported dead, including 32 Islamist militants, after a bloody, four-day hostage situation at Algeria's remote Ain Amenas natural gas plant.

    (Photo by Victoria Will/Invision/AP Images)

    The Week in Pictures

    Dakota Fanning

    Dakota Fanning from the film "Very Good Girls" poses for a portrait during the 2013 Sundance Film Festival at the Fender Music Lodge, on Tuesday in Park City, Utah.

    €(AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)

    The Week in Pictures

    Sri Lanka

    Opposition activists demonstrate against proposed legislation that gives police powers to detain and question a suspect for two days in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Tuesday.

    (AP Photo/Raad Adayleh)

    The Week in Pictures

    Jordan election

    A Jordanian woman shows her inked finger after voting at a polling station in Amman, Jordan, Wednesday. Jordan's monarchy has touted Wednesday's parliamentary election as a watershed in the kingdom's democratization. It is the first after last year's constitutional amendments that see King Abdullah II gradually relinquishing much of his powers in running the daily affairs of the state to the legislature, although he will continue for now to set broader foreign and security policies.

    (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

    The Week in Pictures

    Lakers

    Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard (12) pushes Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah (13) away from a rebound during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday in Chicago. The Bulls won 95-83.

    (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

    The Week in Pictures

    Serbia

    A Serbian guard of honour army officer carries a wooden cross with the name of Peter II Karadjordjevic during a solemn ceremony after the remains of Yugoslavia's last king were flown back to Serbia in Belgrade, Serbia, Tuesday. The former king fled the Nazi occupation of Yugoslavia at the start of World War II and never returned, as Communists took over at the end of the war. He died in exile and was buried at a Serbian Orthodox monastery in Libertyville, Ill.,— the only European monarch buried on U.S. soil.

    (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

    The Week in Pictures

    Slide 7

    First lady Michelle waves across the aisle at the ceremonial swearing-in for President Barack Obama at the U.S. Capitol during the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013.

    (AP Photo/Hussein Tallal)

    The Week in Pictures

    Egypt

    Egyptian protesters try to tear down a cement wall built to prevent them from reaching parliament and the cabinet building near Tahrir Square, in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday. Egypt’s black-clad riot police fired tear gas in fierce dawn clashes with dozens of protesters. The violence, which was soothed hours later in central Cairo, comes on the eve of the second anniversary of Egypt’'s Jan. 25 uprising, which toppled longtime authoritarian president Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

    (AP Photo/Keystone, Laurent Gillieron)

    The Week in Pictures

    David Cameron

    British Prime Minister David Cameron addresses a panel session of the 43rd Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Thursday.

    (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

    The Week in Pictures

    Silvio Berlusconi

    Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi at a meeting with candidates in upcoming elections in Rome Friday. Berlusconi outlined his latest "contract" with Italians on Friday as he pressed his latest comeback bid, promising a host of reforms and measures to give relief to Italians suffering through a deep recession and youth unemployment at a record 37 percent.

    (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel)

    The Week in Pictures

    Gay rights Russia

    A gay rights activist holds a banner during a protest near the State Duma, Russia's lower parliament chamber, in Moscow Friday. A controversial bill banning "homosexual propaganda" has been submitted to Russia's lower house of parliament for the first of three hearings on Friday.

    (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

    The Week in Pictures

    Mihai Alexandru Bitu

    Daniela Dede, lawyer for Mihai Alexandru Bitu, speaks to the media in Bucharest, Romania, Friday. Lawyers for three Romanians, Mihai Alexandru Bitu, Radu Dogaru and Eugen Darie, charged with stealing valuable paintings from a museum in the Netherlands last year, including works by Picasso, Monet and Matisse say there is insufficient evidence to charge them.

    (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

    The Week in Pictures

    Japan world markets

    A woman walks by an electronic stock board of a securities firm in Tokyo, Friday.

    (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

    The Week in Pictures

    New York Knicks

    New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) backs down on Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce, left, during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Boston, Thursday.

    (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

    The Week in Pictures

    Denis McDonough

    Current Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough smiles in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, as President Barack Obama announced that he will name McDonough as his next chief of staff.

    (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

    The Week in Pictures

    James Franco

    James Franco, producer of the documentary film "kink," makes a point during an interview at the premiere of the film at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, in Park City, Utah.

    (Photo by Mark Kolbe-Pool/Getty Images)

    The Week in Pictures

    Roger Federer

    Roger Federer of Switzerland looks on in his semifinal match against Andy Murray of Great Britain during day 12 of the 2013 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on Friday in Melbourne, Australia.

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    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Beautiful Darkness by Fabien Vehlmann & Kerascoët
    Kerascoët's lovely, delicate pen-and-watercolor art -- all intricate botanicals, big eyes and flowing hair -- gives this fairy story a deceptively pretty finish. You find out quickly, however, that these are the heartless and heedless fairies of folk legend, not the sentimental sprites beloved by the Victorians and Disney fans. A host of tiny hominid creatures must learn to survive in the forest after fleeing their former home -- a little girl who lies dead in the woods. The main character, Aurora, tries to organize the group into a community, but most of her cohort is too capricious, lazy and selfish to participate for long. There's no real moral to this story, which is refreshing in itself, beyond the perpetual lessons that life is hard and you have to be careful whom you trust. Never has ugly truth been given a prettier face.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Climate Changed: A Personal Journey Through the Science by Philippe Squarzoni
    Squarzoni is a French cartoonist who makes nonfiction graphic novels about contemporary issues and politics. While finishing up a book about France under Jacques Chirac, he realized that when it came to environmental policy, he didn't know what he was talking about. "Climate Changed" is the result of his efforts to understand what has been happening to the planet, a striking combination of memoir and data that ruminates on a notoriously elusive, difficult and even imponderable subject. Panels of talking heads dispensing information (or Squarzoni discussing the issues with his partner) are juxtaposed with detailed and meticulous yet lyrical scenes from the author's childhood, the countryside where he takes a holiday and a visit to New York. He uses his own unreachable past as a way to grasp the imminent transformation of the Earth. The result is both enlightening and unexpectedly moving.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Here by Richard McGuire
    A six-page version of this innovative work by a regular contributor to the New Yorker first appeared in RAW magazine 25 years ago. Each two-page spread depicts a single place, sometimes occupied by a corner of a room, over the course of 4 billion years. The oldest image is a blur of pink and purple gases; others depict hazmat-suited explorers from 300 years in the future. Inset images show the changing decor and inhabitants of the house throughout its existence: family photos, quarrels, kids in Halloween costumes, a woman reading a book, a cat walking across the floor. The cumulative effect is serene and ravishing, an intimation of the immensity of time and the wonder embodied in the humblest things.

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    Kill My Mother by Jules Feiffer
    The legendary Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist delivers his debut graphic novel at 85, a deliriously over-the-top blend of classic movie noir and melodrama that roams from chiaroscuro Bay City to Hollywood to a USO gig in the Pacific theater of World War II. There's a burnt-out drunk of a private eye, but the story is soon commandeered by a multigenerational collection of ferocious women, including a mysterious chanteuse who never speaks, a radio comedy writer who makes a childhood friend the butt of a hit series and a ruthless dame intent on making her whiny coward of a husband into a star. There are disguises, musical numbers and plenty of gunfights, but the drawing is the main attraction. Nobody convey's bodies in motion more thrillingly than Feiffer, whether they're dancing, running or duking it out. The kid has promise.

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    The Motherless Oven by Rob Davis
    This is a weird one, but in the nervy surreal way that word-playful novels like "A Clockwork Orange" or "Ulysses" are weird. The main character, a teenage schoolboy named Scarper Lee, lives in a world where it rains knives and people make their own parents, contraptions that can be anything from a tiny figurine stashable in a pocket to biomorphic boiler-like entities that seem to have escaped from Dr. Seuss' nightmares. Their homes are crammed with gadgets they call gods and instead of TV they watch a hulu-hoop-size wheel of repeating images that changes with the day of the week. They also know their own "death day," and Scarper's is coming up fast. Maybe that's why he runs off with the new girl at school, a real troublemaker, and the obscurely dysfunctional Castro, whose mother is a cageful of talking parakeets. A solid towline of teenage angst holds this manically inventive vision together, and proves that some graphic novels can rival the text-only kind at their own game.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    NOBROW 9: It's Oh So Quiet
    For each issue, the anthology magazine put out by this adventurous U.K.-based publisher of independent graphic design, illustration and comics gives 45 artists a four-color palette and a theme. In the ninth issue, the theme is silence, and the results are magnificent and full of surprises. The comics, each told in images only, range from atmospheric to trippy to jokey to melancholy to epic to creepy. But the two-page illustrations are even more powerful, even if it's not always easy to see how they pertain to the overall concept of silence. Well, except perhaps for the fact that so many of them left me utterly dumbstruck with visual delight.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    Over Easy by Mimi Pond
    When Pond was a broke art student in the 1970s, she took a job at a neighborhood breakfast spot in Oakland, a place with good food, splendid coffee and an endlessly entertaining crew of short-order cooks, waitresses, dishwashers and regular customers. This graphic memoir, influenced by the work of Pond's friend, Alison Bechdel, captures the funky ethos of the time, when hippies, punks and disco aficionados mingled in a Bay Area at the height of its eccentricity. The staff of the Imperial Cafe were forever swapping wisecracks and hopping in and out of each other's beds, which makes them more or less like every restaurant team in history. There's an intoxicating esprit de corps to a well-run everyday joint like the Imperial Cafe, and never has the delight in being part of it been more winningly portrayed.

    Ten spectacular graphic novels from 2014

    The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew
    You don't have to be a superhero fan to be utterly charmed by Yang and Liew's revival of a little-known character created in the 1940s by the cartoonist Chu Hing. This version of the Green Turtle, however, is rich in characterization, comedy and luscious period detail from the Chinatown of "San Incendio" (a ringer for San Francisco). Hank, son of a mild-mannered grocer, would like to follow in his father's footsteps, but his restless mother (the book's best character and drawn with masterful nuance by Liew) has other ideas after her thrilling encounter with a superhero. Yang's story effortlessly folds pathos into humor without stooping to either slapstick or cheap "darkness." This is that rare tribute that far surpasses the thing it celebrates.

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    Shoplifter by Michael Cho
    Corinna Park, former English major, works, unhappily, in a Toronto advertising agency. When the dissatisfaction of the past five years begins to oppress her, she lets off steam by pilfering magazines from a local convenience store. Cho's moody character study is as much about city life as it is about Corinna. He depicts her falling asleep in front of the TV in her condo, brooding on the subway, roaming the crowded streets after a budding romance goes awry. Like a great short story, this is a simple tale of a young woman figuring out how to get her life back, but if feels as if it contains so much of contemporary existence -- its comforts, its loneliness, its self-deceptions -- suspended in wintery amber.

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    Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
    This collection of archetypal horror, fairy and ghost stories, all about young girls, comes lushly decked in Carroll's inky black, snowy white and blood-scarlet art. A young bride hears her predecessor's bones singing from under the floorboards, two friends make the mistake of pretending to summon the spirits of the dead, a family of orphaned siblings disappears one by one into the winter nights. Carroll's color-saturated images can be jagged, ornate and gruesome, but she also knows how to chill with absence, shadows and a single staring eye. Literary readers who cherish the work of Kelly Link or the late Angela Carter's collection, "The Bloody Chamber," will adore the violent beauty on these pages.

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