News & Features » News



The world isn't the same place it was a year ago, and we aren't sure where holiday hullabaloo fits into the confusing global picture. So we asked artist Doug Rhodehamel to create a new world for us, and he did; an underworld – The Village of Smolder – a dark and primal burg where hope still radiates in the simplest of exchanges. Take a tour of the village and check out its twisted inhabitants on the following pages (scroll down). And while you're there you can read all about what Orlando Weekly staffers want for Christmas. This is the third year in a row we've asked you to buy us a little something, and most of us are still waiting (ahem). We note that this year's wish lists were written under duress, as our meek, downtrodden staff had to wrestle with the idea that, deep down, life is still all about the balance of Give & Take. Even in Smolder.
Sculptures by Doug Rhodehamel,;
photography by Brook Pifer,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.