Land Adventurer by Rudy The PopCulteer
August 7, 2009


This is s a big week for GI Joe. The movie, “GI Joe: The Rise Of Cobra” opens tonight, and next week, an event that I really wanted to attend, The International GI Joe Collector’s Convention takes place in Kansas City. I’m a toy collector and I’ve been doing work with the Official GI Joe Collector’s Club for years, but have never made it to any of their annual conventions. For years I couldn’t go because I was taking care of my mother, but since her death, either financial limitations or work conflicts popped up to keep me from going.

This year, I had the money set aside, and my work schedule was flexible, but unfortunately, the convention was scheduled during the one week of the summer where I had a long-standing prior commitment. So, once again, I won’t be able to go to the show and meet dozens of online buddies for the first time in the real world. So I have to resort to the cry of the Chicago Cubs fan, “maybe next year.”

But just because I can’t go, that doesn’t mean you can’t head out to Kansas City and check out all the cool toys. Brian Savage and Lanny Latham and the Joe team have put together a great line-up of activities, events and special guests. You can read all about it here. If you buy the deluxe package, you get a really cool boxed figure set in addition to full attendance of the convention and an early crack at the dealer’s room.

Collectors of the the 3 3/4″ GI Joes get a boxed set of fifteen of the small Joes, outfitted as The Crimson Strike Team, an elite team lead by The Crimson Twins and The Baroness, all geared up to take over a Permanent Assurance Company. Check it out below.

Those look really neat, but since I’m old, I really don’t care about the small GI Joes. Collectors of the 12″ GI Joe (also known as “the real GI Joe” by fans of the era, and “dollies” by the fans of the little guys) will get the spectacular “Eight Legs Of Danger” set. Check out the cool stuff you’ll get with this set:

The above set includes a Super-Articulated Land Adventurer outfitted with tons of cool gear that will enable him to “Kill The Giant Spider” just like in the Plant Ro Duction Mini Movie in RFC 76, which has mysteriously fallen off the Gazette server, thus rendering that reference meaningless.

So if you go and purchase the full Joe Monty package, you get your choice of one of the above sets, plus a screening of “GI Joe: The Rise Of Cobra,” admittance to all the cool seminars and panels and a cool “Para Drop” figure, seen at left.

This year the para-drop figure is a 12″ Joe outfitted in Cobra Crimson Paratrooper gear, with a working parachute. This figure is intended to be tossed–by dozens of collectors at the same time–off of something high and mighty in Kansas City for the amusement of convention-goers and confused onlookers.

That is one way-cool figure. And you can beat the fun of playing with your toys like that.
Check out the convention site, and let’s hope that the movie is good enough to keep the toy line going a few more years. Early word from some fans is that it’s pretty damned impressive, a real summer blockbuster.

Rock Out For A Good Cause

You should check out Bill Lynch’s excellent article from this week’s Gazz for the full details on B.J. Berkhouse (right), a friend of many area musicians who was mowed down by a drunk driver on Capitol Street last year. If you are a fan of Radio Free Charleston, you should be advised that every band on the bill, including The Spurgie Hankins Band, Duo Divertido, Tofujitsu (who are back on RFC next week), T.J. King, Mark and Steve Beckner, Alan Griffith (leader of Blue Million), and Diablo Blues Band, have appeared on Radio Free Charleston.

For a minimum five-dollar donation you can take in some of the finest of Charleston’s independent music scene. Don’t feel pressured to just give the minimum, though. This is for a good cause, and you’re getting loads of great music. Toss a few extra bucks in at the door.
The night kicks off at 6 PM Saturday evening at The Empty Glass. Go, listen, drink up, dance and enjoy.

Divided Loyalty

Mel and I will be at The Empty Glass Saturday night, but at some point we will tear ourselves away to head to The Davis Fine Arts Building at West Virginia State University. Chuck Biel’s students, formed into tightly-wound mobile progressive rock and jazz units, will be performing a free recital at the Davis Fine Arts Auditorium.

Chuck is one of the area’s true musical treasures, and any concert by his students is bound to be amazing. The show kicks off at 8 PM and there is no charge.

Cool Comic Of The Week

In honor of our lead item, our cool comic this week is IDW Publishing’s graphic novel collections of the classic 1980s GI Joe comic book. These are the classic stories of GI Joe, an elite anti-terrorist team, as they fight COBRA, the deadly organization hell-bent on the destruction of the USA.

Four volumes in the series, so far, reprint the early, best-selling issues of the GI Joe Comic book, with work by creators such as Larry Hama, Herb Trimpe, Steven Grant and Mike Vosburg. Click the comic book cover to order them.

Next Week in RFC

RFC 78 will be a big one! We’ve got music from Tofujitsu, and a special performance from DENI BONET, who is returning to Charleston August 15 for a special concert at LiveMix Studio.

If you don’t know who Deni is, check out this snippet of her bio: “Deni’s credits as a performer are like reading a Who’s-Who of popular, alternative music; she was an original member of the cast of MOUNTAIN STAGE – which as you probably know is a weekly, live performance radio show on around 150 NPR stations across the country – and has either performed or recorded with (here goes…!) REM, Sarah McLachlan, Chris Whitley, Gravity Kills, Daniel Lanois, Indigo Girls, Shawn Colvin, Richard Thompson, Warren Zevon, Bruce Cockburn and many others. In fact, last year, Deni was invited by REM to appear as a special guest (along with Patti Smith) on their “UP” tour.”

And we have her on RFC next week. Cool! (Plus it’ll be cool to see Deni at LiveMix. I haven’t seen Deni since 1992.)

We also have surprises and animation, and host segments that can best be described as “far-flung.” The next episode of RFC will go online Thursday morning.