The PopCulteer
November 12, 2010

Starstruck For Your Ears

A few months ago, my pick for the “Cool Comic Of The Week” (returning soon to PopCult) was Starstruck, an incredible sci-fi series by Elaine Lee and Michael Kaluta. The comic book series had a convoluted history, starting as a stage play, then jumping from publisher to publisher for more than a couple of decades before being re-presented by IDW (a Deluxe Hardcover is due early next year).

Now Starstruck has made a leap back to its roots, and a bit to the side, with the Audiocomic version of this sexy space opera. Adapting a comic book to an audio play format has been done before–think of the classic Supeman radio show, among others–but lately it’s become a bit of a last art.  Starstruck, with its theatrical origins and strong dialogue is particularly well-suited to this sort of adaptation.

Adapted by Elaine Lee (from the play she wrote with Susan Norlfeet ane Dale Place) and directed and sound designed by William Dufris, Starstruck is a real treat.  It’s pure ear candy that flies by so quickly that you can’t believe it’s over two hours long.

The Starstruck Audiocomic is considerably more evolved than a traditional radio drama. At times I was reminded of the radio incarnation of “Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy,” and at other times the frenetic pace and dense action reminded me of The Firesign Theater. Jokes fly by so fast that repeated listenings will be warranted.

Starstruck tells the story of Captain Galatia 9 and the crew of the spaceship Harpy, who, on a mission for the United Federation of Female Freedom Fighters, encounter a band of evildoers who command a ship made of living Galactic Girl Guides (youthful cadets from the UFFFF).

The action is face-paced, the dialogue crisp and the delivery is excellent. Standouts in the cast include Jennywren Sanders as “Brucilla The Muscle” and Tavia Gilbert as “Galatia 9.”  The entire cast, numbering more than a dozen, do great jobs, and Dufris has assembled the voices, sounds and the music (by Dwight Dixon) into a very entertaining whole.

Starstruck The Audiocomic is available direectly from The Audiocomics Website, and will soon be availalbe from CD Baby, iTunes, The Spoken Network, Amazon MP3, Zune, Media,net, Rhapsody, and a bunch of other places.  You can snag the MP3 downloads, or spring for the 2 CD set, with a snazzy cover (seen above) by Michael Kaluta.

A great interview with Lance Roger Axt and Bill Dufris of Audiocomics can be found at the blog, “Talking With Tim.” The blog, “Radio Drama Revival” has some video clips of the recording sessions for the audiocomic.  another enthusiastic supporter of Starstruck is Tym Stevens, who has written extensively about it in his “Rock Sex” blog.

The Starstruck Audiocomic is a real kick. It’s also the healthiest way to read comics while driving.  I’m really looking forward to whatever Audiocomics decides to do next.

PopCult Videos Revisited

We’re going to go back and look at some recent PopCult videos so we can spotlight some cool weekend events:

First up, you can still see The Charleston Light Opera Guild production of “Dreamgirls” This weekend and next.  Details are in the video.

Next up, you can catch Noizebox with Doctor Curmudgeon and Beaver Knievel Saturday night at The Empty Glass, part of their big 25th Anniversary weekend. I don’t have any video of Noizebox, but I do have videos I shot of Doctor Curmudgeon and Beaver Knievel, and you can see those below.  Be warned that the Beaver Knievel clip is probably not work safe. You can also see Doctor Curmudgeon on episode 112 of Radio Free Charleston.

Doctor Curmudgeon Bootleg Video Leak #2 from Rudy Panucci on Vimeo.

Next Week In PopCult

Aside from our normal features on Sunday and Monday, we will deliver episode 114 of Radio Free Charleston, and with any luck the Cool Comic Of The Week will return Wednesday with my reviews of a couple of new Superman hardcovers.