PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

wozatworkToyLanta (incorporating JoeLanta, Botlanta and The Great Atlanta Toy Convention) happened March 11-12, 2017. Another highly-anticipated panel featured James Wozniak, the man behind Classic Recasts, who tells the tale of hunting down vintage Marx Toy Company molds, and how that led him to Mexico. That’s James with his back to the camera at right, making a dad and his kid very happy with some great Marx reproductions.

James tells us the history of the Guzman family of Mexico and their toy empire and how their patriarch came to rub elbows with the likes of Walt Disney and Louis Marx. He also tells the enthralled crowd how toy molds that were made over half a century ago found their way to Mexico and are still being used to create cool toys.

You can find more information about Classic Recasts and James’ work at the Classic Recasts website.

Check PopCult regularly because we’ll be posting all the panels we recorded all week long. Next up: Monster Toys!

rfc-2-14It’s Marathon Week on The AIR. Yesterday we brought you a full day of Prognosis. Today at 9 AM we begin a 24-hour marathon of Radio Free Charleston on The AIR! Tune in at the website, or on this handy embedded radio player…

Tune in at 9 AM Tuesday morning for a special 24-hour marathon of Radio Free Charleston. This is one full day of nothing but the best local music from West Virginia. No other radio station can bring you this much local music, and we wanted to flaunt our committment, just because we can.

You will hear everything from brand-new music from The Wren Allen Band, Speedsuit, Bon Air, Fabulous Head and The Company Stores to classic tracks by Stark Raven, Qiet, Go Van Gogh, Big Money and Mother Nang to deep archive music from Hasil Adkins, The Amazing Delores and The Rose Garden. This goes on for one full day, so you’ll hear all that and much, much more.

We’ll bring you rock, pop, metal, punk, ska, Americana, jazz, classical guitar, progressive experimental music, EDM and more, all of it with ties to West Virginia.

We will interrupted the local music for a special Radio Free Charleston International at 11 Pm, but then the local onslaught resumes overnight, until 9 AM Wednesday.  Wednesday morning you can tune in to a mini-marathong of Curtain Call, followed at 1Pm by a new episode of Life Speaks with Michele Zirkle Marcum that kicks off eleven hours of her gripping paranormal program.

17190777_10212325074109811_1607390189262306461_nToyLanta (incorporating JoeLanta, Botlanta and The Great Atlanta Toy Convention) happened March 11-12, 2017. One of the most-anticipated and well-attended panels at ToyLanta saw Felipe Monaco give a detailed presentation on Brazil’s version of GI Joe, Falcon, and also a look into his own production of custom outfits and figures under the banner of Louco Por Bonecos.

Felipe introduced American audiences to the amazing details of Brazil’s version of GI Joe, which was an amalgam of military GI Joe figures and 12″ versions of the smaller-scale American “Super Joe” line of the late 1970s. He also presented background information on Brazil’s Estrela Toy Company, which basically had a monopoly on toy production in the South American country while Brazil was under military rule.

You can find more information about Felipe’s work at his website.

Check PopCult regularly because we’ll be posting all of the panels we recorded all week long. Next up: James Wozniak with Classic Recasts Mexican Marx Reproductions.

Be sure to watch our big ToyLanta wrap-up video HERE.



Toy Month continues in Monday Morning Art as we bring you a digital painting of a still life, in one corner of your PopCulteer’s living room, along the “wall of cool.” It’s a tiny shelf I have, upon which sits a bunch of cool little plastic figures and a Tiki Guitar that I got in North Carolina a few years ago.

Click the image to enlarge.

Sunday Evening Video: ToyLanta!

toylanta-header-p8cLess than one week after it wrapped, PopCult presents our video highlight package for ToyLanta, the new name for JoeLanta and The Great Atlanta Toy Convention.  With the addition of BotLanta this year, a shorter name was needed, and ToyLanta is it.

This brisk half-hour looks at the many facets of ToyLanta: The custom figures; the dioramas; the toy dealers; the music; the panels, the film festival, the parachute drop and more! We are thrilled to have this video onine now, instead of taking eight months to produce it like we did last year. Over the next week PopCult will bring you loads more video of the panels, dioramas, dealers rooms, and other cool sights and sounds from ToyLanta.

In this video you will see amazing toys, toy soldiers parachuting fifteen floors indoors, a musical blue gorilla, panelists from around the world and even Larry Hama, the creator of GI Joe: A Real American Hero, singing and playing guitar. We also bring you soundbites from some of the organizers, dealers, and attendees.

ToyLanta happens every March in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s not too early to find out about next year’s show. Visit ToyLanta.com for early details on how you can be part of the coolest toy show in the South. For timely updates, check out their Facebook page.

In a special “I can’t get any clip online this quick without some screw-up” note: I apologize for misspelling Bryan Tatum’s name onscreen in the video. Of course, that’s the precise frame that YouTube would pick for the thumbnail. Sorry Bryan…and thanks for the cave!

Ten Years of RFC Flashback: Episode 42

42montageIt’s back to May 2008 in this week’s Flashback of Ten Years of Radio Free Charleston. This one’s called “Aqua Teen Hunger Force Shirt” and featured music from Barrelhouse Bonnie, Doctor Senator, and The Synergy Collective. We also have a brief visit from WCW’s Daffney, and for some reason, I channel the energy of Bill O’Reilly in rant mode. That was a thing back then.

This was another of our genre-hopping shows, with honky-tonk piano from Bonni, straight ahead rock from Doctor Senator, and music with a message (and dance) from The Synergy Collective. An added treat on RFC this time around was “Iron Man 1930,” vintage animation with a new soundtrack.

You can read the original produciton notes HERE.


STUFF TO DO The Day After St. Patty’s

I have to make an admission here. I don’t drink. I don’t have any interest in drinking. Holidays devoted to drinking are days I like to spend safely at home. Saint Patrick’s Day is one of the biggest drinking holidays of the year, so I’m not even looking at the events page on Facebook because I don’t want to even be tempted to venture out.

However, this Saturday is the day AFTER Saint Patrick’s, and that’s a different matter entirely. There are two great shows happening that will appeal to vastly different audiences.

First up, if you’re into hard rock and metal, you need to get out to the Boulevard Tavern as Johnny Compton unveils his new band’s new CD, also on the bill  Membrane Cell returns with their progressive wall of sound and John Lancaster’s 4 OHM MONO plays a rare date in Charleston. It’s all part of the Wolves of The Calla CD Release show.



If that’s not your cup of tea, head to The Empty Glass for The Charleston Rogues as they put a West Virginia spin on the music of The Pogues, for those of you who didn’t get enough Celtic jollies on Friday. Wrap up the East End Pub Crawl in style with the Charleston Rogues.


The Old Toy Collector

pc-3-17-01The PopCulteer
March 17
, 2017

Since your PopCulteer is still heavily in toy mode after returning from ToyLanta and then spending the rest of the week neck-deep in video (coming soon, I promise), today I’m going to write about some of the characteristics of collectible toys and how they relate to aging.

One of the things that has me thinking about this is the name change to “ToyLanta” from “JoeLanta and The Great Atlanta Toy Convention.”

The discussions I had with my friends at the show mainly centered around the given fact that collectors of the original GI Joe are an “aging fanbase.”

Of course, any fanbase of anything is aging, with the only exception to that being those that are already dead. In this case, “aging” is a bit of a euphemism for “old, and possibly not at all well.” This is all part of the circle of life of collectible toys. People who love a toy as a child, and retain that love and possibly turn it into an obsession as an adult, find that…you can’t take it with you.

toylog-0001The “sweet spot” for a toy to have a nostalgic collector’s revival is 25 to 40 years after the time it was actively marketed. People who grow up with a certain toy tend to lose interest in their adolescence, then as they approach middle age, rekindle their fondness for the toy, and begin to seek it out now that they are able to afford it.

This is a rough but reliable generalization. Some people love toys that came before or after their prime toy-buying years, and some people collect like mad even if they can’t afford it. So we’re talking in non-universal stereotypes here, but they do tend to trend true.

Continue reading…

Swing For The Fences On RFC International

rfci-logo-3-9-01Thursday brings us Radio Free Charleston International and a ton more cool stuff on The AIR! Tune in at the website, or on this handy embedded radio player…

This week we take you back to the second of our two-part Swing Music episode of RFC International. I originally produced these last May and it was the reaction to these shows that convinced me to go ahead with The Swing Shift, which you can now hear every Tuesday at 3 PM on The AIR.

But Thursday at 3 PM you can get an extra dose of Swing as your hyper hepcat of a host lets loose the hounds of Swing.

The playlist is at the bottom of this post. This is one of the earlier episodes of RFC International that hasn’t been played on The AIR since last summer.

That’s followed by a recent Radio Free Charleston at 5 PM, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy at 6 PM and a primetime lineup of The Swing Shift and Curtain Call. Remember that you can also Swing all night, when The Swing Shift takes over The AIR at 1 AM.

At 10 PM Live From The Empty Glass brings you Groove Heavy, Hybrid Soul Project and Mojomatic, recorded live at Charleston’s premiere dive-bar music venue, the World Famous Empty Glass.

Tune in to The AIR. You don’t know what you’re missing.

Here’s the playlist for RFC International 13:

Orchestra Baobab  “El Son Te Llama”
Kid Creole and the Cocounts  “There’s Something Wrong In Paradise”
Royal Crown Revue  “Brazil”
Sergio Caputo  “Bibidin Babidin Bibidi Boo”
The Stranglers  “Sanfte Kuss”
Marc Ribot y Los Cubanos Postizos ” Como Se Goza en el Barrio”
Stan Kenton  “The Peanut Vendor”
Brian Setzer Orchestra  “Let’s Live It Up”
Louis Jordan  “Angelina/Zooma Zooma”
David Lee Roth “Just A Gigalo/I Ain’t Got Nobody”
Squirrel Nut Zippers  “Hell”
Sam Butera  “Night Train”
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy  “Save My Soul”
Fletcher Henderson “Happy as the Day Is Long”
Cherry Poppin’ Daddies  “Brown Derby Jump”
Woody Herman  “23 Red”
Royal Crown Revue  “El Toro”
Erskine Hawkins  “Bear Mash Blues”
Oingo Boingo  “Don’t Go In The Basement”
Earl Hines  “Boogie Woogie on St. Louis Blues”
The Atomic Fireballs  “Hit By A Brick”
John Cale  “I Wanna Be Around”
Jools Holland  “Well All Right”
Dean Martin  “You’re Nobody ’til Somebody Loves You”

Mad, Not Mad

The PopCult Bookshelf

61vfnwniixlBehaving Madly: Zany, Loco, Cockeyed, Rip-off, Satire Magazines
by Ger Apeldoorn and Craig Yoe (authors/editors)
Yoe Books/IDW Publishing
ISBN-13: 978-1631408564

This is not a book review. It’s an alert. This book will be published on April 11, and any fan of irreverent humor will want to own it on the day it comes out. Master comics historian, Craig Yoe, has compiled (with Ger Apeldoorn) a collection of the best of the dozens of imitations of MAD, the legendary comic book/magazine that set the tone for humor that seems to have shaped our reality today.

I haven’t seen the book yet, but I’ve ordered it already (from Amazon, where it’s cheap). I don’t need to see it to know what I’m getting. I’ve been reading thirty and forty year old copies of Cracked and Crazy Magazines to kill time lately. Mad Magazine was the standard bearer, but there’s some amazing work in their fellow traveller’s books, too.

Here’s the publisher’s blurb:

When Mad was turned into a magazine in 1954, every publisher and his uncle came up with his own version, often using the same talent. Behaving Madly presents 200 pages of never reprinted material by Bill Elder, Jack Davis, John Severin, Al Jaffee, Joe Maneely, Jack Kirby, Ross Andru, Joe Kubert, Russ Heath, Bob Powell, Howard Nostrand, Basil Wolverton, Steve Ditko, Lee Elias, and many others. This coffee table art book is produced by comic strip historian Ger Apeldoorn and Eisner winner Craig Yoe. Looking for a little more excitement in your life? Get mad and get Snafu, Lunatickle, Cockeyed, Crazy, Thimk, Frenzy, Frantic, Loco, Panic, and Zany, too!

You know this is going to be a gem than any fan of classic comic books will want in their collection.