Tom McGee (at right) returns to the airwaves tonight as WHCP begins their first newscast. It’ll be interesting to watch, just to see if WHCP can rise above their usual high-school A/V level production quality. Let’s hope that WHCP can fix their old transmission problems that recently cropped back up after disappearing for a few months. It’s not good for ratings when your station cuts out every four or five minutes. I’m going to give this new newcast a few days before I blog a review of it, just to give them a chance to work out the bugs. McGee, despite his off-screen troubles, has always projected an air of professionalism on camera, but we’ll have to see what sort of on-air crew he’s surrounded with, and how technically proficient the production people are. (I do have one wise-guy suggestion: How about calling the 10 p.m. newscast The Last Call?)

“Crash Gordon” premiered at the Capitol Center Theater Friday night, and a great time was had by all. The Voodoo Katz performed at a pre-show reception, and the crowd was treated to a gut-wrenching thrill-ride as Crash Gordon and his pals saved the Earth from a pandemic of alien flatulence. Director Bill Richardson took questions from the audience and explained the creative process. I’ll be keeping you up to date on future showings of this fun film spoof.

Melanie Larch, my longtime Gazette writing partner, will be joining me once a week as we bring our Animated Discussions column to the PopCult blog. Every Monday (roughly) we’ll bring you the latest news from the world of animation. Today we review Chicken Little and take note of a few local animation happenings. Next week, we’re going to look at the recent additions to the Adult Swim line-up. Melanie, aside from writing Animated Discussions with me for many years in the print Gazette, is also a titan of the Charleston stage, appearing in dozens of local productions. She’s currently gearing up for a solo performance with the West Virginia Symphony. There’s also that “main squeezedness” thing we have going on, but why belabor the obvious? The first PopCult editon of Animated Discussions appears in a posting earlier today.