The PopCulteer
June 7, 2024

As promised, here’s the first big photo essay of our trip to WonderFest USA in Louisville last weekend.

Because of the limitations of this blog, I can only cram in about thirty photos in this one post, so today I’m going to show you some of the guests, some of the cool stuff from both dealer’s rooms, and several models that were on display in said dealer rooms. We made the trip down because Mrs. PopCulteer is still a huge fan of The Walking Dead, and that show’s makeup guru/producer, Greg Nicotero, was on hand and available for autographs. That’s him at the upper right of this post with Frank Dietz, who moderated his buddy Nicotero’s talk.

I also got to meet Danny Roebuck, whom I’ve traded online comments with a few times over the last twenty years or so. Danny is a noted character actor who has been in every Rob Zombie film (he was Grandpa Munster in the recent Munsters reboot) and has acted with such notable stars as Andy Griffith, Julia Louis Dreyfuss, Bruce Campbell and Grumpy Cat. Seriously, he’s been on so many TV shows that I can’t list them all here. Danny also, buried under extensive makeup, played one of the great monsters of the screen…Jay Leno.

Danny also made me go look at something in the dealer’s room that absolutely blew my mind. You’ll see it below.

I also got to see William Stout again. I’ve been a fan of his artwork since way back in his underground comic days, and among the SEVEN books he has in the works, is a compilation of all his underground comix, so that was really cool.

I’ll be including extensive captions with each photo, but I have to warn you…we’re not going to the model room today. On Sunday, I’m going to bring you a short video of the model room, along with about twenty photos. We might have more of those next week, along with a very special mini-photo essay devoted to a classic toy that was on display in one of the dealer rooms.

So  let us dive into the photos…

Mr Greg Nicotero. Insert your own “describing someone’s weiner” joke here.

Frank Dietz, writer, actor, animator and the moderator for his sometime collaborator, Nicotero.

I finally got to meet Danny Roebuck in the real world, and we hung out and talked for maybe half an hour, and as I was leaving the room, I realized that I hadn’t taken any pictures of him, so he obliged me with a thumbs-up before we left. He also sent me to look at the coolest thing in the world, which you will see below.

William Stout, the guy who drew the movie poster for “Rock N Roll High School,” did all the production designs for “Return of the Living Dead,” has published several books of dinosaur art, and is also one heck of a nice guy.

You could run into wild scenes around every corner.

We even met the world’s tallest Jawas!


Just randomly set up in a hall was this incredible and huge recreation of Space Cruiser Yamamoto. The guy in costume built it.

So, the cool thing Danny sent me to gaze upon, hiding amid Ricky Puckett’s booth (I know Ricky from The Kentuckiana GI Joe Expo) was an absolute dead-mint condition Dr. Evil Lab Set.

Let me interject for a moment and link to a PopCult post from almost nineteen years ago. In THIS POST I tell my own story of The Dr. Evil Lab Set.

Here’s the thing…one, there’s no way I could afford this gem, but I was told an amazing story about how it found its way to this show. Only…I did not get the okay to repeat this story. I can say that, this is the first time since I was in Arlans in 1968 that I saw this set unopened, in the box…and while it’s not my story to tell…there were two of them sold together.

And thanks to this big boy, The Dr. Evil Lab Set was not the most expensive thing on the dealer room floor (and this was only about ten feet away).

Over in the other dealer’s room, there were models set up that weren’t part of the big contest.

Around the corner from these giant robots (including that enourmous Optimus Prime) was a separate contest.

First we have to get past these really cool Gundam-y sort of guys.

Plus these Shogun Warrior fellows.

And we get to this challenge were folks customized the Gallileo Shuttle from Star Trek: The Original Series, into, well, anything else. In this photo you can see the Gallileo done up as Star Wars, Ghostbusters, Space: 1999 and other vehicles.

This batch even had one decked out as the boat from JAWS.

And this one shows that the Professor really knew his stuff. If only they had dilithium crystals on the Island. It does make you wonder about Gilligan’s red shirt, though.


This batchof Gallileos featured Thunderbirds and one done up in Gulf Livery.

Even more Gallileo’s in front of some really cool stuff.

I’m thinking this huge model is a Sandcrawler from Star Wars…

…because when you look inside, there’s Jawas in there.

It wouldn’t be a convention without at least one Starship Enterprise!

A lousy photo of a cool model of a Tie Fighter taking on asteroid damage.

I’m not entirely certain what this is, but it sure looks cool.

Oe last look at the armada of spacecraft on display in dealer room #2.

The room was also filled with dealers selling all kinds of really cool stuff.

Plus there was this gigantic model of the shuttle bay of the Enterprise. Gallileos go in there.

Back in dealer room #1 we have the Cretaceous Creations booth, showcase the amazing sculpting of Shane Foulkes.

I’m going to jump in here with a link to Cretaceous Creations website.

Our last photo today is Shane’s incredible Torosaurus…which came home with me. I’m still trying to decide which paint scheme I’m going to attempt, but I will say that it’ll include a little pearlized iridescent detail.

Expect video and photos of the model room this Sunday, and thank you for reading this week’s PopCulteer. Check back for our regular features, our sister internet radio station, The AIR and fresh content every day.