The PopCulteer
June 1, 2012

We’ve got a mixed bag of neat stuff this week, a play, RFC 159, Popeye, and IWA East Coast,  so let’s dive in…

Einstein and God

The new play by Dan Kehde and The Contemporary Youth Arts Company opened last night at the WVSU Capitol Center Theater. Your PopCulteer did not make it to opening night, but given Kehde’s track record, I’m sure that “Einstein And God” will be a thought-provoking and throroughly entertaining night of theater. I’m hoping to catch it next week.

The plot, according to CYAC, is this, “In 1937, with the threat of arrest and imprisonment looming, German intellectual Hermann Strasser abandons his homeland and escapes to America with his wife and two granddaughters; his son and daughter-in-law choosing to stay behind. Settling in the university town of Princeton, New Jersey, he begins a new life as the town baker, while his granddaughters Magdalena, 16 and Emilia, 12, begin their education in public school. As the war approaches and news arrives that their father has become an officer in the German army, the girls are forced to decide between allegiance to their parents or to the friends and lovers in their new-found home.

“The delicate drama grows when, after Pearl Harbor, Magdalena’s boyfriend, fresh from basic training, asks her to marry him. Still trying to be loyal to the memory of her father, Magdalena is forced to choose between the love of her parents and homeland and the love of her life. In contrast, fiery young Emilia immediately hates her father for becoming a Nazi, and willingly accepts herself as a typical American teenager. Yet, by the end of the war, everything has changed.

“Humorous, tragic and altogether human, Einstein and God paints a picture of a family striving to transcend the obstacles of war with humor, love and strength of character.”

The cast includes Nik Tidquist, Maddy Gourevitch, Mandy Harper, Mariah Plante, Donnie Smith, Heather Newhouse, Austin Susman, Daniel Calwell, Rick Fleenor and Paul Dixon as the Knucklehead.

Check out this promo clip by Austin Sussman…

Show times are 8 PM, June 2,7,8 and 9 at The West Virginia State University Capitol Center Theater, 123 Summers Street, Charleston, Tickets are $6.00 for Students/Seniors, or $10.00 for Adults.

RFC 159

We posted RFC 159, “Cap Senior Class Shirt” earlier this week. The music is by The Big Bad, In The Company Of Wolves and Foz Rotten. We also have a trailer for Dennis Strom’s film, “One Soldier, One Grave,” and the animated short, “Odd Days.”

And in this show I wear the infamous “Cap Senior Class Shirt” that almost caused 21 graduating students the right to participate in their graduation ceremony. I did this to stand alongside the students as they faced the biggest bully at Capitol High School, Principal Clinton Giles.The kids learned a valuable lesson: Sometimes, you just have to walk up to a petty tyrant and shove your middle finger right in his face!


A second printing is on the way of the first issue

I promised this a couple of weeks ago, but finally, It’s time to praise the most remarkable comic book of the year. The new Popeye comic book from IDW is astounding in the way that it captures the magic of the original E.C. Segar Popeye comics in the Thimble Theater comic strip. This is not hyperbole. I’ve been immersed in Segar’s Popeye of late. Fantagraphic just published the final volume of their excellent hardcover collection of Segar’s Popeye, and this new comic book seems as if it sprang from the same mind.

Writer, Roger Langridge, and artist, Bruce Ozella, have so perfectly recreated the style of E.C. Segar that you feel like you’ve stumbled onto a lost work by the master. Seriously, this is like hearing a brand-new album that sounds exactly like The Beatles at the top of their game.

Much of the credit has to go to Craig Yoe, co-editor of the book with Ted Adams and Clizia Gussoni, for assembling the perfect creative team for the job. Langridge has perfectly capture Segar’s writing style, while Ozella’s art looks more like Segar’s than even Segar’s assistant, Bud Sagendorf’s, did. The cover of the first issue is an homage to Joe Shuster’s classic first Superman cover for Action Comics #1. Hell, even the paper stock is perfect.

Popeye has been a surprise hit. The first issue is due for a second printing, and the second issue (seen at the top of this post) is selling out quickly. Already, the book has been promoted from a four-issue mini-series to an ongoing book, and a companion title, reprinting Sagendorf’s Classic Popeye comics will begin publication in August.

IDW’s Popeye comic book is, quite simply, an unexpected gift, and one of the coolest damned things on the planet. Finally, the Sailor Man gets treated right.

IWA East Coast

IWA EC made their debut in Clendenin early in May, and I’ve just not gotten around to editing the photos, which feature Ring of Honor star, Rhino, and IWA EC mainstays, Mad Man Pondo, The Juggulator and more.

Rhino vs Baby, cribmatch of death!Pondo addresses the trops

The Juggulator

Crazy Mary and <Mad Man Pondo

Another PopCulteer In The Can

That’s it for this week’s PopCulteer. Next week you can expect a classic episode of RFC, remastered, as our Sunday Evening Video, and a detailed breakdown of how I created my entry in this year’s Streetworks public art project for East End Main Street will be the next Monday Morning Art. With any luck, I will be be delivering a nice, long PopCulteer next week, which will be written in advance since I’ll be at MEGO Meet in Wheeling.