We start a new year of The PopCulteer on an upbeat note as we look at 15 cool things that we’re looking forward to early in 2012.
These are some of the cool items to spice up our lives as we face a year of dirty politics, extreme weather, fracking-induced Earthquakes, people insulting our state and, if the Mayans are right, the end of the world. So…at least there’s this…
Absolutely Fabulous Returns
Absolutely Fabulous, which has to be ranked among the elite British comedy shows, is returning with two new episodes, the first in six years, this month. BBC America will debut a new episode, “Identity,” Sunday night at 10 PM, with a second episode, “Job,” to follow in a week. Of note: Jennifer Saunders, the show’s writer/creator and co-star, has not missed a beat. Despite the six years since the last series, the show is as sharp and timely as ever. A new title sequence returns to the original recording of “This Wheel’s On Fire,” sung by Julie Driscoll and Saunders’ husband (and RFC supporter) Ade Edmondson, of “The Young Ones” fame. And the shows already appeared on The BBC on Christmas and New Year’s Day, so the torrent-minded among you can probably already find them now.
Richard Corben and Jan Strnad Team Up Again
Rich Corben and Jan Strnad have been collaborating on comic books for almost forty years. With classic stories for the Warren Publishing titles “Creepy” and “Eerie” in the 1970s, and creator-owned work in the 1980s, the two were quite a team, with Strnad’s imaginative writing and Corben’s three-dimensional art raising the bar on what the industry could accomplish. The team reunited recently to produce a short story starring Will Eisner’s “The Spirit” for DC Comics, and now they are set to unleash Ragemoor, a gothic horror mini-series for Dark Horse. You can read an interview with the pair about this cool new work here.
“Ladybeard” Filming In Huntington
I’ve mentioned it before, but David Smith’s film, “Ladybeard” is filming in Huntington. You can read more about it in a cool article in The Huntington Herald-Dispatch. The IndieGoGo campaign to help finance the movie (which your PopCulteer will have a small part in) has wrapped up, but there may be more fundraising opporunities soon, so keep reading PopCult for them.
Last year “Adventure Time” became a breakout hit on Cartoon Network. This year, look for its companion show, “Regular Show,” to cross over into mainstream conciousness. This story of two slackers, a bluebird named Mordecai and a raccoon called Rigby, who find themselves in surreal and bizarre situations, is quite simply the best thing on TV at the moment. “Breaking Bad,” “Rescue Me,” “The Walking Dead,” all pale in comparison to the episode where four baby ducks, seeing their mother in peril, start to glow and then merge together to form a forty foot tall muscular man with no shirt, a tattoo and an Eagle head, who promptly kills the man threatening their mother with a karate chop that results in a nuclear mushroom cloud.
It’s that kind of show.
They say that it’s NOT a prequel to “Alien.” But it is.
The Comic Strip Presents
Coming to DVD in the US for the first time later this month is the complete series of “The Comic Strip Presents,” a British comedy anthology that has been running, on and off, for nearly thirty years. Born out of The Comic Strip, the comedy club that spawned Britains alternative comedy movement of the 1980s, this series featured folks like Hugh Laurie, Rik Mayall, Nigel Planer, Ade Edmonson, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Robbie Coltrane, Ben Elton, Stephen Fry, and Alexei Sayle. Guests on the show included Elvis Costello, Kate Bush and Miranda Richardson. A few episodes of this series were shown on MTV and A&E years ago, but more than half of them have never been seen on these shores.
You will get 39 episodes spread across nine discs. This set does not contain the three most recent episodes, from 2000, 2005 and 2011, which is a shame because they reunite most of the cast of “The Young Ones,” but they are a wealth of primo, dated 1980s British comedy. Some of the jabs at Thatcher are vicious!
Nexus Returns In Dark Horse Presents
Another cool return from the 1980s, Mike Baron and Steve Rude‘s “Nexus” will return in three issues of Dark Horse Presents. Which gives us an excuse to run this artwork by Rude.
Captain Action Returns, For Real This Time
The return of Captain Action to toy store shelves was delayed from last year to this March. They had to work out some production glitches in China. However, this delay gives us a chance to bring you this photo of his arch-nemesis, Dr. Evil, who will have interchangable brains.
My favorite guilty pleasure TV show, the sexy, violent and campy “Spartacus” returns to Starz later this month with “Spartacus: Vengeance,” which will pick up where season one left off. Non Sport Update will feature Spartacus on the cover of their next issue to promote the upcoming Spartacus trading card set from Rittenhouse Archives. Your PopCulteer wrote the cover story. It should be on newsstands in a couple of weeks.
The first West Virginia-produced movie to spawn a sequel is now the first to spawn a 3D sequel, as filming begins on “Porkchopp3D.” Kennie Bass did a cool story on the project for WCHS TV.
Archer and Metalocalypse Return
Two cool, subversive, adult cartoons return soon. Archer begins its third season on FX on January 19, while Metalocalypse returns to Adult Swim for its fourth season on April 15. Happiness abounds as these two hilarious series will help to erase the memory of the animated flop, Allen Gregory, which will go down in history as the least entertaining show of any kind ever produced anywhere, not limited to Earth.
Face Off Season 2
Local FX make up guru, Rob Haddy, the designer of the mask in “Porkchops,” is a contestant on season two of SyFy’s make up competition show, Face Off. Check out this preview…
DC Universe Invades LEGO:Batman
The LEGO Batman universe is expanding to include other classic DC Comics characters like Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern. This will happen in the toy sets AND the video games. I’m hoping this is a huge success because I’d like to see some LEGO Shazam figures.
Radio Free Charleston 150
Late this month you can expect episode 150 of Radio Free Charleston, which will be a retrospective of some of the more memorable moments of our almost six years of documenting the local music scene. It’s going to be a long show, after which we will fire off a long string of weekly shows to burn off all the cool performances we shot last year.
Mitch O’Connell’s Blog
Mitch O’Connell is an old friend I met way back in the CODA days, and he’s also an accomplished artist, with zillions of tattoo designs, magazine illustrations, fine art exhibits and has a career retrospective coffee table book in the works from Last Gasp. He also has a blog that features cool, bizarre and disturbing images, many of them not safe for work. I find myself drawn to it on a daily basis.
That’s it for this week’s PopCulteer. Next week in PopCult…more of the usual. I’ll be hard at work on RFC 150.