The PopCulteer
September 16, 2011

We’ve got a pretty packed week behind the scenes at PopCult, so your PopCulteer will rely on the true-tested trick of the photo essay. Last night, ArtWalk snuck up on unsuspectimg Charlestonians. Your PopCulteer had a committment to a top-secret project (we’ll let you know more about that as soon as we can) so this month’s photos were taken a few hours before the official start of ArtWalk, which is why there are fewer of them and not so many with people.

Before we do the ArtWalk, though, there are some very cool things happening in twon this weekend.

On Sunday, The Empty Glass is holding a benefit for Hospice House.  This is a show that Melanie Larch had a hand in planning, and with the aide of Richard Abdalla and The Empty Glass, it’s come together. Starting at 8PM Sunday, a killer line up of musicians, including Pepper Fandango, InFormation, The Diablo Blues Band, Oliver Dawgs, The Scrap Iron Pickers and Hobo & Moe will donate their time and music to a great cause. There will also be raffles throughout the night. 100 % of the proceeds go to Hospice House, and 100% of that goes directly to patient care.

Also Sunday Night, is Dr. Sketchy’s tribute to Adventure Time. Ten dollars gets you into the Kanawha Players Theater for an evening of cool figure drawing. That kicks off at 7 PM.

Satruday at 5:30 PM an all-ages metal show takes over The LaBelle Theater in South Charleston as Wood Boys Music presents September Slam, a concert event featuring Harrah, Zeroking, Point of Jerus, Remains UnNamed, Born of Conviction, Disturbing the Peace. Tickets are seven bucks, and the RFC crew will be on hand.

Tonight in St. Ablans, The Cryptkicker Five invade from New Jersey, with support from Beaver Kneivel, Eighty Three Eighty and the newly rechristened The Tom McGees! This is at The VIP Lounge, the old site of The Brick House. The show starts at 10 PM, and I can’t find the cover charge listed anywhere, but it’ll be worth it.

ArtWalk in Photos

We start off with our first visit to Gallery Eleven since they relocated to their new digs half a block away from their old space on Quarrier Street. The new place is a huge change from their old cramped quarters. High ceilings and lots of floor space make for a much more enjoyable showcase for their artists. As seen above right, the Gallery can show off their glassware and jewlery in a much snazzier fasion now. Helen Williams is this month’s feature artist, and she leads things off as we take a tour of Gallery Eleven…

The Art Emporium

Mixed media peices by Robby Moore are featured at Art Emporium, along with lots of other great works by artists like Adam Eldridge and Traci Higgenbottom.

Modern By Design

We popped into Modern by Design to check out the cool Atomic Age furnisings and art by Leo Posillica.

The Purple Moon

At The Purple Moon, Co-onwer Chuck Hamsher was showing off his new line of Industrial Furniture, a very cool estate-sale find from the 1960s, and a new, large-scale piece of his art.

Taylor Books Annex Gallery

At Taylor’s ths month they’re showing work by Jules Burt, Jigsaw pieces painted by local artists to benefit CTOC and photographs by Robin Hammer.

Romano And Associates

Since we snuck into ArtWalk early, we caught this month’s exhibit, featuring outstanding mixed media work by Adrian Paige Blackstockbefore it was hung. This will be well worth checking out now that it’s on the walls.

DC Comics New 52

Time is tight this week, so we’re going to release our reviews of the new DC Comics first issues in drips and drabs.  Here are three more.

Suicide Squad #1
by Adam Glass and Fredrico Dallocchio

This revival of a fan-favorite series from DC’s old universe begins with several pages of graphic torture.

The premise of Suicide Squad is basically “The Dirty Dozen” with supervillains.  The bad guys are offered a deal: Work on dangerous covert missions for the government. If they survive, they may get their sentences commuted or reduced, or have other forms of compensation.

As the supervillains are being tortured by their unknown assailants, they have flashbacks to their pre-incarcerations lives.  We see memories from Deadpool, El Diablo and Harley Quinn, as they have their flesh ripped, salt or live rats poured into the wounds or are electrocuted. As they snap out of the flashback they fire off a defiant smart-alecky rejoinder.

We see a couple of other minor villains being tortured, then we get the backstory of how they ended up in this “Saw” like situation.  All of the characters have newly-redesigned costumes, so it’s hard to tell who’s who. They even changed Harley Quinn’s outfit into something unrecognizable and impractical.

Then it turns out it was all a simulation, and the story ends with their real mission starting with the crew being kicked out of a plane flying over a city.

There’s one more redesign.  Amanda Waller, the head of Belle Reve, the super-prison where the villains are incarcerated, shows up in one panel. In the original series and in her many, many appearances in the old DC Universe, she was a heavy-set, older African-American woman.  In the new DC Universe, she is apparently an African-American supermodel, rail-thin, and looking to be maybe 25 years old, tops.

You can see the change in this graphic swiped from Bleeding Cool, who wrote about the new look.


I guess that diversity that DC’s co-publishers Dan Didio and Jim Lee were talking about only extends to skin color, not body type.

As for the book itself. It’s brutal, hard to follow, and formulaic. There’s nothing to see here, move along.

Superboy #1
by Scott Lobdell and R.B. Silva

This book exists solely to protect DC’s trademark of the name, “Superboy.” In the new DC Universe, Superman was not Superboy before he took on his grown-up superhero name and came to Metropolis.  Keeping in line with the previous DC Universe, this Superboy is a clone with super powers, a blending of Kryptonian and Human DNA.

This book opens with the Superboy clone, an experiment in a secret lab, about to be terminated before he ever experiences life outside a giant tube. His natural defenses kick in, and he kills most of the lab personnel before collapsing and being tended to by a cute redheaded lab assistant.

Then the book jumps ahead a month, as the clone, who appears to be high-school-aged, is at his first day of school in Kansas. Only things are not as they seem.

I’ve never been a fan of Scott Lobdell before, but he’s crafted an intriguing story here, loaded with science fiction elements and political intrigue.  Silva’s artwork is firmly-rooted in what seems to be a new DC house style, but it’s quite good and his layouts move the story along at a brisk pace.  At the end of the book, I was left wanting more.  This one’s a keeper, which really surprises me.

Green Lantern #1
by Geoff Johns and Doug Mahnke

I have to admit, I haven’t followed the Green Lantern books for some time. I was happy that they brought back Hal Jordan, but once the new regular series started I found it hard to bring myself to read it, and quite buying the book before issue seven. So I’ve missed out on all the recent developments.  I understand that this title was not affected much by the company-wide reboot, so I feel like I’m jumping into the middle of a story. Here goes…

I’m not going to try to do a recap. I was prepared to be confused by this book, but I wasn’t.  It explains the recent developments in the book, as they are in this new universe, and it sets up the series pretty well. This is a solid superhero book, with the story split between outer-space and Earthbound action. Fans of the recent run should be happy, and people who want to jump on are brought up to speed quickly.

That’s it for this week. Keep watching the blog, or the RSS feed, if you are so inclined.