do mannThe PopCulteer
September 23
, 2016

This week, your PopCulteer has been juggling magazine assignments, medical appointments, radio business, and other various and sundry items and has fallen behind a bit in his PopCulting.

Today we’re going to catch up with some of the regular features that we missed this week. Get ready for The PopCult Bookshelf, The PopCuylt Toybox and STUFF TO DO, all rolled into one long post, along with notes on our internet radio programming at The AIR.

The PopCult Bookshelf

cemetery plots cover 2Cemetary Plots #2
Written by Dan Johnson and various
Art by Brandon Bullock and various
Empire Comics Lab

Cemetary Plots is a really fun horror anthology, published independently of Diamond Comics Distributors and as such, is delightfully free of corporate interference.

This twenty-eight page comic book has color covers and black and white interiors and manages to combine the tradition of classic EC Horror Comics with the energy and enthusiasm of the underground comics of the 1970’s.

This is the second issue and like the first, features a horror host, “D.O.Mann” who introduces the stories from his home in River Shore Cemetary.

120 page 1 letteredThe book follows the tried and true formula of presenting short, clever horror/science fiction stories and fans of the genre will find plenty to enjoy here.

The first story, Not Wrapped Tight, is a great modern take on the idea of an ancient mummy come to life. The story and art, by Marvin Mann, moves the tale swiftly with great storytelling and artwork that’s reminiscent of the late Alex Toth and the European Metal Hurlant artists.

Following a one page “two sentence horror story,” we have 120, a nearly wordless story written by comics veteran Roger McKenzie, with terrific artwork by Gary O’Donnell and Barbara Kaalberg. This cautionary tale of the near future warns us of what will happen when robots are given too much power. The look and execution harken back to classic strips from 2000 A.D.

thanksgiving page one letteredaOur last full story, written by Dan Johnson with artwork by Marvin Mann, is called Thanksgiving and it’s a tale of frontier justice with a macabre twist, skillfully written and wonderfully drawn. We then get a one page epilogue, courtesy of writer Dan Johnson, penciler Daniel Gorman, with inks and grayscales by Brandon Bullock.

This book is simply loads of fun. It’s a high energy throwback to the classic horror anthology format, which is seeing a major resurgence of late, outside of the influence of the traditional comic shop system. This comic sports a really nice cover by Paul Tuma, who contributed to Forbidden Gallery, which I reviewed last week. It’s great to see this genre of comic book coming back into vogue after being virtually ignored by Marvel and DC for decades.

You can order Cemetary Plots #2 directly from Empire Comics Lab, where you can also find other cool publications and online comics from this talented crew. Halloween is rushing at us headfirst and this is perfect reading for the upcoming dark holiday season.

The PopCult Toybox

eda482e4-27b4-48b2-b365-34b3bb9c62fdFrom our friends at IAmElemental, pioneers of female action figures, comes word of a very special program to share their toys with kids who have run into some rough luck.

In support of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month this September, IAmElemental, creator of the first female action figures designed specifically for children, is bringing its superheroes to the fight against pediatric cancer.  The company’s popular Courage Core Power female action figures – modeled on Joan of Arc and embodying Bravery, Energy, Honesty, Industry, Enthusiasm, Persistence and Fear – are being deployed to comfort and inspire children and their families affected by these devastating diseases.

During September, IAmElemental is conducting a Buy One, Donate One program for every Courage Core Power female action figure purchased in the company’s online store. The company will distribute one figure to a child affected by cancer for each figure purchased.  The 6.5″ Core Power female action figure, which retails for $24.99, is a fusion of all Elements in Series 1/Courage.  She features more than 30 points of articulation and includes removable accessories including a helmet, armor, flaming Energy sword and Courage shield.

“Like so much in the IAmElemental universe, our association with childhood cancer comes from our close relationship with our customers,” said Chief Elemental Officer Julie Kerwin.  “Fourteen-year-old Anna Bosma of Harbor Springs, MI was an IAmElemental superfan – a collector of our Series 1/Courage female action figures who eagerly awaited the release of Series 2/Wisdom this fall. Upon learning from her grandmother that she was unlikely to see their release, we sent her an advance set of our newest figures.  Sadly, Anna succumbed this summer after a four-year fight.  Our Buy One, Donate One program honors her legacy, and her wish that IAmElemental figures be shared with others.  Anna understood – more than I could ever dream – about Courage and Superpowers and Character.   And it is Anna who continues, every day, to push us and inspire us.  We are so grateful to Anna’s parents, Buck and Heidi Bosma, for allowing us to celebrate Anna’s life this way, and for offering to work with us to bring Courage to children and families like theirs.”

IAmElemental’s Series 2/Wisdom female action figures, with ancient Alexandrian STEM pioneer Hypatia as the muse, include Creativity, Ingenuity, Curiosity, Logic, Exploration, Mastery and Oblivion and are scheduled to ship in fall 2016.

To participate in IAmElemental’s Buy One, Donate One program, visit their website or call (800) 274-8282.

In case you’ve forgotten, we profiled IAmElemental earlier this year at Toy Fair and here’s the video…

Stuff To Do

13511952_255663738137382_4943915151466857808_nYour PopCulteer is really looking forward to one show this weekend.  Saturday night at The Empty Glass, the newly formed Mark Beckner Group makes their debut. Longtime viewers of Radio Free Charleston may remember that May 2009 was Mark Beckner Month and I’ve been a fan and friend of Mark’s for over twenty-five years. I’m really looking forward to catching his new band and enjoying his well-crafted and intelligent power pop music without hiding behind a camera all night.

The Mark Beckner Group includes Mark, of course, and he will be aided and abetted by Mark Mingrone, Joey Lafferty, Chris Hudson and his brother, Stephen, currently of the band Speedsuit. Stephen and Mark made up half of Go Van Gogh, the band with the most requested song on the original broadcast incarnation of Radio Free Charleston many years ago.

The show starts at 10 PM at The Empty Glass. The cover charge is seven bucks and you will also hear music by The Dooges and The Jangling Sparrows.

Don’t Forget The AIR

PC 9 23 airDon’t forget we have great programming on The AIR all weekend long. Listen in at the website, or right here on this swanky little embedded radio player…

Friday, you can hear a new episode of Laugh Appalachia at 9 AM and 9 PM, followed in the morning by replays of our Wednesday talk programming, On The Road With Mel, Life Speaks with Michele Zirkle Marcum, The Best of The Real With Mark Wolfe, and Lynn Browder’s Autism Discussion program.

At 3 PM, fans of New Wave Music can hear a brand-new episode of Sydney’s Big Electric Cat.  This week, most of the first hour of the show is a primer on the formative years of New Wave, with Pub Rock, Punk and even Kraftwerk included in the mix. Sydney Fileen continues to grace us with her New Wave expertise. Just check out this playlist:

After The Fire  “Der Kommisar”
Dave Edmunds  “I Hear You Knockin'”
Eddie and The Hot Rods  “Teenage Depression”
Dr. Feelgood  “Milk and Alcohol”
Roogalator  “Cinncinnati Fatback”
Flamin’ Groovies  “Slow Death”
Elvis Costello and The Attractions  “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace Love and Understanding”
Ian Dury and The Blockheads  “What A Waste”
The Ramones  “Teenage Lobotomy”
Talking Heads  “Life During Wartime”
The Damned  “New Rose”
Plastic Bertrand  “Ca Plan Por Moi”
Buzzcocks  “Ever Fallen In Love”
Kraftwerk  “Trans Europe Express”
Falco “Der Komissar”
The Dickies  “Pretty Please Me”
Lene Lovich  “Blue”
Joe Jackson  “A Slow Song”
New England  “Walking Wild”
M  “Keep It To Yourself”
Mike Batt with the LSO  “Voices In The Dark”
Men At Work  “Be Good Johnny”
Spoons  “Walk Across The Water”
The Passions  “I’m In Love With A German Film Star”
Sham 69  “The Kids Are United”
Spandau Ballet  “Chant No 1”
Altered Images  “Happy Birthday”
The Smiths  “Please, Please Let Me Go”
Nina Hagen  “TV Glotzer (White Punks On Dope)”
Bill Nelson  “In The Forest of the Storms”

Friday at midnight, check out an all night marathon of The Gibby Hunters. Then all day Saturday, you can hear all of our great music programming, including Radio Free Charleston, Curtain Call, The Swing Shift, The Superfetch Supershow and more.

This Sunday morning at 9 AM we will replay our presentation of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and that will be followed by encores of all of our talk programming.

That’s it for the PopCulteer this week. Even with a crazy workload we have still maintained our steady pace of at least one post per day since August 2013. Check back for all of our regular features and the occasional surprise.