PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

Monday Monring Art: Just Impasto The Union Building

MMA11-23

This week’s artisitic jump-start is an old image I’d created in the early days of PopCult, but never used until now. It’s a digital Impasto take on The Union Building. Click to see it bigger.

As you may have noticed, we are in the midst of The Tenth Annual PopCult Gift Guide. It’s going to continue for quite some time, so you might as well get used to it. Friday and Saturday will be devoted to local restaurants and merchants, but the rest of our days will each feature three-to-five cool gift ideas to help you out with your holiday gift-giving. Look for them weekdays starting at 5 PM, and weekend mornings, until I run out of ideas.

Gift Guide: New Adventure Time Book

adventure time

Adventure Time: The Enchiridion & Marcy’s Super Secret Scrapbook!!!
71zTMrqA1qLby Martin Olsen and Olivia Olsen, with art by various
Harry N. Abrams
ISBN-13: 978-1419704499
$24.95

A sequel to the best-selling Adventure Time Encyclopaedia manages to top the first book by being two books in one. The Enchiridion & Marcy’s Super Secret Scrapbook!!! is a flip book, a huge one, with half being The Enchiridion, the book of arcane knowledge in the Land of Ooo, and the other being the scrapbook of Marceline the Vampire Queen.

71M81VquBfLDive deeper into the secrets of Adventure Time with this mysterious mash-up of The Enchiridion (the ancient book for heroes, as featured in several key episodes of the series) and Marceline the Vampire Queen’s childhood diary.

When you’ve finished reading The Enchiridion, flip the book over and dig in to Marcy’s Super Secret Scrapbook!!! Or vice versa! It’s your call where to start

71DMuGA0SMLAll-new, gorgeous, hilarious, and grotesque illustrations? Ancient wizard lore, spells, curses, and jokes? Scribbles from and souvenirs of a cute demon girl growing up? Goofball commentary by Finn, Jake, Marceline, and the Ice King? Check, check, check, check please!

From the same creative team behind the New York Times bestselling Adventure Time Encyclopaedia, this in-world compendium of all things Oooian is a humor-, paradox-, and literary contrivance-filled tome true to the imagination, innovation, and heart of Adventure Time.

It’s the perfect gift for any fan of the series. Available where ever book are sold.

ron

71XM4Ra9tBL._SL1500_This is Charleston, West Virginia.  And most people over the age of twenty grew up watching Tom McGee as a television anchor.  So this area in particular has a real fondness and appreciation for the Will Ferrell movie, Anchorman.  Basically, it’s like a really funny fictionalized account of Mr. McGee’s pre-law school life.

Last year, when Anchorman 2 was released, several overpriced action figures were relased to accompany it.  Now, a year later, those action figures are marked down to affordable prices.  Foremost among them is the thirteen inch Talking Ron Burgundy Action Figure, complete with Scotch-Vision, a bathrobe and slippers, a barbell, and of course, his trademark anchorman’s outfit.

And he talks.  All your favorite quotes from the movie are present, even if it seems like he only says three of them over and over again.  Rest assured that “Stay classy, San Diego” is among them.

You can order the thirteen inch Talking Ron Burgundy from Amazon for the very affordable price of just under eighteen dollars.  If you are skilled in the ways of slightly re-sculpting plastic, you could probably customize him into a rather convincing likeness of Mr. McGee without too much effort.

x files dvd

81ep2uLEecL._SL1500_The X Files was a classic, long running science fiction television show that was the first hit drama on the FOX network when it debuted in the 1990’s.  The show is being revived in just a few weeks, which gives you plenty of time to catch up with X-Files: The Complete TV Series and Movie Collection.

You’ve got ten years worth of episodes, plus two movies, so you might want to make this an early Christmas gift and then spend the entire months of December and Janurary binge watching it. The revival starts airing on Fox January 24.

Appropriate for teens and older, Chris Carter’s creation with two terrific lead actors (David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson) is one of the most solid and long lived science fiction shows ever created.  Now is the perfect time to find out that the truth is out there.

The entire series will set you back $194 at Amazon, which is by far the best deal you will get. We are talking about 54 DVDs here: That’s 202 episodes, two full-length features films and all the bonus material that was originally included with the season sets and movie releases. There is no special packaging or collector’s box. You get all nine boxed sets of the broadcast seasons, plus two movies, shrink-wrapped together.

If you are reading this anywhere other than the PopCult blog, please take a moment to visit the true source of this post. It’s great when people like The Empty Glass repost stuff from our RSS feed, in fact, they were kind enough to ask permission, but the folks from the website, Yourmusiccareer.com, did not ask permission, and are simply using this post as clickbait to get you to download viruses so that they can steal all your money and lock up computer. If you’re reading this on their site, you might want to get the hell out of there now, while you still can.

squirrel

71NZDtJLoIL._SL1000_Warner Archive has made available the entire series of the Hanna-Barbera classic, The Secret Squirrel Show, in one three-disc set.

Secret Squirrel was, of course, a secret agent who happened to be a squirrel who, hot on the heels of the James Bond craze, battled international criminal organizations and malevolent foreign powers.  With his trusty, fez wearing sidekick Morocco Mole, Secret Squirrel worked for a top secret US agency under the supervision of The Chief.

Of course, you don’t just get Secret Squirrel. Each half-hour episode includes a  trio of terrific entertainers who team up for a triple play of family fun. Secret Squirrel, Squiddly Diddly and Winsome Witch tackle espionage, show biz and magic.

This is mid-1960’s Hanna-Barbera at its best, using simple designs and limited animation to have fun with a hot pop culture genre.  The humor is appropriate for all ages and the lead feature basically plays like a kids version of Get Smart.

Available from Warner Archives and Amazon.

Gift Guide: Wild Adventure Action Figures

wild

wild 02Last year I wrote about a really cool new line of twelve inch outdoor adventure figures called Wild Adventure.  When I reviewed them, they were only available online at Target.com.  Now you can find them at other online retailers, they’ve turned up in isolated and random Toys R Us stores, and locally, you can find them on the shelves at Cabela’s (note that you can save a few bucks if you buy them online, unless Cabela’s decides to run a sale before Christmas).

The Wild Adventure line is made by Blue Box International. This is of note because it had been nearly a decade since Blue Box International had produced any affordable 1/6 scale action figures for the mass market. This line is basically an assortment of hunters (with one fisherman) decked out in woodland camo with tons of accessories. There are five different kinds of outdoorsy-guys from which you may choose. Except for the fisherman, all of them have some kind of firearm, so you might not want to give these to the children of pacifists (or you might find it really funny to do that).

wild 01The body is less articulated that previous Blue Box International figures but is still more than adequate for most customizers and collectors. Boots are molded on. Two of the figures have molded on gloves. I don’t know how compatible the removable boot/feet are with other companies offerings. There are sixteen points of articulation, with standard ball and socket elbow joints, a simple swivel at the waist, and double-ganged knee joints which are limited in range somewhat by the bulkiness of the legs.

Recommended for kids who like large action figures or adult collectors who want something a little less military in their collection.

Gift Guide: Jack Griffith CD

jack cd

1505199_10152490586561658_59946361252710665_nJack Griffith is a local legend, actually more than local. He was in the band, Novo Combo in the 80’s and made his mark on the international music scene. After leaving the band, Jack jammed with musicians like Mick Jagger, Carlos Santana, and Gary Moore, he wrote songs for Warner Chappell, Fiona, and Revo Bop and now has his own commercial business studio, locally, where he records bands and produces TV commercials. Jack worked on Spencer Elliott’s CD, which was a Gift Guide pick last week.

Jack’s  mentored many of the musicians who have been featured on Radio Free Charleston over the past quarter-century. He’s one of the most-respected musicians in town.

That’s all beside the point, actually. Jack’s self-titled CD stands on its own as a masterwork of power pop, regardless of his reputation. This is top-notch studio-crafted pop with echoes of New Wave, but still sounding contemporary. Jack played all the instruments and did all the singing at his home studio. This is the sound of an accomplished multi-instrumentalist making music that makes him happy.

All but two of the songs are solo Griffith compositions. The exceptions are “Everything It Takes,” written by his former Novo Combo co-hort, Pete Hewlitt, and “Callifornia Fire,” co-written by Griffith with Ron Chapman and Diana Wingler.

The CD is chock-full of British-influenced powerful rock and roll, with killer guitar solos throughout. Perfect for anyone who likes rock and roll music. You can order a hard copy, or download the CD from CD Baby. Downloads are tricky to wrap, though.

gumby

51aw9thYDrLEverybody loves Gumby, the Universe’s favorite little clay buddy who goes on amazing adventures all over the world.  Everybody loves the little green clay boy.

Green.

But Gumby’s more complex than that.  Gumby is neither simple nor one dimensional.  He’s not some shallow lump of clay, simply here to amuse you.

Gumby has layers. He’s deep.  To express this, die-hard Gumby fans must have this new bendy set, The Many Moods of Gumby.  You will get six figures of Gumby in colors ranging from red to yellow to green to blue to orange and pink.

The Many Moods of Gumby shows just exactly how complicated this little clay person is.

Or it might just be, like, a gay thing.  You know, with, like, the rainbow and celebrating diversity and stuff.  Either way, it’s really cool to have a set of multi-colored Gumbys.  The fun part is kids (and adults) can use their imagination to explain them any way they wish.

You can find The Many Moods of Gumby for under twenty five bucks at Amazon.

synn book

61yqCHntdVLDavid Synn first made his mark on the local music scene as a musician playing keyboards with bands like Godmode Broadway and StytchNTime.  Now he’s turned his artistic energies toward poetry and has found a new and dynamic voice.

Art of Disillusionment is his first collection of poetry and it’s an impressive collection of creative wordsmithery.  Expressing an informed, slightly dark, slightly cynical worldview, Synn’s poetry is a wry commentary on modern life.

For an example of his work, here’s a recent video of David performing his poem, “Thespis.”

You can purchase David’s book online at Amazon.com or at Taylor Books.

Gift Guide: Canned Unicorn Meat

meat

51uiSdu1b8LLooking for something new for your diet?  Unicorn meat is real. An excellent source of sparkles. Rick Bite Unicorns, as we all know, frolic all over the world, pooping rainbows and marshmallows wherever they go.

What you don’t know is that when unicorns reach the end of their lifespan, they are drawn to County Meath, Ireland. The Sisters at Radiant Farms have dedicated their lives to nursing these elegant creatures through their final days. Taking a cue from the Kobe beef industry, they massage each unicorn’s coat with Guinness daily and fatten them on a diet comprised entirely of candy corn. As the unicorn ages, its meat becomes fatty and marbled and the living bone in the horn loses density in a process much like osteoporosis.

51MmT8VzN9LThe horn’s outer layer of keratin begins to develop a flavor very similar to candied almonds. Blending the crushed unicorn horn into the meat adds delightful, crispy flavor notes in each bite.

The folks at Radiant Farms are confident you will find a world of bewilderment in every mouthful of scrumptious unicorn meat.

Unfortunately, due to restrictions on the importation of mythical processed meatstuff, they are unable to bring you Canned Unicorn Meat in the way the Sisters of Radiant Farms intended. When you open your can, you will find one tiny unicorn which has been appropriately sliced into its main cuts of meat. Simply use your Growth Ray to re-embiggen the unicorn before skinning it and processing its flesh.

517V9Ov2B9LOr if you’re lazy, just bring it to your local Mad Scientist-Butcher. He’ll know what to do.

Okay, what you really get is a dismembered, plush, Unicorn, packaged in a can that looks just a bit like Spam. For fifteen bucks it’s a great gag gift for older teens or adults, or a perfect way to permanently psychologically scar young children who still believe in magic.  You can get it from Amazon.