The PopCulteer
October 8, 2010

We’ve got a mixed-up stew of items in The PopCulteer this week, so let’s jump right in!

Comic Book Price War!

Early Thursday, DC Comics fired the first salvo in a price war between the the two major comic book companies.  Faced with plummeting sales, due to what had become a nearly standard four-dollar cover price, DC announced that, at the beginning of next year, most of their books will drop to $2.99 and feature 20 pages of story.  Sadly, this means that the books that already sold for that price, will drop from 22 pages to 20 pages of story content, and that the co-features from the $3.99 books will have to find new homes.

Less than an hour later, Marvel announced that. starting in January, all of their new titles will debut at $2.99.

This may mean that the comic book companies have finally realized that the entertainment value of a comic book these days does not deliver the bang for the buck necessary to compete with other media.

In the mid-1960s the standard comic book cost twelve cents, and had around 23 pages of story.  Adjusted for inflation, today that comic book should sell for eighty-one cents.

Now, I understand that the paper is better today, and new technology has allowed the publisher to print a higher-quality, computer-enhanced product, but still, the prices have risen at a considerably higher rate than inflation.  Meanwhile comic books are no longer a universal childhood experience.  They have become a niche item. One recent survey finds that 25% of comic book and graphic novel readers are over the age of 65.

Comic book sales are at historic lows.  The best-selling comic book in August didn’t hit the 100,000 mark.  Thirty years ago, DC or Marvel would cancel a book if it didn’t sell at least 200,000 copies.  Now, more than half their titles they publish sell one-tenth that many books.

Something has to change.  If DC or Marvel would put the money into TV advertising, and take a risk by lowering their prices to a dollar per book, the industry might have a chance to grow.  For now, this latest move looks like too little, too late.

Friday Night At The Blue Parrot

You can see Happy Minor and InFormation at The Blue Parrot tonight, for a mere five-dollar cover.

We posted a slew of Happy Minor videos here recently, including the one below:

Happy Minor "Gypsy Queen" from Rudy Panucci on Vimeo.

And we had InFormation on RFC 108, as seen here:

RFC 108 "To The Batmobile Shirt" from Rudy Panucci on Vimeo.

The Arts Council Is Up And Running

The Arts Council of Kanawha Valley (ACKV) was formed in the spring of 2010 to support, promote, and advocate for artists and arts agencies in our region. By Celebrating the Arts and Connecting Communities the ACKV’s goal is to enhance the quality of life in the Kanawha Valley through the arts. Their shiny new website is up and running now, and artists should register so they can access the awesome ACKV Calendar!

HallowEast 2

The East End’s horror-filled holiday celebration returns for a second year.  I’ll be blabbing about the cool events all month, but you can sneak a peek at their website and beat me to the punch.

Friday Night At The Sound Factory

Tomorrow Burns headlines at The Sound Factory Saturday night, with support from two recent RFC guests, Eva Elution and The AK40 Sexuals.

You can see the AK40 Sexuals in RFC 108, which is posted in an item above.

Eva Elution appeared in our epic 100th episode, which you will find at the end of this item.

The cover charge is unspecified.There will be drink specials, so if you want to check out the cool cars on the Boulevard, then get a cheap buzz, this might just be the place to go.

RFC 100 from Rudy Panucci on Vimeo.

Saturday Night At The Blue Parrot

Ghost Fleet will be playing with RFC faves, The Diablo Blues Band. The cover is five bucks and you can see Diablo in action below.

The West Virginia Music Hall Of Fame

The West Virginia Music Hall of Fame will hold press conferences on October 12 and 13 to announce the class of inductees for 2011.

The announcements will be made Tuesday, October 12, at 10:30 a.m. in the Great Hall of the Culture Center, and Wednesday, October 13, at 10:30 a.m. in the foyer of the Hulett C. Smith Theater at Tamarack.

“The class of 2011 includes seven unique West Virginia musicians who have made lasting contributions to American music,” said Michael Lipton, Director of the WV Music Hall of Fame. “The fourth class of inductees continues the Hall of Fame’s mission to recognize these outstanding musicians. Once again, choosing just seven inductees was not an easy task for the voting committees.”

Cool Puppets

My GI Joe collecting buddy, Mark Henderson, sent me this video.

Read more about it here.

All Grown Up With No Pants

The No Pants Players return to the Alban Theater, 65 Olde Main St., St. Albans, with an evening of adult humor.  Satruday night at 9 PM, Ten bucks gets you in the door for an evening of good, dirty fun.

ASW’s Night Of Champions In Danville

Saturday night at the Danville Community Center, 500 Hopkins Ave, Danville, All Star Wrestling presents a huge wrestling card, kicking off at 6 PM.  You will see  WWE star Paul London, Legends Ricky Morton Tracy Smothers, Mickie Knuckles, Mad Man Pondo , Juggulator, Omega Aaron Draven , Dirty South & more in exciting wrestling action.  Tickets are fifteen dollars at the door.

You can find out more about the show and get directions to the Community Center by visiting the ASW Website.

Why I Won’t Be At Any Of These Events This Weekend

I will be hard at work on what I hope is our big Radio Free Charleston Halloween Special, a movie called “Jazz From Hell.”

I’m not going to tell you much about it, other than it stars Melanie Larch, Chelsea Cook, Lee Harrah, Kevin Pauley, Craig Auge, a cast of dozens, and my own darn self. Below, you will find some preview images.  Check back next week in PopCult for our usual features, and quite p9ssibly RFC 112, with music from Crossroads, Doctor Curmudgeon and more.

Dr. Henrietta Spliff

The Chief confronts Brick Muldoon, as Rose tries to stop them from fighting.