The PopCulteer
May 3, 2024

Welcome to a stream-of-consciousness edition of The PopCulteer.

It’s been a while since I’ve flown into my weekly Friday columnish post (which I’ve been doing in this blog for fifteen years and four weeks now) with no plan, so I’m just sitting down on Thursday evening with a blank page to fill.

There are no detailed radio notes this week because we are about halfway through our four-day marathon of my wife’s much-loved music specialty show, MIRRORBALL. That’s happening on PopCult‘s sister internet station, The AIR, which you can listen to at the website, or on the nify little player embedded elsewhere on this page.  The marathon is to mark four years and one-hundred episodes of Mel Larch’s MIRRORBALL.  You can read all about it and see the playlist in THIS POST from Wednesday, and you can hear replays of episode 100 Friday at 2 PM, Saturday at 9 PM, Sunday at 10 PM, Monday at 9 AM and Tuesday at 1 PM, (all times Eastern) exclusively on The AIR.

But enough about our MIRRORBALLs…how about we talk a little bit about Myasthenia Gravis?

I have it. I was diagnosed with it just over eight years ago, although I had severe symptoms of it for eleven years before that. You can read all about that HERE.  The point being that it’s an auto-immune disorder that can be a bit of an impairment, and mine has been flaring up for a couple of months now.  Even with my mild case, it sucks. Hot weather makes it worse, so this has been a pretty miserable week for me. It affects my fingers so making art is more difficult. Typing is also a pain in the ass, so excuse any typos that get past me. I was hoping to get out to do some stuff this weekend, but I don’t know if I’ll manage more than a quick visit to the KVRA Model Railroad show at the Charleston Civic Center Coliseum.

As for what this means for my loyal readers…well, I have a stack of books, toys and music to write reviews of for you, but I haven’t been able to do all things required to make that happen. Between MG and outside assignments (AKA “paying work”) I haven’t had time to do things like catch up on all the reading, or open and photograph the new MEGO DC figures or the Longbox Heroes or new Super Powers action figures.

So, consider that a preview of what you can expect in the coming weeks.


Like all of us here in WV I pray for the sweet release of primary election day, when the constant barrage of hideous, repulsive, hateful and moronic campaign ads for Republican candidates will leave our airwaves.  It’s disheartening that in a state with SO MANY serious problems–crumbling infrastructure, myriad health problems, rampant pollution, underfunded health agencies, young people leaving in droves–the only selling point most GOP candidates have is “Hey, I hate vulnerable people and support the traitorous criminal who tried to overthrow the government!”

I do have to wonder, would Kristi Noem have shot Babydog if given the chance?

On the bright side, come primary day, at least three god-awful candidates for governor and one absolutely horrid candidate for senate may be out of politics for good…regardless of who wins.

To lighten the column up after that dark dip into politics, we could see a major change in the entertainment landscape as SONY and Apollo (the private equity firm, not the Roman God of rocketships) have teamed up to make a bid to buy Paramount, which includes the movie studio, tons of cable channels, the CBS Network, Star Trek, Paramount + and SpongeBob Squarepants.  Paramount has been in play for a few months, but there are weird ownership issues stemming from the daughter of the late Sumner Redstone, who ran the company until his recent death at the age of 132.

Even though we are talking about a merger/acquisition worth tens of billions of dollars, the most important point here is that finally…FINALLY…somebody might restore and exploit and make available to the public the vast animation libraries of Terrytoons (Mighty Mouse, Heckle & Jeckle) and Screen Gems (Lil’ Abner, Krazy Kat). Those cartoons hardly ever get shown anymore. Even if they don’t do that, they’d be hard-pressed to mess up Paramount as bad as David Zaslav did with Warner Brothers.

{IMPORTANT EDITORIAL NOTE: After proof-reading this column and putting it to bed, I found out that METV is launching a new digital sub-channel called METV TOONS, which will be programmed with classic animation from Warner Brothers, Hanna Barbera, MGM, Paramount and…Terrytoons and Columbia Pictures.  More details can be found HERE. Ask and ye shall receive, I guess.}

Now how about a couple of  quick recommendations?

The Completely Made Up Adventures of Dick Turpin is streaming on AppleTV +, and it’s loads of fun. Absurd, hilarious and anachronistic adventures of the famed 18th-century highwayman, this series, starring Noel Fielding (The Mighty Boosh, The IT Crowd) is a real treat.

Fielding is surrounded by a top-notch cast of the UK’s top young comedic talents.  It’s right up the alley of fans of What We Do In The Shadows and Year of the Rabbit. All six episodes of the first season are streaming now at the evil empire’s streaming channel.

The EC Archives, published by Dark Horse, is a new series of trade paperback collections of previously-published hardback collections of classic runs of EC Comics, now at a much more affordable (and readable) price of twenty bucks. Each volume contains six issues of a classic EC Comic like Tales From the Crypt, Weird Science, Shock Suspensestories or Vault of Horror, and you can order them from any bookseller, or directly from Dark Horse.  These contain comic book stories that moved the artform forward dramatically with stories by Al Feldstein, Harry Harrison, Jack Oleck and adaptations of Ray Bradbury, and art by Wally Wood, Jack Davis, Frank Frazetta and many other giants of the industry.  We are still seeing the influence of EC Comics in comics, movies and television today, and…since most of the stories are under nine pages, these make great bathroom reading!

BTW, both Apple and Dark Horse stole their names from record labels started by The Beatles and George Harrison, respectively. That’s my nerdy Beatles trivia for the day.

With that pleasant note, Imma gonna wrap this up and head out. With any luck I’ll be able to rest up over the weekend a bit and finally get around to writing some reviews for you folks next week, along with all our regular features, notes on our radio shows, and lists of STUFF TO DO. Remember, even with Myasthenia Gravis, PopCult has fresh content every day.