Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

Short Notes and XTC On The AIR

The PopCulteer
September 24, 2021

We have a few short items, plus a playlist for a very special show on The AIR to tell you about, so let’s dive in, shall we?

DC For Me, See? Uh…not now. 

Ten years ago DC Comics intiated a company-wide reboot, dubbed “The New 52,” and while it did boost their sales for a while, the endeavor turned out to be a long-term disaster creatively, to the extent that ten years later, DC is still foisting annual “major events” on their readers to try to fix things.

I announced that I would read and review each of the 52 first issues here in PopCult, and…I failed miserably. I only made it through a bit more than half before I had to stop for the sake of my mental health. They almost broke me.  A typical review went like this one. Many of these comics were just bad, and the few that were good still had the stank of desperation on them.

Most of the changes ushered in with the New 52 have since been ushered back out. Superman got his damn pants back and he’s not dating Wonder Woman. Lobo is Lobo again and not a gothed-up male model. All pretense of the superheroes only being around for five years at the beginning of the reboot were forgotten or abandoned. Green Arrow and Black Canary got their past together back.

Most of the rebooted DC titles were cancelled within the first two years, and five years later DC attempted to fix things by doing a “Rebirth” reboot, and dumping the “New 52” logo. However, things continued to be convoluted and confused, and I went from reading almost everything DC published to just picking up one or two DC titles, and those aren’t set in their main universe.  Now they pull some kind of company-wide stunt every year, so that we wind up with a Black Batman, a teenaged Superman, a Brazillian Wonder Woman and a Gay Aquaman. And in a year or so, they’ll all be back the way they were before, when the sales fall off. DC Comics has incorporated the vicious cycle into their business model.

On the anniversary of this reboot, which turned out to be an extinction event for much of DC’s long-term readership, Graeme McMillan has compiled an oral history of the many things that went wrong, over at Polygon.

Friends of PopCult

Congratulations and all the best wishes in the world to PopCult buddy and occasional collaborator Mark Blackwell (Wolfe), who will be getting married this weekend!

Another PopCult friend, Elliott Stewart, has emigrated to Chattanooga, and is publishing a ‘zine called Porch Beers. It’s a great chronicle of a trans man living in Chatanooga who is into cool stuff, misses his home state…a little,  and writes about it in a compelling and entertaining manner. You can order the first two issues HERE.

I said I wasn’t going to do Stuff To Do for a while, but since The Swivel Rockers are friends of PopCult and this is an outdoor show, I’m just dropping this here for you to consider…

XTC on Sydney’s Big Electric Cat

Friday on our sister interent radio station, The AIR,  at 3 PM we have a very special new episode of Sydney’s Big Electric Cat. Sydney Fileen devotes the entire two-hour show to the music of XTC, from 1978 to 1986. You can tune in at the webpage if you’re reading this on a phone, or if you’re using a computer, just click on the cool embedded player at the top of the right column.

Andy Partridge, Colin Molding and Terry Chambers, along with Barry Andrews and Dave Gregory, created a body of work that stands among the most impressive of any band of the New Wave era.

From the buzz surrounding their pre-signing performances on John Peel’s BBC shows to the end of the New Wave era, XTC were a beacon of creativity. Friday you can tune in for two hours of the ultra-intelligent art-pop of XTC.

Check out the playlist…

Big Electric Cat 077–XTC Special

“Meccanic Dancing”
“Science Friction”
“Statue of Liberty”
“This Is Pop”
“The Rhythm”
“Are You Receiving Me”
“Making Plans For Nigel”
“Day In Day Out”
“Ten Feet Tall”
“Reel by Reel”
“Generals and Majors”
“Respectable Street”
“Don’t Lose Your Temper”
“Towers of London”
“Burning With Optimism’s Flame”
“Living Through Another Cuba”
“Jump The Cup”
“Sgt. Rock Is Going To Help Me”
“Senses Working Overtime”
“Ball and Chain”
“It’s Nearly Africa”
“English Roundabout”
“Beating of Hearts”
“Love On A Farmboy’s Wages”
“Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her”
“I Bought Myself A Liarbird”
“All You Pretty Girls”
“Earn Enough For Us”
“1000 Umbrellas”
“Dripping Basin”
“Dear God”

Sydney’s Big Electric Cat is produced at Haversham Recording Institute in London, and can be heard every Friday at 3 PM, with replays Saturday afternoon, Monday at 7 AM, Tuesday at 8 PM, Wednesday at Noon and Thursday at 10 AM, exclusively on The AIR.

RAW 10 Series Two

McFarlane Toys has announced a second series of RAW 10 action figures, exclusive to Walmart. In July of 2020 I told you about the first series HERE. Below you can see Hoof and Terror-Don. Pre-order them by clicking on their names.

And that is this week’s PopCulteer. Check back for fresh content every day as your humble blogger stays busy as a bee, doncha know?

1 Comment

  1. Thomas Wheeler

    Everything you said about DC’s New 52 is exactly how I felt about it all. They alienated their long-term readership (myself included) with a dumb, unnecessary stunt that they haven’t dug their way out of yet. Marvel’s no better, but with them it seemed to be more gradual, into a convoluted miasma that if you’re not reading virtually every title they publish you can’t make sense of it, and even then…! I’ve tried, here and there, a few DC titles that seem sufficiently away from the central focus of chaos that they might be enjoyable, and they are, to varying degrees, but the days when I really enjoyed a lot of what DC was publishing and felt they were putting out good stories (and art) that really respected these iconic characters ended — well, ten years ago. 🙁

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