Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

Month: April 2015 (Page 1 of 4)

Free Comic Book Day: Saturday, May 2

The PopCult Bookshelf

10998079_687619391361173_2440029087763496654_oSaturday May 2 is Free Comic Book Day, and several local and regional comic book shops are participating.

This is the day each year when comic book shops give out promotional comics from dozens of different publishers. Most stores have a limit of one or two books per customer, but it’s still a great way to sample new comics.

Marvel and DC participate, even though that usually means they’re just plugging their latest incomprehensible company-wide corporate “event.” But there’s plenty of quality material from other publishers.

Layout 1Fans of television cartoons will find comics from The Simpsons, Bob’s Burgers, SpongeBob Squarepants, Sonic, Pokemon, Teen Titans Go! and the Boom Comics 10th anniversary book, which includes Adventure Time, Regular Show, Peanuts and Garfield.

Some comic book companies will give away samplers that have a few pages from many titles. You’ll find this approach from Dark Horse, Aspen, Valiant and legendary Comics along with a few new indie publishers.

STK666590Returning favorite heroes include The Tick, The Phantom, Street Fighter, Savage Dragon and Captain Canuck. There will also be a ton of free books introducing new characters.

You can find a full list of the “Gold” books HERE. Smaller publishers may release other freebies that won’t be in as wide release, but you ought to be able to find all of these books at your local shop.

STK666141Speaking of which, I can confirm that Lost Legion Comics and Games: The Rifleman, on D Street in South Charleston will be participating. Also, a new shop in Danville, Spoiler Warner Games and Comics is celebrating their first Free Comic Book Day.

In Huntington, Comic World (1204 4th Ave) and Purple Earth (1115 4th Ave)
will get in on the free comic book act, and in Ashland, Ky, two new shops The Inner Geek in the Ashland Town Center and The Superhero Creamery (2002 29th St,) will participate for the first time.

STK665719You may want to check with your local shop. Many of them are planning costume contests and other festivities this weekend, so you can plan your trip to enjoy or avoid those things, depending on your personal preference.

This is a great way for the comic shops to attract new customers and to remind older comics readers that comics are still a thing. You should get out and enjoy the day. The comics are free and the living is easy.

GI Joe, Johnny West and Captain Action: The Holy Trinity of Action Figures


Photo by Mykol Blackwell

The PopCult Toybox

This week in the PopCult Toybox we’re going to catch up with three titans of the 1960s 12-inch action figure scene, GI Joe, Johnny West and Captain Action.

We will learn why GI Joe no-showed his fiftieth anniversary last year, the cool NEW Johnny West figure set that commemorates his fiftieth anniversary, and the very busy Captain Action Enterprises crew as they gear up for the Good Captain’s golden year in 2016.

Derryl DePriest (photo by Mark Otnes)

Derryl DePriest (photo by Mark Otnes)

First up, with GI Joe, we have a very good interview with Hasbro’s Derryl DePriest. Mark Otnes of The Joe Report and Patches of Pride caught up with Derryl at the 2015 JoeCon a couple of weeks ago, and heard firsthand why Hasbro is focusing on other action figure lines.

It’s a little sad reading the logic behind Hasbro’s moves, but it’s not hard to understand why Hasbro sees the future of GI Joe in other scales than 1/6. Collectors of 12″ GI Joe, after being a bit spoiled in the late 1990s, simply did not support collector-centric product like 2004’s Fortieth Anniversary line, and more recent attempts to revive interest in the scale failed to perform at retail. DePriest does point out that Hasbro’s “Titan” 12-inch figures with limited articulation (I panned them when they were first released) are among the best-selling action figures on the market right now. While that’s sort of depressing, it does give one hope that we will see a revival of quality 12″ action figures at mass-market retail in a few years, once the children of the 1990s are feeling the pangs of nostalgia.

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The Music of Tom Medvick on Radio Free Charleston at New Appalachian Radio

RFCv3 #24

We have a bittersweet episode of Radio Free Charleston on New Appalachian Radio this week. Not long ago Tom Medvick suddenly and surprisingly passed away. This was a shock to his friends in the music scene and where he worked at the West Virginia Department of Transportation and also people whose lives Tom touched in college and coaching his kid’s in sports.

And of course it has been an unimaginable horror for his wife, Wendy and their children, and the rest of Tom’s family. Our thoughts are with them as we take two hours to remember the music of Tom Medvick.

This edition of Radio Free Charleston on New Appalachian Radio can be heard in the Voices of Appalachia archive right HERE or listen to it here HERE.

Tommy was a great guy and one of the most powerful drummers I’d ever seen. Always upbeat and hilarious. He was a frequent guest on the original Radio Free Charleston broadcasts and he was not just a good friend, but a great friend. I am going to miss him terribly, and I’m hoping that this tribute can help his friends remember him, and let those who didn’t know him understand what a wonderful person he was.

Over the course of two hours you will hear music from The Swivels and The Feast of Stephen, two of the major musical projects Tommy worked with. You may also remember, if you are elderly enough, that The Swivels started out as The Swivel Rockers, then shortened their name late in 1989.He was also the lead figure in Tommy Spear and The Mints, but sadly I don’t have any of their music in my archives.

What we do have is pretty incredible. Tommy was an amazing musician and I hope that you can get an idea of how fantastic he was in this show. We are going to kick off the show with some rare demos that the Swivels recorded, which come to us courtesy of Tom’s bandmate in both the Swivels and Feast of Stephen, John Radcliff.

You can listen to Radio Free Charleston’s streaming radio incarnation at 10 AM and 10 PM on Tuesdays (and again at midnight Thursday) at New Appalachian Radio, part of Voices of Appalachia. If you miss it, check our the archives for previously-aired shows. You can also listen to Radio Free Charleston Saturday at Midnight. Saturday, RFC airs for six hours, starting at midnight.

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Slate Dump on The RFC MINI SHOW

Image3Slate Dump is a one-man band and songwriter who originally hailed from Southern West Virginia. He is also a longtime friend of Radio Free Charleston, and this week we are pleased to feature him on The RFC MINI SHOW, recorded last month at The Empty Glass.

With his rustic voice and distinctive guitar stylings, Slate Dump brings a punk sensibility to folk music, with originals and covers, some of them country and pop standards including tunes made famous by Frank Sinatra and Marty Robbins. Some of his cover versions are also a bit less than safe for work, so be warned.

In this episode of The RFC MINI SHOW we bring you four songs by Slate Dump…and the show still clocks in at less than nine minutes. You may remember on our streaming radio show back in December we brought you an hour of folks performing cover versions of Slate Dump songs. Now you can see the real deal in action.

Sunday Evening Video: Revisiting 4tet and More Playing Miles Davis on RFC

11013046_1572785516324557_2085747821886289188_nMonday, April 27, 4tet and More will reassemble at West Virginia State University to perform the Miles Davis classic, Bitches Brew, in its entirety. You may recall that our most recent episode of Radio Free Charleston brought you rehearsal footage and interviews with members of the band. Now you get one more chance to experience this musically intimidating undertaking live. We’re bringing you RFC 208 again tonight, just to get you all excited. This will be your last chance to hear 4tet and More take on Bitches Brew.

Bitches Brew is a studio double album by jazz musician Miles Davis, released in April 1970 on Columbia Records. The album continued his experimentation with electric instruments previously featured on his critically acclaimed In a Silent Way album. With the use of these instruments, such as the electric piano and guitar, Davis rejected traditional jazz rhythms in favor of a looser, rock-influenced improvisational style.”

4tet’s performance will take place at West Virginia State University, April 27, 2015 at 7:30 PM. You can learn more about this project in our original production notes HERE.


The Old School Convention

The PopCult Toybox

1486709_10204838276530098_5781398931997889692_nA very happy Mr. and Mrs. Popculteer meandered up North to Saint Mary’s earlier today for the first Old School Convention. You may remember that we wrote about it last Thursday. Organized by Aaron Hickman, who teaches at Saint Mary’s Elementary, this was an old-school convention on many levels, since it took place in an historical school building. It was a fun, small convention, making up for the lack of glitz with an abundance of fun.

Vendors from all over the region offered cool toys and comics. Cosplayers mingled with Ghostbusters and the band HarraH even performed an acoustic set.

In one personally mortifiying moment, your PopCulteer was asked if he was dressed as Game of Thrones author, George R.R. Marton. The fact that anyone thought I resembled the ultra-successful, but aged and troll-like writer made me want to curl in a fetal position and bang my head on the floor, but aside from that, it was a great time, and here’s a quick mini-photo essay, short on captions, that’ll give you a taste of the fun. I’m off to either shave or dye the facial hair. Here’s hoping that this is just the first of many Old School Conventions.

We arrived just as the cosplay contest was wrapping up, but there was still a good crowd looking for cool stuff.

We arrived just as the cosplay contest was wrapping up, but there was still a crowd looking for cool stuff.

Ghostbusters WV Division kept the place safe for the public

Ghostbusters WV Division kept the place safe for the public

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RFC Flashback: Episode 3

This week we’re going way the heck back to August 2006, for our third episode,  “Mother Nang Shirt,” which was named after a shirt featuring the then-disbanded, since-reunited legendary band.  RFC 3 was restored and remastered back in 2012. This early edition of RFC features a solo performance by Eduardo Canelon, of Duo Divertido and Comparsa fame, plus a vintage video from Charleston legends, Three Bodies.

Also in this show, is the first installment of “Pentagram Flowerbox” by Third Mind Incarnation (restored to the show for the first time since 2007) and the short film, “The Alien Threat” by Frank Panucci.

The third episode of Radio Free Charleston is a bit of a departure show for us. This is the only show where the host segments were shot against a green screen, It was our first to feature a pre-made music video, and this remastered edition includes the first chapter of “Pentagram Flowerbox,” once a recurring RFC cartoon by Third Mind Incarnation about Satan living in a trailer park that ran off-and-on in the first year of Radio Free Charleston.

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Catching up with PopCulteer topics

the-real-rfc-041615The PopCulteer
April 24, 2015

Since we are not operating at full capacity here at PopCult Central this week, let’s take a moment to pause and update some of the stuff we’ve written about lately.

Rudy on The Real

Last week I appeared as a guest on Mark Wolfe’s new internet radio show, The Real, over at New Appalachian Radio. We had a lot of fun talking about random weird stuff and Amish Mafia, and Mark’s sidekick, Steven Allen Adams, has a cool set of notes about the show online now. You can listen to the show at the Voices of Appalachia archive site.

Last night, Mark and Steve welcomed Danny Boyd to the show, and if that turns up in Steve’s notes in time, I’ll link to it right HERE. Next week’s guest is scheduled to be Hizzonner, Charleston’s mayor, Danny Jones. That should be a very entertaining show, especially if Mark gets another parking ticket before then.

Bizarre TV Debuts an Indie Film


All weekend long, Bizarre TV will debut a new indie film, Music Store Massacre by Gordy Price and Robert Sebold. Murder, mayhem and evil run wild in a seemingly innocent music store, chock full of instruments…of TERROR. Check out the probably not safe for work trailer after the jump…

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Comic Book Convention This Weekend

The PopCult Bookshelf


We are still operating on reduced power here at PopCult Central. Rather than a review a book that we haven’t had time to read this week, we’re bringing you news of a cool comic book and toy convention happening Saturday in Saint Mary’s.  To tell you about The Old School Convention, here is Aaron Hickman…

“My name is Aaron Hickman. This is a web page for the small comic convention I am trying to put on as a fundraiser for St. Marys Elementary School. I am hoping to raise money for the school that I work at and have grown to love the teachers, students and building. All proceeds will go directly to the school for the playground and other items that will benefit the students and community. Why “The Old School Convention” you may ask? SMES is the oldest functioning school in the state of WV. It does have a dual meaning though. Growing up in the valley I always went to the small comic cons I could find here most of these were in school gyms, armories, park buildings or hotel ball rooms. I loved those shows and still do. I will be bringing in vendors selling various comics, toys, games and ball cards. I will also will be bringing in some local celebrities.”

You will find comic books, toys and other cool stuff, plus I hear that HarraH will make the trek up North to perform an acoustic set, and it’s all for a good cause. The show runs from 10 AM to 5 PM at St. Marys Elementary School, 317 Washington Street in St Marys, WV. Five bucks gets you in the door. There will be raffles and cosplay and tons of other neat stuff. Vendors from all over the Tri-State will have goodies for you to buy and Ghostbusters, WV Division, will be on hand to minimize ghostly apparitions.

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