PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

Radio Free Everywhere-but-Charleston

NAR log 101RFCv3 #20

Your Radio Free Charleston host is back in town after a trip to Atlanta for GI Joe and Walking Dead fun, and inspired by his trip, this week’s episode of Radio Free Charleston’s streaming show on New Appalachian Radio is going to get out of town.

You can hear this episode now in the Voices of Appalachia Archives HERE.

By that, I mean that this week our show is going to focus on bands who are not based in our hometown of Charleston, West Virginia. We have license to roam all over the Appalachian Region, and we intend to exploit and abuse it in this special two-hour theme show.

You can listen to Radio Free Charleston’s streaming radio incarnation at 10 AM and 10 PM on Tuesdays (and again at midnight Thursday) at New Appalachian Radio, part of Voices of Appalachia. If you miss it, check our the archives for previously-aired shows. You can also listen to Radio Free Charleston Saturday at Midnight. Saturday, RFC airs for six hours, starting at The Witching Hour!

All of our music will come from artists who are from the Appalachian Region, or perform in the Appalachian Region on a regular basis. Some are a mere stone’s throw away, in Huntington, Morgantown or Parkersburg, others may be as far-flung as New York State, Ohio, Georgia, North Carolina or where ever else that little Appalachian reference map we use extends.

Kicking off this week’s show are friends of ours from Georgia, Radio Cult, whom you may have seen on this week’s RFC MINI SHOW.

downloadOur Playlist:

Radio Cult “Hungry Like The Wolf”
Billy Matheny “Don’t Feel Guilty”
Crack The Sky “Animal Skins”
Scooter Scudieri “Mother of God”

The Renfields “Last Man On Earth”
The Big Bad “Possession”
The Jasons “Stalk and Slash Summer”
The Nanker Phelge “Scream”

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The RFC MINI SHOW stars Radio Cult

Ricky and Bambi, photobombed by GI Joe collector, Dean Morrison

One of the highlights of JoeLanta each year is the rock concert, held in a conference room at the Marriott Century Center, by Radio Cult. This is a special peformance for folks who purchase the Commander’s package, and it’s always a load of fun.

Radio Cult is Bambi Lynn and Ricky Zhero, with Jay Jay Slotin on drums, and they tear through the hits of the 1980s and beyond, plus they have some pretty impressive originals, too. In this show, you’ll hear them do “Highway to Hell” and “I Love Rock N Roll.”

In the JoeLanta wrap-up video, which you will see in a couple of days, Radio Cult is joined by various members of the GI Joe Collector’s community and there’s a pretty awesome display of talent on stage.

This performance was at 10 PM, right after the parachute drop. The band is introduced by The Phantom Troublemaker, of The Needless Things Podcast, and keep in mind that this was at the very end of an exhausting day of wheeling, dealing and in the case of Bambi and Ricky, performing with their other band, The Possum Kingdom Ramblers, who you will see in the JoeLanta wrap up and in next week’s special RFC MINI SHOW.

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Last night’s Dr. Sketchy’s Anti Art School session offered up the Old West, and in turn, I offer up a digital painting, starring Jasmine Star, with a Spaghetti Western title. In English, that’s “The Burning Passion of Jasmine Rose.” The pose, the expression, that burning saloon that they somehow got into Uncork and Create…it all added up. Click to enlarge.

Check PopCult later today for The RFC MINI SHOW starring Radio Cult, plus more video from JoeLanta.

Logo_-_Monster_HighThea Teufel-Hall presents a detailed look at recent and upcoming releases in Mattel’s Monster High doll line, including images from the soon-to-be-released 17″ Monster High dolls and a discussion of the two Monster High DVDs that will be released this year.

Recorded at JoeLanta/The Great Atlanta Toy Show March 15, 2015. Video by Melanie Larch, editing by Rudy Panucci.

More JoeLanta Panels will be posted in PopCult in the coming week. We still have The Walking Dead panel, a talk by Robot Chicken animator, Jeremy Fisher, A trivia contest based on the interactive webcomic, Homestuck, plus music and our big JoeLanta wrap-up video.

Character Toys at JoeLanta

The PopCult Toybox

phantom logoFrom JoeLanta 2015, The Phantom Troublemaker from The Needless Things Podcast and Ricky Zhero from Radio Cult (the stars of the next RFC MINI SHOW) host a panel devoted to the history of pop culture licenses in toys in the modern era.

Audience members join in for a fast-paced, raucous discussion that touches on Star Wars, Captain Power, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Super Powers, Secret Wars and more classic toys from the 1980s. Recorded March 15, 2015 at the Marriott Century Center during JoeLanta/The Great Atlanta Toy Show.

Check PopCult all weekend for more JoeLanta video coverage.

This week, due to deadline pressures, we’re showcasing an installment of Radio Free Charleston that has already been revived, albeit a year-and-an-half ago. This is a classic early episode of Radio Free Charleston, and one of the rare cases where the show is named not after what host, Rudy Panucci, is wearing on his shirt, but instead it’s named after his entire wardrobe.

With music from The Heydays (Douglas Imbrogno and Paul Calicoat) and The Appalachain Celtic Consort, and a Pentagram Flowerbox cartoon, this episode is also noted for explosions and chaos in downtown Charleston, which was inserted by Frank Panucci in post-production without Rudy Panucci’s knowledge.

Douglas Imbrogno is now part of The BrotherSisters, who can be seen on RFC 193, and who perform regularly in the area.

Original production notes can be found here.

JoeLanta: The State of the Hobby 2015

The PopCult Toybox

Joelanta-Logo---Hisstank_1418344325Up above you see the annual roundtable discussion of the State of the 1/6 Hobby at JoeLanta. Moderated by Buddy Finethy, with Rudy Panucci, Keith Holmes, Scott Beckmann, Chung Kim and Greg Brown of Cotswold Collectibles. Recorded March 14, 2015 at the Marriott Century Center, Atlanta Georgia.

Each year a bunch of us guys get up and talk about where the hobby is going, what new stuff is coming out, how customizers are using new tools like 3D printers and basically what the trends in the 1/6 scale hobby are at the moment.

As with last year, the trends for 2015 are leaning more toward do-it-yourself topics, because Hasbro and the other major toymakers are not really serving the hobby.

Look for more panels from JoeLanta coming up in PopCult.

10931180_10206294953281195_8478131121519385818_nThe PopCulteer
March 20, 2015

This week the PopCulteer was supposed to feature a photo essay of last night’s ArtWalk in Downtown Charleston, particularly focusing on Amanda Jane Miller’s show, “The Hot Stove” at Apartment Earth. That’s her piece, “Two Headed Cat – Bobo,” seen to the right of this post. If you’re Downtown, you should really check out this show on Hale Street in the former Good News Mountaineer Garage Gallery.

Unfortunately, after more than a half hour of circling Downtown without finding a place to park, and having the previous week’s road-fatigue finally catch up to me, your PopCulteer found himself too pooped to PopCult, gave up and headed home. We’re going to try and make it out to photograph some of the ArtWalk exhibits in the coming week.

So today we’re going to bring you a mix of stuff to do and some general housekeeping notes. Remember, we’re still knee-deep in our coverage of last weekend’s JoeLanta/Great Atlanta Toy Show, so you can expect tons of extra posts and videos all weekend long. The plan is to have our big JoeLanta wrap-up show ready Sunday, with a special RFC MINI SHOW one day later.


It’s the debut of Speedsuit, the new musical project from Stephen Beckner of Go Van Gogh/The Nanker Phelge fame. It’s tonight at The Empty Glass, with No Pretty Pictures and the cover is five bucks. The RFC crew will be on hand for this show that starts at 10 PM.


Come out and watch Steve render the recent RFC Rock Family Tree of Go Van Gogh slightly out-of-date!

Dr. Sketchy’s Returns With The Old West

1504486_900060606712102_7514131539524790098_oI told you about this Monday. It happens Sunday evening at 7 PM at Uncork and Create. Ten bucks gets you in to draw or photograph Jasmine Star in a tribute to the Old West.

This Sunday Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School returns with their first show of 2015. The theme is “The Old West” and the star model is new to Dr. Sketchy’s, Jasmine Star. Jasmine will make her debut Sunday, March 22 at at Uncork and Create on 1031 Quarrier Street. The event is 18+ and you bring your own art supplies. If you’re 21+ you can BYOB, too. $10 at the door gets you in. All art mediums are accepted as long as they don’t disturb anyone else. Artists of any skill level from the novice to the pro are invited to come create in this relaxed environment.

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The PopCult Bookshelf

Larry Hama
Larry Hama

Above you see legendary comic book creator, Larry Hama, recorded just last week in Atlanta, treating us to a panel-by-panel breakdown of the classic GI Joe comic book story, “Silent Interlude.” People are still talking about this wordless comic book story more than thirty years after it was originally published. You can read my review of a hardcover edition of the story HERE.

Hama explains the layout of the Cobra castle
Hama explains the layout of the Cobra castle

You’ll get to see Hama explaining his storytelling decisions along with the reasons that they decided to do a wordless story in the first place.

It’s a great insight into the pressures of producing a monthly comic book. He also takes questions about his work on the comic book and his job consulting on the first GI Joe movie.

Hama broke into the business over four decades ago following stints as an assistant to artists like Wally Wood and Neal Adams. He’s since become one of the most-respected writer/artist/editors in the industry and on top of that he’s acted on Broadway, on television and in movies, and plays a mean guitar. He is also one of the most gracious comic book artists I’ve ever encountered, and I’m thrilled that he’s given me the okay to post this.

His panel on “Silent Interlude” was part of JoeLanta/The Great Atlanta Toy Show, which you can expect to be reading about here in PopCult for several more days.

The JoeLanta Dealer Rooms

The PopCult Toybox

Img_3117Your PopCulteer is back home and ready to start posting tons of photos and videos from his trip to JoeLanta, the ultra-cool GI Joe Collectors Convention held each year in Atlanta.

Our first salvo is a look at the Dealer’s Rooms. There were three huge ballrooms filled with vendors selling an incredible amount of really cool vintage toys. JoeLanta now incorporates the Great Atlanta Toy Show, so in addition to the tons of GI Joe stuff, there were also folks selling Hot Wheels, Marx Toys, 80’s action figures, Monster High dolls and all kinds of other neat toys.

We are presenting this photo essay with a minimum of commentary. If you are a toy dealer who was at JoeLanta, feel free to leave a link to your business in the comments. We know you still have plenty of cool stuff to sell.

Tomorrow we’re going to bring you Larry Hama, the creator of GI Joe: A Real American Hero, talking for nearly an hour about the legendary GI Joe comic book story “Silent Interlude” (read my review of a recent hardcover reprint HERE). For the rest of this week look for many more videos and photo essays from JoeLanta, mixed in among our regular PopCult features.

We’re kicking off this photo essay with a look at the looooooong lines waiting to get in to the Dealer’s Rooms last Saturday morning…


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