Somehow your humble blogger has managed to survive The 2023 PopCult Gift Guide in one piece, and rather than let the eleventh month slip by without one more rundown of local events, how about I regale you with tales of tons of cool shenanigans to get into around the Mountain State and a few points beyond. As I have been doing of late, this a good time to remind you that THIS IS NOT A COMPLETE LIST OF EVENTS.  It’s just a starting point, so don’t expect anything comprehensive, and if you feel strongly about me leaving anything out, feel free to mention it in the comments.

Before we get into that, I have a brief Kickstarter plug:

There are only four days left in this very cool campaign, but the folks behind it have had a bit of bad luck this month. I’ll let them explain…

Right before Thanksgiving, Rich Fowlks (designer extraordinaire) and I co-launched a Madmaniverse campaign with fun retro Ginchy-O-Rama stickers that pair the Madmaniverse with dad jokes! There’s also a NEW issue of Madmania (covering Madman Atomic Comics), as well as metal postcards designed by Rich!

Then, over the week, we both got sick and I got sidelined by my dissertation. Needless to say, we haven’t been able to get the word out as much as we like, and the window to keep funding these is closing.

Can you do us a SOLID favor and spread the word on social and amongst all yer pals!?

If anybody else is a nerd as old as I am, you may remember the Marvel Comics stickers from the 1970s that repurposed classic comic book art with goofy new word balloons.  This project does the same thing, only with art from Mike Allred’s Madman comics.

You can support the campaign HERE, and the rewards are fun and not too expensive. They’ve already met their goal, almost three times over, but the guys behind this project have been waylaid and haven’t been able to promote it as heavily as they would’ve liked, so I’m helping out a bit here. It’s a cool project and you get 12 stickers and can add on new issues of Madmania Digest.

I have a couple of big local things to plug before we get into the bulk of our list this week.

First, Thursday night at Black Sheep Burritos and Brews in Charleston, it’s Derick Fest ’23…

Friday and Saturday it’s the 19th River Arts Show at Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 520, Kanawha Blvd.  in Charleston.

This cool collection of art, arts and artists happens Friday Dec. 1st – 6.30-9.30PM and Saturday Dec. 2nd – 10AM – 4PM. Admission: $3, Ticket includes raffle ticket for artists work.

They promise “A welcoming, warm atmosphere akin to a Moroccan Bazaar or Christmas Market.” as over 20 Artists in many mediums, ceramic, visual, sculpture, stained glass, wreaths, textiles, jewelry have their wares for sale. You will also find 4 Psychic Readers:  Tarot, astrology, cards, and music drifting from a stage, on both days.

Friday Night will include a reception with finger foods and there will be a light lunch available on Saturday.

Featured Artists in 2023 include:  Sarah Golden (Buckhannon) – stream of consciousness; Annette Meyer – hand embroidered ornaments; Lesia Angel – hand-built ceramic, glass jewelry; Bob Fisher and Judy Fisher – whimsical; Christopher Higgins – natural wreaths; Hepcatz Design – meow time; Al Peery – West Virginia photographer; Jessica Osbourne – altered images; Meish Claus – whimsical images; Knorrsgaard Jams – artisanal fruit alchemy; Carolyn Gilbert Sayles – feeling of joy; The Two Tinkers – unique, creative, passionate; and many others.  A special Friday night addition is a friend of RFC, artist and musician, Andrea Anderson.

The music line-up:
7.30 -Doug Stalnaker & John Longwell – old time
10.30 – Concordia – recorder
11.30 – Mike Foster – blues
12.30 – Spencer Elliot – finger style guitar
1.30 – Paula Bickham – piano
2.30 – Christopher Vincent – himself

It’s a great way to get out and support the local scene–art, music and creativity in general, and it’s all fun, too.

Live Music is back at Taylor Books. There is no cover charge, and shows start at 7:30 PM.  Friday Mike Pushkin & Alasha Al-Qudwah take the stage. Saturday a sterling talent, yet to be determined performs at the beloved bookstore/cafe/art gallery.

The World Famous Empty Glass Cafe has some great stuff this week  to tell you about.  Thursday at 5:30 PM, Swingstein and Robin return with Swing for a good cause. Friday Tim Courts plays during happy hour.  Friday at 10 PM Kindred Valley is an indie folk band out of Huntington, West Virginia focused on intentional lyrics and good music, takes the stage.  Sunday at 7 PM Chris Murray holds down the fort, and then at 10 PM The Carpenter Ants host the post-Mountain Stage Jam, after the first of two loaded 40th Anniversary editions of Mountain stage. We have graphics below for the rest of the weekend shows at The Glass.

Speaking Mountain Stage, it’s a big couple of weeks for West Viginia’s musical calling-card to the world…

Please remember that the pandemic is not over yet. It’s still a going concern with the ‘rona surging again. And now there are seasonal allergies, the flu, hellbound ghosts of former secretaries of state hoping to get in one last act of evil before the afterlife, zombie bell-ringers, dyslexic people dressed as Satan Claus and other damned good reasons to be careful. Many people who have very good reasons are still wearing masks, and many of us, understandably, are still nervous about being in crowds, masked or not. Be kind and understanding  while you’re out.

Keep in mind that all shows are subject to change or be cancelled at the last minute.

If you’re up for going out, here are a few suggestions for the weekend, roughly in order…