calpage2015The PopCulteer
January 2, 2015

It’s the first PopCulteer of 2015 and this week we’re going to look back and look forward with a bunch of random posts about a variety of topics. Hey, it’s the time of year for reflection, and it gives us a way to fill up our weekly PopCulteer.

Keep Track of The New Year

Glen Brogan has an incredible 2015 calendar available that features his artwork depicting classic video game pin-up girls. You can buy it HERE.

One Year of Direct TV

Exactly one year ago today I bolted from the clutches of Suddenlink Cable and found solace in the bosom of Direct TV. I do not regret my decision one bit. In fact, I encourage anyone else who can to do so. If you have Suddenlink for cable service you are paying too much for poor quality and few channels.

I kept Suddenlink’s high-speed internet, and even with it “un-bundled” I’m paying way less for both services combined than I had been for the bundle of cable and internet from Suddenlink. I’m quite happy with Suddenlink’s internet service, it was just their television that had become overpriced and unreliable.

I was warned of frequent outages at Direct TV. For the year I’ve had them, my service has been interrupted for a total of about forty minutes. My Suddenlink internet service, which goes down when the cable is out, has been interrupted for a total of about thirty hours over the same period. It’s no contest.

When Suddenlink decided to drop all the Viacom channels a few months ago, I felt like my move last January 2 made me look like a genius. I still have access to all my channels and my bill hasn’t gone up.

It’s about to, though. When I signed my contract with Direct TV, I was given a huge discount each month for the first year. That expires today. However, I’m going to downgrade my service and drop the premium and sports channels, and the end reslut is that I will be paying less each month than I did in 2014.

I will add the premium channels back when they have a series that we follow, but I rarely watch a movie on HBO, Showtime or Starz, so I won’t miss them unless it’s time for “The Leftovers” or “Homeland.” I will be losing over forty sports channels, none of which I ever watched anyway.

One year in, and I’m still a very happy camper.

Plaid Stallions

j4One of the coolest nostalgic toy websites there is, Plaid Stallions is the brainchild of Brian Heiler, of MEGO Museum and “Rack Toys” fame. Today he posted a wild flyer from a Japanese toy store that dates back to the 1970s. Check it out HERE.

500 Days

Oh yeah, today marks 500 straight days of fresh content in PopCult. The last day without a PopCult post was August 17, 2013.

Beware of Batman Scams

It's really just a plate with a "W" on it, not a real prop

It’s really just a plate with a “W” on it, not a prop

With the heightened profile that the 1966 Batman TV show has now that it’s finally been released on DVD and Blu Ray, there has been a flood of folks trying to pass off illegitimate and bogus items as real Bat-artifacts. One of the most egregious scams is being pushed by several eBay sellers who are trying to pass off monogrammed bread plates as being actual props from the Batman TV show. They claim that the plates are certified by the “Ellis Prop Company” or some variation of that name. One of the sellers of this item is from Parkersburg.

The problem with this particular prop is that the certificates of authenticity are just black-and-white copies, photoshopped sloppily, from a defunct prophouse. Sellers are asking $150 for a bread plate that probably cost three bucks. These were never used on the Batman TV show, the Certificate of Authenticity is a forgery and this scam has been going on for years with monogrammed bread plates from all sort of other shows being passed off as the real thing. (Seriously, do you remember the episode where Batman and Robin sat around Wayne Manor eating bread all day?) I’m surprised they’re not calling these “The First Officially-licensed Batman Bread Plates.”

The Original Prop Blog has a detailed takedown of how phony this bread plate prop scam is, in a post from last year that you can read HERE. My advice is, just┬ádon’t buy any dinnerware that comes from Ellis Props. They mainly handled weaponry, and the bogus COA that’s floating around is even signed by the armourer. Plates are not weapons.

In a related Bat-note. If you were lucky enough to be gifted with the complete Batman DVD or Blu Ray set, be aware that they are not quite complete. A couple of scenes are missing. If you want a replacement disc that includes everything that’s missing, you will find the details on how to get it HERE.

Over The Garden Wall

YZ9XgU-B558.market_maxresCartoon Network is running their original mini-series, Over The Garden Wall, this Saturday at 5:30 PM. Created by Adventure Time veteran, Patrick McHale, the show centers around two brothers who travel across a strange forest in order to find their way home. Taken as one story, this is really like a long, animated feature film.

Originally shown over five nights last November, this is the first time that Cartoon Network will show the entire series as a marathon. I believe it will be repeated Sunday afternoon, too. The moody series featured voice work by Elijah Wood, Christopher Lloyd and a theme song sung by Jack Jones. It’s well worth watching.

Check out the first chapter here…

Hot Rod Comics

hot rodA couple of months back I reviewed Classic Hot Rod Comics. I’m happy to report that the third volume of the series, which reprints Jack Keller’s terrific Charlton Hot Rod comics, is available from Amazon, and if you’re into the whole Kindle thing, you can even find issues that are not yet in print.

This is part of the Charlton Neo comics movement, which I will be writing about in detail very soon.

More PopCult Notes

A Look Back at 2015, my annual goofy look back at the year that hasn’t happened yet, will be posted sometime this weekend. Also, this week is the first week in over a year that has not seen any kind of new video posted in PopCult. I was slacking off. Sorry. The RFC MINI SHOW will return Monday.

Boo-dwar Photography

Mike Winland is a friend and one of the masterminds behind ShockaCon. He’s running a Valentine’s special on Glamour Photos (nudge-nudge, wink, wink, say no more) and he’s got a neat graphic. If any other photographers have similar deals, send me a graphic and I’ll give you equal time.

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Stuff To Do

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That’s it for this week. Next week it’s back to the grind, with all our regular features as we charge forth into the new year.