PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

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iipsrv Bruce Timm’s Justice League Unlimited hits Blu-ray for the first time. A follow-up to Justice League, Justice League Unlimited opens up the DC animated universe to more heroes and villains. This title has   been released as part of an exclusive Warner Archives bundle with a unique T-shirt.

This exclusive tee features all the heroes of the Justice League, including Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, Hawkgirl, and more, all drawn by renowned artist Bruce Timm. After the success of Bruce Timm’s animated takes on both Batman (Batman: The Animated Series, Batman Beyond) and Superman (Superman: The Animated Series), he shifted his focus on the Justice League.

81eGrC7i71L._SL1500_Residing in the same continuity as the previous series, Justice League, Justice League Unlimited opened up the DC animated universe to an entire universe of classic heroes and villains and established the term Timmverse amongst the DC fandom. This 100% cotton t-shirt is available in adult sizes. This bundle is exclusive to Warner Archives.

A great gift for the DC Comics or animation fan on your list, the Blu Ray is suitable for all ages. The shirt is intended for adults. If you want to pass on the shirt, you can find the Blu Ray without it at  Amazon.

Gift Guide: Nerd Jewelry

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51JAeet7OlLFirst of all, I hate the terms “nerd” and “geek” when applied to highly-intelligent genre and speculative fiction. However, in this case I couldn’t find a better term that sounded right and didn’t take up too much space on the headline.

I was zipping around Amazon, and came across these three cool pieces of jewelry, all based on popular science fiction properties. I list them here so that you can maintain a level of geekiness while doing something romantic, thus defying all conventional wisdom. Prices have been changing on these, so just follow the links if you’re interested.

The X-files 2 Pin Logo Set

515D0yBNShLExactly what the title says, this is a cool little pin, actually two of them, with the logo for the classic show, The X-files, molded in a neat silver-finish metal.

With the series being revived in just a few weeks, this is the perfect reminder that, “The Truth Is Out There.”

Battlestar Galactica Pendant Glass Dome Necklace

Emblazoned with the original Battlestar Galactica logo, this cool alloy and glass pendant comes on an 18″ braided chain, suitable for male and female fans of the famed “Mormons In Space” sci-fi classic. It’s shown at the top of this post.

Doctor Who SET of 2 Split TARDIS POLICE BOX BFF Heart NECKLACES

61JnCPDlxqL._SL1200_What says “timeless love” better than a matching set of split Tardis necklaces?

The famed Police Call Box from Doctor Who is depicted in silver(ish) and is available at a dirt-cheap price with free shipping.

That means that there’s a good chance that it won’t arrive in time for Christmas, but it should would be cool for Valentine’s Day. You can even get two sets, if you’re into that sort of thing.

The unifying threads among all of these items of jewelry is that they’re cheap, they represent iconic science fiction properties and they show that you really, really care.

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11272113_10204649571579457_1764469436_nReleased this past summer, this incredible collection of “the good stuff” will take you back to the days when music was pure and our lives were simple. You will enjoy songs such as “Jesus Is Just Alright” and “I Just Want To Celebrate” among the 19 selections performed by some of the area’s top musicians.

This is a collaborative effort among local musicians who came together to create a benefit music CD to assist veterans and their families in the Charleston area.

Aside from an all-star line up of musicians from bands such as The Defectors, Hybrid Soul Project, Diablo Blues Band, The Bob Thompson Unit, Teazer–we’re talking major players like Jack Griffith, Tommy Hammrick, Keef Mack, and dozens of others. It’s classy musicians playing classic rock for a great cause.

The money raised from this project is being distributed to local veteran’s charities to help repair the lives of those who sacrificed so much for us all. You can find this CD at Budget Tapes and Records, or get one from the A Soldier’s Song website for a $20 donation.

it’s good old rock and roll for a great cause.

lead imag 02The PopCulteer
November 20, 2015

Remember last week when we brought you an index of The Tenth Annual PopCult Gift Guide thus fare?  Well, it’s been a week and there have been twenty-two more entries, so we’re going to do it again. In case you hadn’t noticed (and if you haven’t, welcome to PopCult, this must be your first visit), we are in the midst of a very ambitious PopCult Gift Guide. For our tenth annual presentation of cool and offbeat gift ideas, your PopCulteer chose a new format: Three Pop Culture holiday gift suggestions each day (at least), with a delightful randomosity that makes the happy people squeal.

To collect them all in one place for your ease and convenience, here’s an up-to-date index of The Tenth Annual PopCult Gift Guide:

Books/Comics/Graphic Novels

710ruxFRduLHumans of New York: Stories
Harry Potter Coloring Book
Sandman: Overture
INVICTA Challenge: Flash and Thunder
Beatles 1+ Deluxe Edition
King of the Comics: One Hundred Years of King Features Syndicate
Superheroes: The War Years
“Invisible Ink” by Bill Griffith
The Creeps Magazine
“Unstoppable” by Bill Nye
The Official A Game of Thrones Coloring Book

Continue reading…

Gift Guide: Superheroes: The War Years

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61WTk7trkqLSuperman: The War Years 1938-1945
ISBN-13: 978-0785832829
Batman: The War Years 1939-1945
ISBN-13: 978-0785832836
Wonder Woman: The War Years 1941-1945
ISBN-13: 978-0785832843
by Roy Thomas
Chartwell Books

What we have here are three hefty hardcover volumes reprinting great golden-age DC Comics stories from comic’s heyday, the World War II years. Edited and with informative essays by legendary comics historian and creator Roy Thomas, each over-sized book has more than three hundred pages filled with stories and background information.

51CzfQTR+eLWith a very affordable retail price of just under $25 each, these collections are a throwback to the great hardback DC volumes of the 1970s.

Each book focuses on the stories of one hero, with an emphasis on their adventures related to the war, whether it’s fighting the bad guys first-hand, or rounding up foreign agents bent on destroying our defenses. This is really great stuff, a throwback to a simpler time, but with an energy that’s sorely lacking in today’s cookie-cutter factory-produced comics.

61fN0ExzMQLEach volume, in and of itself, would be a great gift for a fan of its particular character, but all three would be an instant golden-age comic book library that will last a lifetime. I’m really hoping that these books are big successes because I would love to see further volumes in the series that focus on Captain Marvel (“Shazam” to the unenlightened), Blackhawk, Uncle Sam, Plastic Man and other superhero greats that DC Comics controls.

Appropriate for all ages and packed with great informative essays, these are screaming to be wrapped and put under the tree. Available where ever books are sold, I’ve already seen them in town.

invisible ink

Invisible Ink: My Mother’s Love Affair With A Famous Cartoonist
by Bill Griffith
Fantagraphics
ISBN-13: 978-1606998953

517fEFCEZ1LI have been a fan of Bill Griffith for forty years.  I first discovered his work in underground comics like Arcade, and then became a fan of his creation, Zippy The Pinhead. It was in a Zippy comic that I got for Christmas in 1978 (I had cool parents) that I was first exposed to the pretzel-logic of Alfred Jarry. So when I heard that, after all these years, Griffith was creating his first long-form work, I had to have a copy. I’m going to quote from the publisher’s blurb now:

“This is the renowned cartoonist’s first long-form graphic work ― a 200-page memoir that poignantly recounts his mother’s secret life, which included an affair with a cartoonist and crime novelist in the 1950s and ’60s. Invisible Ink unfolds like a detective story, alternating between past and present, as Griffith recreates the quotidian habits of suburban Levittown and the professional and cultural life of mid-century Manhattan in the 1950s and ’60s as seen through his mother’s and his own then-teenage eyes. Griffith puts the pieces together and reveals a mother he never knew. Black & white illustrations throughout.”

That is a perfect description of what Invisible Ink is. To delve any further into the plot would do the work and any potential reader a great disservice. Griffith is a master of graphic story-telling. His art perfectly suits the subject matter without sacrificing his distinct style, and the tale moves so well that you’d never know that this was his first long-form work.

Invisible Ink: My Mother’s Love Affair With A Famous Cartoonist is an engrossing story for adult readers who appreciate the comic book form. It’s an amazing artistic statement.  The retail price is $29.99, but most booksellers will have it at a discount.

creeps
Preview-Creeps-04-01The Creeps Magazine is a lovely and affectionate homage to Creepy and Eerie Magazine. Folks of a certain age probably remember these magazine-sized black and white horror comic anthologies that featured intelligent stories and high class art. You could find them on almost any newsstand. Warren Publishing, the folks who gave us Famous Monsters of Filmland, published Creepy and Eerie (and Vampirella and others) from the mid 1960’s into the mid 1980’s.

Now Warrant Publishing is recreating the magic with this now-quarterly magazine that duplicates the look and feel, down to the fonts and newsprint, of the original Warren books.

Preview-Creeps-03-01I’ve raved about these comic magazines since the first issue. In the tradition of “Tales From The Crypt,” these short-form horror stories are loads of fun.

If you have a horror-comic fan in your life, this is the perfect gift. It’s new comic stories, many by some of the original Warren crew, telling all-new tales of horror and weird fiction. The first issue can be had for $19.95, plus shipping, but the three subsequent issues can be purchased for $ 4.95 each, plus shipping. For $29.99 you can subscribe to the next four issues. It’s a great and different gift idea for the comic book-reading horror fan on your gift list.

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John Inghrams Slugfest CD

12187768_1655263238061416_1051578945543374640_nWe’re adding a special extra Gift Guide pick today, the debut album by John Inghram’s Slugfest. Tonight is the CD Release Party at The Empty Glass. There is no cover charge, so you can hear the band play music that they call, “Terrestrial gastropod mollusc funk.”

It’s virtuoso bluesish jazz fusion, with plenty of great elements mixed into the stew and a line-up of some of the area’s best musicians: Christian Tanzey on Trumpet; Ryan Kennedy on Guitar; Chris Clark on Tenor Sax; Randraiz Wharton on Keys; Tajae Mosely plays the Drums and John Inghram, the birthday boy himself, handles Bass & Vocals.

So if you know someone who likes great, stimulating music, you can come out to The Empty Glass tonight at 10 PM, sample the band, and pick up an autographed copy of the CD.  If you are more Huntington-oriented, you can catch the band tomorrow at The V Club.

Gift Guide: Santa Claus 8 Inch Retro Action Figure

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FTCSC_Holiday_CARDED_SantaClauseFor the past couple of years, Figures Toy Company has been releasing an unyielding torrent of really cool MEGO-style retro action figures.  They’ve released figures based on a lot of cool properties like Evel Kenivel, Gilligan’s Island, Conan, Dukes of Hazard, and KISS.  But their big property has been DC Comics.

Now they’re taking on the greatest superhero of them all, Santa Claus!  While it might be a little late to give this as a Christmas gift, it’s the perfect pre-Christmas item, an 8 inch tall articulated figure of Jolly St. Nick, ready for all your gift giving or crime fighting activities.

That’s right, Santa himself is the latest character to be created in the 8 inch retro figure format. Santa comes dressed in a detailed cloth Santa suit, complete with hat and belt. The detail on this Santa allows him to fall right in line with all of your Figures Toy Company superhero and superstar retro figures. The figure comes inside of resealable plastic clamshell packaging.  Limited numbered edition of 500 pieces!

Not content with just bringing Santa Claus to life in action figure form, Figures Toy Company is offering Kris Kringle’s alter-ego in two very special combination two packs.

FTC_Santa2pk_OptionsFirst up, we have Christmas With the Superheroes.  You can choose a two figure set that teams Santa Claus with any DC Comics superhero that Figures Toy Company has produced.  For $60, you can team up Santa Claus with Superman, Batman, Captain Marvel, Wonder Woman, or any superhero.  If you are so inclined, you can even get him in a package with a bad guy like the Joker or Doctor Sivana.  The logo and name for this set is taken from the beloved DC Comics tabloid-sized holiday collections from the 1970’s.  It’s a nice little nostalgic treat for collectors of a certain age.

FTC_KISS_2Pk_8inBC_KISSMASDemonIn what may seem a more unusual turn, FTC is also making Santa Claus available in a two pack with any of the four members of the band KISS.  With these KISSMAS sets, You can get Santa Claus packaged with The Demon, The Star Child, The Space Ace,  or The Catman.  These limited edition two packs will also set you back $60 each.

While intended as a collectible, it’s hard to deny that a Santa Claus action figure could be a fun toy for any kid.  Plus he works well as a decoration, or a nice irreverant touch if you put him in a Nativity scene. If you opt for the single Santa Claus figure, he’ll set you back $25 plus shipping.  You can order directly from Figures Toy Company.

shado

71VsCeP9ucL._SL1500_Regular readers of PopCult know that I’m a big fan of Tim Mee Toys.  These are classic American plastic toys using the original molds that were created decades ago and they’re made right here in the USA.  Whenever TimMee puts out a new product, I always like to point it out here in PopCult and this set is so cool and so new that I’m recommending it before I even have an example in my hands.  It’s the ShadowOps BLACK HELICOPTER Strikeforce.  This ultra cool set combines two classic helicopters, molded in black for the first time ever, with a small force of S.W.A.T. policemen figures, also molded in black for the first time ever, I believe.  Basically, it’s stealth Green Army Men.

Tim Mee’s SHADOW OPS: Black Helicopter Strikeforce includes 8 pieces and is proudly manufactured in the United States. The set includes 6 different S.W.A.T. figures along with an attack and a transport Helicopter. The attack chopper is modeled after the McDonnell Douglas / Bell Helicopter LHX concept design and the transport copter is also likely a concept aircraft. The helicopters both measure about 8 inches long (not including rotor) and 2.75 inches wide and tall.

71rXwR6lfsL._SL1500_The S.W.A.T. police figures feature a high level of detail and stand up to 2.6 inches tall. All pieces are made from sturdy HDPE/LDPE black plastic with very little flashing. The helicopters are approximately 1:50 scale and the figures 1:30 scale.

The S.W.A.T. police figures were first produced by PROCESSED PLASTIC COMPANY (Tim Mee’s parent company) in the late 1970’s and were included in various police sets but were discontinued in the 1980’s. The first versions of the helicopters were produced the mid-1990’s and were usually offered in bulk bins along with an assortment of other aircraft. At some point they were slightly modified to make the interiors molded as part of the lower fuselage to simplify manufacturing. This all-black set was inspired by the classic Tim Mee Shadow Mountain playset along with TV shows and movies like Airwolf, Blue Thunder, and the countless Black Helicopter conspiracy theories featured on programs like Coast-to-Coast AM.

This playset is packaged in a polybag with header card. These are real toys, meant to be set up, knocked over, picked up and played with for years to come.  Recommended for ages five and up, but you can bet that a lot of sales will be going to the “and up” crowd. The set retails for under $18, and is available now from Amazon.This gift is perfect for kids of all ages.