PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

Monday Morning Art: Johnny At The Parrot

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We’re kicking off this week with a moody digital oil painting based on a photo I took last Saturday night of my pal, the legendary Johnny Rock, at The Blue Parrot, where we were recording Beaver Knievel and Drop Ded Phred for Radio Free Charleston.  The cool lighting in the background, combined with Johnny’s “pleae don’t take my picture” expression made for an image that cried out to be done up in Gothic oils. As always, click the image to see it larger.

Sunday Evening Video: Diversity in Comics

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The above video, brought to our attention through Heidi MacDonald’s excellent comic book blog, The Beat, features “The Goon” writer/artist Eric Powell in a plea to support creators of original comic books. You can learn more about the revolution on this Facebook page, but the video is pretty entertaining by itself.  It’s also probably not safe for work, even with bleeping.

All Things Must Pass

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The PopCulteer
January 28, 2011

This week in The PopCulteer, we mark the ends of three eras. Passage is a part of life, and a trio of notable, or notorious, cultural touchstones have come to an end.

So join us as we bid farewell to “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” “Wizard” Magazine and The Comics Code Authority.

Countdown Blasts Off

Last Friday, with no advance notice, Keith Olbermann, MSNBC’s highest-rated anchor, shocked audiences with a tease going into commercial ten minutes before the end of his program: “When we come back, I’ll explain why this is the last edition of Countdown.”

Olbermann abruptly left MSNBC. His final segment (seen below) didn’t really explain anything. Olbermann graciously said farewell to his audience, but didn’t offer any reasons why he was leaving.

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Cool Comics: Batman and Captain America

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Digitally colored image from a tiny .gif of a drawing by George Perez

This week we are reaching smack dab into the mainstream to bring you Cool Comics featuring superheroes who have been around for a combined 145 years.  There are interesting new takes on both Batman and Captain America.  Both harken back to the 1960s, but in totally different ways. First, we’ll take a look at the Caped Crusader.

The All New Batman The Brave And The Bold

Burdened with the cumbersome title, “The All New Batman The Brave And The Bold,” we find one of the most entertaining Batman comic books on the stands.  Based on the excellent (and sadly out-of-production) Cartoon Network series, “Batman The Brave And The Bold,” this comic captures the spirit of fun that made the 1960s Batman TV show so memorable.

This is a fun, kid-friendly, Batman, teaming with his super friends to fight crime. You won’t find any deep psychodrama, violent murder or sexual overtones here. The cartoon is a return to the idea of fun superheroes, and the comic book is a perfect companion piece.

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Sunday Evening Videos: Fox Elipsus

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Fox Elipsus is a musical fellow from Oxford, England, who came through town this weekend, and played a wonderful Saturday afternoon show at Taylor Books.  We recorded him for Radio Free Charleston, and you’ll see him on episode 118 in a little more than a week, but he already has some videos up on YouTube.  That’s one up above this text, and there are more after the jump.

You can buy his music from his website, and he tells us that he will return to Charleston, thanks to the warm reception he got from the standing-room-only crowd at Taylors.

Check out his webiste, and then follow the jump for more of his music!

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Sleepless Ranting

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The PopCulteer
January 21, 2011

Sleepless

This week, due to a lot of reasons that we don’t need to go into here, your PopCulteer has not been able to get a lot of sleep. Rather than just skip this week’s Friday column, we’re going to soldier on and crank out a stream of consciousness assortment of observations and opinions. Keep in mind that this week’s PopCulteer is the product of a sleep-deprived mind.

As such, research is sketchy, and numbers cited may be incorrect. This is a rant, not a thesis. Proceed with caution. This is all off the top of my head at the last minute.

Before we proceed, please take in this video of King Crimson’s “Sleepless.”

And now, on with the stream…

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Cool Comics: Comic Strip Collections

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We are living in a Golden Age of Comic Strip reprints, and once a month or so, we’re going to shine the Cool Comics Spotlight on some of these nifty collections of some of the greatest comic strips from the heyday of the daily printed page.  This week we’re going to tell you about some ambitious long-term series.

PEANUTS

First up we have The Complete Peanuts by Charles Schulz. The most successful newspaper strip in the world, beloved by hundreds of millions of fans, and merchandised out the wazoo, Peanuts is getting a long-overdue archive treatment from Fantagraphics Books.

Quoting Fantagraphics here: “50 Years of Art. 25 Books. Two books per year for 12 1/2 years. Fantagraphics Books is proud to present the most eagerly-awaited and ambitious publishing project in the history of the American comic strip: the complete reprinting of CHARLES M. SCHULZ’s classic, PEANUTS. Considered to be one of the most popular comic strips in the history of the world, PEANUTS will be, for the first time, collected in its entirety.

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Sunday Evening Videos: Dark Animation Festival

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It’s time for an animtion festival again, and this time we’re diving into the dark end of the cartoon pool.  Today’s video playlist (embedded above) includes some more disturbing cartoon creations from around the world, dating back to 1908.

Not for the faint of heart or the easily confused, these bits of animation, including work by Jan Svankmajer and Suzan Pitt, contain the kind of imagery that would give David Lynch nightmares.  Be warned, this is some creepy stuff.

Enjoy!