PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

Gift Guide: Ghosts and Girls of Fiction House!

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51hqal7NaLLGhosts and Girls of Fiction House!
edited by Michael Price
IDW Publishing/ Yoe Books
ISBN-13: 978-1631404047
$29.99

Another archival triumph from Yoe Books, this latest entry in The Chilling Archives of Horror Comics series celebrates the comics of Fiction House. The publisher Fiction House was infamous for what anti-comics crusader Dr. Fredric Wertham called “headlight comics,” i.e. comics featuring the ample female bosom. The Pre-Code publisher used their buxom heroines to star in jungle comics, science fiction tales, and scary GHOST STORIES!

The Chilling Archives of Horror Comics series curates the sexiest and scariest of these poltergeist-infused Good Girl Art comics in a pulse-pounding tome, Ghosts and Girls! Your hair will stand on end and at the same time your toes will curl! Featuring faithfully reprinted original art from these 1940s and 1950s by brilliant masters Matt Baker, Maurice Whitman, and more, don’t miss this must-have, large format collection edited by comics historian and filmmaker Michael Price, with its lovingly restored comics. Available for order from any bookseller, or online from Amazon.

Gift Guide: WWE Bedding

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71VopT5SP2L._SL1475_Monday is the night for WWE RAW, and we just had World Wrestling Entertainment nearby in Huntington last night (where some bozo beaned Seamus with a bottle tossed into the ring). So for the obsessive fan, our next gift suggestion is a combo of a WWE comforter and the WWE in The Ring Cuddle Pillow.

815d5D3d+dL._SL1500_The WWE Industrial Strength Full 76″x86″ Microfiber Comforter features images of John Cena, Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns, one of whom is actually on WWE TV right now, while the WWE in The Ring Cuddle Pillow is a huge 16′ X 16″ pillowized depiction of a WWE wrestling ring.

Both of them together will set you back about seventy bucks at Amazon (follow the links above to find them), but it’d be worth it to make the WWE fan in your life happy, and maybe get them to quit wrestling on the couch.

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81uWQOxiGaL._SL1500_ Jeff Lynne has released a new CD of ELO music and it is a pleasantly surprising return to glory that is nostalgic both musically and lyrically.  “Alone In The Universe” is credited to Jeff Lynne’s ELO.

This album sounds like classic ELO from their creative peak while lyrically, it carries a loose concept of a content older man looking back wistfully on his life.

Suitable for all ages, this CD can be found wherever music is sold.  You can listen to the preview track right here…

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Your PopCulteer took a quick Thanksgiving trip to Chicago, and this week and next we’re going to bring you digital paintings inspired by our trip. Above you see part of The Magnificent Mile at night. Below it’s a scene from Lincoln Square in the daytime. Click the images to see them bigger, and check PopCult later tonight as our Tenth Anniversary Gift Guide resumes.

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Gift Guide: Shop Local

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12243460_924446260983549_2425075685203769578_nToday is Small Business Saturday, and we’re going to shine the PopCult Gift Guide spotlight on local merchants. You should get out and support our local stores. 100% of every dollar spent with a local retailer stays relatively local. There are the folks who have cool stuff and gift certificates. If we missed any, please feel free to give ’em a plug in the comments section.

So shop local and purchase gift certificates from cool area merchants likeArt Emporium, Hillbilly Toy Chest ,Collage, Stray Dog Antiques, The Purple Moon, Taylor Books, Sullivan’s Records, Budget Tapes & Records, Lost Legion Comics & Gaming, and Kid Country Toys and Eclectics, the new store that took over from Cornucopia just this week.

If you want to treat your loved one to some professional tender loving care, we can recommend Amy Williams Wellness, Visions Day Spa or Neu Asthetic. If your chosen gifting target is a reader, visit Woodland Press for an enormous selection of books by local authors.

The main thing is to get out there and shop local. I know it’s convenient to click away, and lord knows I’ve included tons of online-only items in the Gift Guide, but the local touch means so much more, and you make your immediate world a better place.

Gift Guide: MARY A Rock Opera

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mary artThe PopCulteer
November 27, 2015

MARY, the Rock Opera by Mark Scarpelli and Dan Kehde, is a Charleston tradition. Due to your PopCulteer’s insanely busy schedule, this year marks the first time that I didn’t get the chance to record any of the show for Radio Free Charleston since our first time back in 2008. It’s a real shame because this year’s cast is amazing.

This Contemporary Youth Arts Company production will open, as always, the day after Thanksgiving. Show dates are Friday Nov. 27 and Saturday Nov. 28 at 8PM, Sunday Nov 29 at 2PM and Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Dec. 3, 4 and 5 at 8PM. It all happens at the WVSU Capitol Center Theater, 123 Summers St, Charleston.

MARY is a beautiful love story that tells all about the 9 months leading to the birth of Jesus, as seen through the eyes of the young teenage girl destined to be his mother.

This year’s cast features Haley Lambert in the title role, with Kim Javins as Gabriel, Eli Chambers as Joseph, Maddy Gourevitch as Elizabeth, Patrick Felton as Zechariah, and Phil Washington as Herod.

Tickets to this show are the perfect gift, even if they’ll have to be given a little bit early, for anyone who loves music, musical theater, young talented people, the story of Jesus, or the city of Charleston. Call (304) 342-6522 for information on how you can reserve tickets.

Check out these videos from previous productions of MARY that we were fortunate enough to capture on camera…

Gift Guide: Eating Out

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11228516_1636281946584431_2486339820405345305_nSince this is the traditional day of feasting, our gift suggestions are all for local restaurants. Actually, our suggestion is ALL our locally-owned restaurants. Most of our suggested restaurants offer gift certificates. Even if they don’t, you can still take your giftee out and treat them not only to a great meal, but also to the pleasure of your company.

Charleston is blessed with a wide variety of great, independent eateries. Take that into account when choosing one for the gift-giving experience. You have a lot of great options. Contact info can be found in the links with the names on our list.

Newcomers, The Olive Tree Cafe and Catering, are our top pick. Their tasty Mediterrean fare is top-notch and the service is quick and friendly. They offer up great salads and sandwiches, and their shawarma is the stuff of legend. The restaurant is open Monday through Saturday from 11 AM to 7 PM. It’s a casual dining atmosphere and they have lots of other deli goodies for sale.

Their Facebook desciption says, “An old world Philadelphia style deli with authentic Mediterranean delicacies, specialty sandwiches, cheeses, gourmet retail & more! Eat in or take away. ” Located at 333, Second Avenue in South Charleston.

Other newer restaurants you might want to consider are The Block and Bricks & Barrels. And of course, there are all the old favorites. You can buy gift cards or certificates for Bluegrass Kitchen, Tricky Fish, Starling’s Coffee and Provisions, Leonoro’s, Mission Savvy, Mi Cocini De Amor, Black Sheep Burrito and Brews at The Brewery, Pies & Pints, Lola’s, Bridge Road Bistro, Adelphia, Fazio’s, Mayberry’s and Taste of Asia. These are the stores that we know off the top of our heads offer gift certificates or cards. You might want to ask around to see if your favorite local restaurant also offers gift certificates. If they do, please feel free to tell us about it in the comments section.

Gift Guide: The Scottish Explorer

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GIEDF-C010Long time readers of PopCult may know that your PopCulteer collects GI Joes.  I’m not talking about the little dinky ones from the 1980’s.  I’m talking about the twelve-inch tall action figures from the 1960’s and 70’s.  A particular focus of my collection is the GI Joe Adventure Team, you know, the ones with lifelike hair and Kung-Fu Grip.

Cotswold Collectibles has been producing reproduction accessories and brand new figures, clothing, and uniform sets for the Adventure Team under their Elite Brigade banner for some time.  Our pick to please almost any vintage GI Joe collector is Cotswold’s Elite Brigade Scottish Explorer.

This set includes a vintage style action figure with gripping hands and the Cotswold “Jake” head, with red flocked hair and a beard.  He’s also wearing a black turtleneck sweater, a brown shoulder holster with a Lebel pistol, a brown web belt, and a kilt, plus the green socks and short brown boots. He also comes equipped with a vintage Action Man scoped rifle, and an Adventure Team dogtag and insignia.

Not only is this a great spin on the original GI Joe Adventure Team, but it will also give whoever receives this as a gift the chance to storm around the house with their action figure shouting in a comically broad Scottish accent.

The Scottish Adventurer is available only from Cotswold Collectibles. He’ll set you back just under forty-five dollars, plus shipping, but this is a really cool action figure.

Gift Guide: Tentacle Kitty

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TK_largeThis is a cool line of plush animals based on the creation of a husband and wife team. John and Raena Merritt are the husband and wife responsible for all things Tentacle Kitty. Since 2009 they have worked together on character design,product development, and the recently released web comic series on Tapastic.

We met representatives of Tentacle Kitty last February, when PopCult went to the International Toy Fair in New York, and we were instantly smitten. This merger of cute felines with the Cthulu mythos is irresistible.

Tentacle Kitty, or “Pink One” as she was called in her tribe, is a kitty from another dimension, who happens to have tentacles. After a series of unfortunate events she is trapped on Earth trying to find a way home. Armed with 10 tentacles, an adventurous spirit, and many new friends, the tentacled hijinks ensue.

NK_largeOne of those friends is Ninja Kitty, the world’s WORST ninja. Even worse are his sewing skills which is why his ninja suit has no sleeves for his arms or legs. It is easy to imagine how difficult pulling off the various ninja moves in his “How to be a Ninja Manual” without the free use of your arms and legs. When Ninja Kitty discovers Tentacle Kitty, he thinks she is the prettiest thing he has ever seen. He tries to admire her secretly from the shadows… until he falls out of the tree on top of her.

You can find cool plushies of Tentacle Kitty, Ninja Kitty and their cohorts, The Rat-Tailed Unicorn, Pirate Kitty and lots of “Little Ones,” at the Tentacle Kitty webstore, ranging in price from twelve to thirty dollars. Recommended for anyone who likes plush toys or kitties or things with tentacles…or all three.