PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

Cool Comics (And Toys): Captain Action

Striking cover art from Mark Wheatley

This week’s cool comic is not only a great retro superhero/spy epic, but it’s also a great excuse to talk about one of my favorite childhood toys, which I’ve been doing in this blog since the early days over five years ago.

The Captain Action Winter Special, from Moonstone , includes three great comic adventures and one cool prose team up.

First up is a Captain Action “Classified” tale called “White Lies,” set in the 1960s when Captain Action was not only engaging in espionage during the Cold War, but was also clandestinely fighting the alien menace known as “The Red Crawl.”

This story is a pure spy adventure, with a few James Bondish sci-fi trappings. Written by Kenova’s own man of adventure, Beau Smith, this is a brisk tale of the original Captain Action as he deals with a double-dealing femme fatale, a hulking Russian spy and an even hulkinger Yeti while trying to recover “Olmstead’s Orb,” a jewel with occult powers.

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The latest episode of Radio Free Charleston is online now. That’s it right above this text!

“Green Lantern Shirt,” with a namesake shirt chosen in honor of the St. Patrick’s Day holiday this week, sports host segments from Studio 1031, one of the newest participants in ArtWalk, which resumes its monthly schedule this week after taking a couple of very cold months off. 1031 is the home of several artists who used to be part of 1033 Quarrier, the old LiveMix/Gallery Eleven building. With a bright new space and lots of great art, it’s going to be one of the top locations in Charleston’s ArtWalk.

Music this week comes to us from Andy Park, and Qiet. Andy and Qiet are two of the four artists performing at this Saturday’s Colesmouth Concert Series show at The Alban Theater in St. Albans. We close the show with a return visit from Roger Simms.  Roger and his band, Short Of Cash, will be at The Pour House in Dunbar on Saturday night.

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Today’s art is a digital painting of the new pedestrian bridge that you can see from Brawley Walkway.  I just liked the way it looked. Also, my brother-in-law, Aric Margolis, was the architect.  I wanted to recreate the way the light played off of it. Click it to see a bigger version.

Sunday Evening Videos: Josh Buskirk

Last night we ran out to Taylor Books to hear Sasha Colette, but were pleasantly surprised to find our old RFC buddy, Josh Buskirk, playing instead.  We’ll get a chance to catch Sasha later, but since we got to hear Josh last night, I thought I’d bring you some of his music via video.  Above you see Josh performing his original tune, “The Green March.”  Below you see his vocal turn on episode 101 of Radio Free Charleston. Enjoy the virtuosity.

RFC 122 “Fistful Of Mercy Shirt” from Rudy Panucci on Vimeo.

That’s the new Radio Free Charleston up there.  Read the production notes here.  Next week look for a show with Andy Park and Qiet.

Powerful Drama And Feeling Gratitude

The PopCulteer
March 11, 2011

Your PopCulteer is writing this right after seeing the Contemporary Youth Arts play, “A Service For Jeremy Wong.” It was a powerful night of drama, with the young cast deftly handling Dan Kehde’s script about a rural West Virginia town dealing with a fatal gay-bashing incident.

After Jeremy Wong, a gay ninth-grader, is murdered by two upperclassmen, their fellow students must deal with the national media descending at a time when they’re at their most vulnerable and introspective.

“A Service For Jeremy Wong” illustrates the real ramifications underneath the surface gloss of sensationalism. The surviving students have to look at their own attitudes and tolerances and intolerances. The murderers are shown to be more complex than simple thugs.

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Cool Comics On The Cheap!

This week’s cool comics pick is a bit of a departure. It’s not a specific book, but rather a potential motherlode of cheap comics from about twenty to thirty years ago.

Let me explain.  In the early 1990s there were nearly 10,000 independent comic book shops in this country.  After a huge speculator’s boom, fueled by Wizard Magazine and Image Comics, among others, there came a huge bust, and more than half of the comic shops closed their doors.

This meant that there were thousands of stores, suddenly out of business, looking to salvage what they could of their mostly-worthless inventory.  It was easy to cash in on the truly rare books, but in most cases, 99% of a store’s stock was in books that had little or no value. A couple of enterprising companies bought up their unsold comics for pennies on the dollar, and repackaged them as low-priced collector sets.  You may have seen them in department stores or in Toys R Us.

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At the head of this post, you see Radio Free Charleston 122, “Fistful Of Mercy Shirt.” This episode of the show features new music from Roger Simms (from the band Short of Cash), punk sensation Drop Ded Phred, and a return visit from Sasha Colette. We also have a preview clip of the Contemporary Youth Arts Company production, “A Service For Jeremy Wong” (opening this week), and brand new animation from Frank Panucci.

Host segments were shot in the friendly confines of Taylor Books Annex Gallery, prominently featuring the art of our old friend, Charles Jupiter Hamilton in the background. Taylor Books is one of the class acts here in town and it’s always fun to pop inside for a quick visit, specially when the springlike weather takes an unexpected turn for the worse. Also, one of our guests, Sasha Colette, will be performing at Taylor’s next Saturday night.

Continue reading…

At the head of this post, you see Radio Free Charleston 122, “Fistful Of Mercy Shirt.” This episode of the show features new music from Roger Simms (from the band Short of Cash), punk sensation Drop Ded Phred, and a return visit from Sasha Colette. We also have a preview clip of the Contemporary Youth Arts Company production, “A Service For Jeremy Wong” (opening this week), and brand new animation from Frank Panucci.

Host segments were shot in the friendly confines of Taylor Books Annex Gallery, prominently featuring the art of our old friend, Charles Jupiter Hamilton in the background. Taylor Books is one of the class acts here in town and it’s always fun to pop inside for a quick visit, specially when the springlike weather takes an unexpected turn for the worse. Also, one of our guests, Sasha Colette, will be performing at Taylor’s next Saturday night.

Continue reading…

Monday Morning Art: Sphinx

Today’s art is an exercise in composition and texture, and, well, they can’t all be winners. Click it to see a bigger version.

Check PopCult later this morning for episode 122 of Radio Free Charleston, with music from Roger Simms, Drop Ded Phred and Sasha Colette, plus a preview of the CYAC show, “A Service For Jeremy Wong” and new animation from Frank Panucci.