It’s been a rough summer. The news has been depressing, if not disgusting. The upcoming presidential campaign looks to be one of the ugliest in history. Stakes are high and nerves are frayed. The weather has been brutal and society seems to be on the brink of a nervous breakdown.
Add to that my personal issues, dealing with my recent diagnosis of Myasthenia Gravis while re-launching an internet radio station and working on several personal projects, and I fear that I have neglected this blog. I do manage to post at least one item every day, but there is so much going on in the world of pop culture that I feel I’ve fallen behind on my coverage. Particularly, I have not kept up my duties delivering regular entries of The PopCult Toybox or The PopCult Bookshelf.
So today I’m going to try to play catch-up and bring you a whole bunch of pure pop-culture news items, all in one long post.
San Diego Comic Con International
It’s that time of the year when all the cool (and some not-so-cool) genre media producers flock to San Diego for a gigantic orgy of hype and promotion, and to be honest…it’s sort of useless for me to try and cover it from here in Charleston. There are dozens of websites actually on-site with teams of reporters who can cover all the details about what movie, comics, TV show, toys, games, consumer products and books will be heading your way in the future.
Even if I were out there, it’d take me weeks to sort through what I’d seen. I’m still sitting on tons of photos and video from Toy Fair in February and JoeLanta in March that I haven’t been able to edit yet. This is one event that I’m perfectly content to witness from the sidelines. One of my main sources is Comic Book Resources. Rather than attempt to re-report what I’m reading there, I’ll just suggest that you check them out.
The Beatles Live at the Hollywood Bowl
The one Beatles album that never quite officially made it onto CD will finally be released in September to promote Ron Howard’s documentary on the Beatles’ live performances. A newly remixed and remastered version of The Beatles Live at the Hollywood Bowl will arrive on September 9 and will include four songs that were omitted from the original vinyl release in 1977.
Remixed and remastered by Giles Martin (son of George Martin, and the man behind the remixed songs on The Beatles Love album), this project will use the original first-generation recordings (done on three tracks!) and combine the superior source recordings with the latest sound-isolation technology and Martin’s remixing expertise to give us what will likely be a bit of a sonic revelation in terms of audio fidelity.
More details, including a full breakdown of tracks and when they were recorded, can be found at Uncut.
The Official GI Joe Club
Late in June, at what was supposed to have been the final Official GI Joe Convention put on by the Official Club and the fine folks at Fun Publications, it was announced that Hasbro had struck a new deal and the club and convention will still be around until at least 2018.
This is great news. The folks at Fun Publications really know how to stage a convention, and the Official GI Joe Collectors Club is a valuable asset to the hobby. Each year paid members of the club get their choice of a 12″ or 3 3/4″ GI Joe, created exclusively by and for the club, plus they also get a monthly newsletter. This year members who chose the 12″ figure received a newly-designed Mike Power Atomic Man figure, complete with an LED eye and clear limbs to show off his robotics. Apparently the future plans for the club involve creating a 12″ version of the transitional “Super Joe” line of eight-inch tall figures.
PopCult is thrilled to see Fun Publications continue with Hasbro to bring us The Official GI Joe Collectors Club and convention. This was just a wonderful surprise.
The Charlton Arrow Returns
I have been remiss on not reporting on the latest bits of coolness from one of my favorite comic book entities. The CHARLTON ARROW #5 is now available and you can order it and get $1 off the cover price. This Special Action Star Edition is loaded with tons of cool fetures, including an exclusive Joe Staton interview from The Charlton Movie documentary; The Return of YANG by Roger McKenzie and Ben Torres; Mr. Jigsaw & Liberty Belle by Ron Fortier & Gary Kato; A Professor Fester horror tale by Paul Kupperberg & Sandy Carruthers; A Dick Giordano Charlton Cover Gallery and much, much more. Get print or digital editions at Amazon or order direct from the publisher for details on the discount. Visit the website and browse around for all the great Charlton Neo projects.
This is a great issue of The Charlton Arrow and is yet another reminder how much fun comic books can be.
Our favorite Roku channel returns as a free service soon, after spending about a year as an underground private channel. You can hear Mistress Rhonda talk all about it tonight at midnight on Angel’s Asylum on Blog Talk Radio. We’ll tell you more about Bizarre TV’s relaunch as it draws closer.
Boardgames in Cross Lanes
Formula D is a high stakes Formula One-type racing game where the players race simulated cars with the hope of crossing the finish line first. This is a re-release of Formula Dé with several changes from the original format. Whilst old tracks can be used with the updated Formula D rules, the new game features boards that have an F1 track and a Street Track on the other side. These street tracks each have a novel inclusion or two to add to the game play.
Planet Of The Apes
Fathom Events, Turner Classic Movies, and Twentieth Century Fox invite you to return to the out-of-this-world mad house when the sci-fi classic Planet of the Apes (1968) crash lands in select cinemas nationwide for a special two-day event on Sunday, July 24 and Wednesday, July 27.
Charlton Heston and Roddy McDowall star in this legendary science fiction masterpiece. Astronaut Taylor (Heston) crash lands on a distant planet ruled by apes who use a primitive race of humans for experimentation and sport. Soon Taylor finds himself among the hunted, his life in the hands of a benevolent chimpanzee scientist (McDowall).
Locally you can see Planet of the Apes at the Regal Nitro Stadium Cinema. Sunday the showings are at 2 PM and 7 PM, with a second chance to see it next Wednesday. Get your tickets HERE.
The Creeps Magazine
I have also not been doing a great job of keeping you informed of the progress of The Creeps Magazine. This terrific homage to the classic Warren horror magazines, Creepy and Eerie, is now quarterly and has published two issues since I last mentioned them, with another now available for pre-order.
With work by original Warren creators like Roger McKenzie, Don Glut, Neal Adams, Rich Buckler, Frank Brunner, Alan Weiss, Rich Corben and more, plus covers by classic Warren painters Frank Frazetta, Sanjulian, Ken Kelly and Basil Gogos, The Creeps has managed to replicate the look and feel of the Warren mags, even down to the paper stock and fonts. Add to that a huge talent pool of younger artists and writers, and you have one of the most fun comic book experiences available today.
You can order back issues, pre-order future issues or subscribe at The Creeps Magazine website.
MattyCollector, Mattel’s attempt to cater to the adult toy collector’s market will cease operations at the end of the year. Their He Man and The Masters of the Universe line will be picked up by Super 7, while all their other projects will be dropped.
An email sent out to customers read:
Thank you for being the world’s most dedicated fans and passionate supporters of MattyCollector.com over the years.
We want to let you know that we have been working on something new and different for you that measures up to your loyalty and devotion.
As of December 31, 2016, we will be shutting down the website as we transition to Super7 to manufacture and deliver the Masters of the Universe and adult collector lines. Subscriptions and orders for 2016 will remain unaffected, and the site will continue to operate through the end of the year. For the past two years, Super7 has proven to be a great partner, and we look forward to seeing them continue to grow the Masters of the Universe line. They will unveil the expanded line for 2017 at next week’s San Diego Comic-Con. (For continued info on Super7 and the 2017 line, be sure to follow MattyCollector on Facebook!)
To help you complete your collections before the end of the year, we’ll be opening the Vault beginning Thursday, July 21 at 9 a.m. PT. All 2014 and 2015 items, and select 2016 items, will be available for sale at that time. They’ll remain in the shop until the end of the year or while supplies last, whichever comes first. For U.S. orders, any Vault products you buy during San Diego Comic-Con will arrive with free USPS domestic ground shipping.*
We thank you for your dedication and support through the years.
While it’s sad to see the end of a collector’s toy entity, it’s not really a shock. MattyCollector has suffered from delays, quality-control issues and strange choices of product since day one. Here’s hoping that Super 7 does right by the fans of MOTU, and other companies pick up the lines that they dropped.
That’s it for this week’s PopCulteer. Check back for as many of our regular features as we can write, and please give a listen to The AIR, our new internet radio station. It’s chock-full of amazing music talk and comedy, and you can listen to it online or on this nifty little radio player…