PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

JoeLanta 2014: State of the Hobby

Img_0161David Lane and Bujddy Finethy present Steve Charlton, Ace Allgood, Cotswold Collectible’s Greg Brown and yours truly discussing the future of GI Joe as a hobby, and where we go from here. You will hear about all sorts of exciting new products and techniques and how we think people will cope with a hobby that is being deliberately underserved by the company that created it.

We go into depth about the future of the hobby as it pertains to customizers.  The image you see with this post is Jack Hall’s amazing mash-up of Bulletman and Dave Steven’s Rocketeer.  This kind of imagination and craftsmanship is where the real heart of the hobby is found.

Img_01592014 marks fifty years of GI Joe, and as I have mentioned here in Popcult, Hasbro isn’t doing much for the original 12″ Action Figure.  At JoeLanta, we had a discussion of how to approach the fiftieth anniversary of our beloved toy when the company that produced him doesn’t seem to care.

On the panel, along with your PopCulteer, are Swapapalooza King, E.J. White, and from The Trenches Forum, Scott and Charlotte Beckmann. Moderating is Buddy Finethy. There’s a lot of discussion about the hobby of collecting 1/6 scale figures in this long video. Join us as we talk about customizing, 3 D Printing, new manufacturers and legendary kitbashers.  This panel was recorded at JoeLanta in Atlanta, GA, on March 15, 2014.

Photo03131236The first “video package” from JoeLanta is our quick look at The Walking Dead Tour. We visited the town of Senoia, which doubled as “Woodbury” in The Walking Dead. We also checked out The Official Walking Dead Store and got to go downstairs to the Walking Dead Museum, which wasn’t finished yet. Their grand opening is March 29, but since we came all that way they let us check out what they had so far.  We saw two of the cells from The Prison, the pen where the Governor kept his walker daughter, Penny, the hospital doors from the first episode of the show and more.  Arriving a week after our visit is Daryl’s motorcycle.

I’m posting these short videos as I produce them. Once I’ve got all of JoeLanta chronicled in video form, I’ll collect them all into one long report with new introductions and voice-overs.

Photo03131226As you may know, if you’ve been reading PopCult for the last month, I spent much of last week in Atlanta at JoeLanta/The Great Atlanta Toy Convention.  I came back with a ton of toys, but also a ton of video and still images.  After taking a couple of days to recover from the trip, it’s time to start sharing video.

First up though, I’m bringing you two videos that I didn’t make.  Tim and Lisa Weedn stole the film festival with “Joe @ Fifty” and Bambi Lynn from Radio Cult treats us to the JoeLanta dance montage, which I managed to avoid being in (I danced in public once, and the next day laws were passed to keep it from happening again).

After that, we have our first panel video, The Walking Dead Discussion Panel, with Luke Godfrey, a set-dresser for the show, Mike Gardner, a fan and the creator of an incredible diorama that you will see bits of in this video and much more in later videos and posts, and Melanie Larch, a fan of TWD. an actor in Eamon Hardiman’s “The Crawling Dead,” and my better half.

The image at the head of this post is a plaque embedded in the sidewalk of Senoia, at town we visited as part of the JoeLanta tour last Thursday. If you watch “The Walking Dead,” you may recognize Senoia as the location where The Governor ruled the town of “Woodbury.” Video from that tour is rendering as I write this, so be patient and keep checking PopCult.

First it’s Tim and Lisa Weedn with “Joe @ Fifty.”

Next up we have Bambi’s Dance video.

Finally, it’s the JoeLanta Walking Dead discussion–nearly an hour of cool information about “The Walking Dead.”

The PopCult Bookshelf will return next week.

Donnie Smith on The RFC MINI SHOW


DonnieThis week’s RFC MINI SHOW stars Donnie Smith, the host of the Monday Night Open Mic at The Empty Glass. Donnie has a new band, Smith & Company, and they will be playing March 21 at The Empty Glass.

We recorded Donnie at the Rock N Roll Theater at Kanawha Players. In this show he brings you his renditions of Prince’s “Purple Rain” and Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide.” In a future episode of Radio Free Charleston, you will hear some of Donnie’s original songs.

Donnie hosts the Open Mic every Monday night at The Empty Glass, which is cover-free and kicks off around 10 PM. He will even be hosting on St. Patrick’s Day, so run right out and go listen to the music!

A fun game for viewers is to try and figure out what that weird thing is on the host, Rudy Panucci’s, mouth, during the introduction.

Give up? It’s a freak reflection of sunlight hitting the edge of the microphone and bouncing up into his face. SCIENCE!

The PopCult Toybox: The JoeLanta Haul

Img_0344This week the PopCult Toybox is a quick photo essay of my own personal booty captured last weekend at JoeLanta, the GI Joe collector’s convention I told you about a bunch of times already. I got back Monday evening, and spent most of Tuesday dumping video and photos into the PC. Over the next several days I will be posting tons of highlights of JoeLanta and The Great Atlanta Toy Convention, plus more about our tour of shooting locations for The Walking Dead and more coolness. But this post is just devoted to some of the goodies I managed to score while having an amazing time.

As you can see, I landed my goal–Bulletman, the Human Bullet, one of the last GI Joes released in the 12″ size back in the 1970s. I actually landed a heck of a lot more. The captions will give you the details.

The Commander's Package exclusive figure, alongside the D.O.B. show exclusive
The Commander’s Package exclusive figure, the Nautilus Gunner, alongside the D.O.B. show exclusive

Continue reading…

1799196_231139660411574_322703251_oThe Creekside re-emerges as a live music venue after a few months hiatus, and will be hosting a new event featuring local musicians/artists who perform original music: “Wednesdays Unplugged” begins March 19th from 8 to 10PM when Progressive Country artist Corey Ryan Hagar takes the stage. The Creekside is located in Hurricane, off Route 34.

The events will be held bi-weekly, and will feature acoustic-based music of all genres, rock/pop, country/progressive country, bluegrass, jazz, blues etc. The idea is to showcase local/regional musicians who are promoting their original music in a unique, listening room environment.

By “Listening Room’s” Creekside is aiming for the concept that became popular in the 1960’s and is hallmarked by an ongoing dialogue between the artists and crowd during the show about the music. It helps listeners to not only become familiar with the singer/writer, but to better grasp the stories behind the songs. Think of it as a cross between “Storytellers” and “Unplugged,” in an intimate setting.

It all kicks off this Wednesday when Corey Hagar takes the spotlight. In the coming weeks you can hear Jordan Searles, Terry Schulz and Sheldon Vance, Andy Parks and more great acoustic songwriters on the Creekside stage. Check their Facebook page for more details on Wednesdays Unplugged and other great live shows coming up at The Creekside.

Monday Morning Art: Surreal Scenes of Charleston

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This week’s art is three digitally-assaulted photographs of Charleston, posted in honor of the fact that I am rapidly headed there after a fun trip down South. These are new takes on images that have been floating around my various hard drives for years. Click to enlarge, and check PopCult later Monday for a new RFC MINI SHOW starring Donnie Smith.

ghost townMMA
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Sunday Evening Video: The Last Intruder


Your Popculteer is preparing to leave the tropical paradise of Atlanta (Geography was never a strong point of mine), where he attended JoeLanta, the glorious gathering of collectors of the original GI Joe. Because this post is written in advance, and the new animated epic by Tim and Lisa Weedn has not yet been shown, as I write this, we will bring you last year’s GI Joe Film Festival favorite by Tim and Lisa, “The Last Intruder.” Enjoy!

And if you’re in town, don’t forget to go to Dr. Sketchy’s tonight.

RFC Flashback: Episode 65


Radio Free Charleston 65, “Give Peace A Chance Shirt,” was first posted April 8, 2009. This episode showcased two songs performed by Bare Bones, an acapella group consisting of Bill Kimmons, Becky Kimmons, and Mark Davis. We also present the short film “FOOTLUCY”, starring the late Joe McComas. Plus, there’s animation by Wallace Padillo. Original production notes are here. If it seems odd that I keep saying “Bare Bones Acapella,” rest assured that it’s all in your perception and is not a sign that I thought the word “acapella” was part of their name.

If you enjoy Bare Bones, then you should head out to the East End Main Street Pub Crawl tonight, so you can catch them singing on the Trolley, which will be shuttling the drinkers from one bar to another in celebration of St. Patrick and his fine day. I guess that seems like a good idea. At least the singing will be lovely!

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