PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

ToyLanta: The First Batch of Photos

17309371_1283316801705724_8430803179771612796_nToyLanta (The new name for JoeLanta and The Great Atlanta Toy Convention) is in the books, and now that your PopCulteer is back home and settled, you can expect a photo essay or video every day for the foreseeable future. Because of technical changes here at the Charleston Gazette-Mail, I can’t run the epic photo essays with up to a hundred pictures like I used to. We’re pretty much stretching things when we include more than a dozen images now.

So you can expect a whole bunch of short photo essays, interspersed with the videos, on which I am hard at work. Today we’re going to look at a few random scenes from ToyLanta. Later essays will focus on more specific topics.

Sit back and enjoy this quick overview of just a few highlights of ToyLanta, and keep checking PopCult for more cool stuff from our Southern Incursion.

The Friday before ToyLanta, a road trip took folks who purchased special packages to the Historic Train Depot at Stone Mountain, to check out the temporary exhibit from the Cody Lane Memorial Toy and Diorama Museum, the beneficiary of ToyLanta.

Continue reading…

3-15-logoMichele Zirkle Marcum takes us to Ireland on The AIR today with a brand-new episode of Life Speaks that you can listen to at 1:30 PM and 7 PM, on The AIR website, or on this embedded radio player…

Michele’s trip to Ireland stirs memories of the mountain state and if her husband’s deja vu is an indication, she may have lived there with him in another lifetime. Plus, forget rainbows and leprechauns–manifest your own pot of gold. Find out on Life Speaks.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Wednesday line-up on The AIR is the best of our shows as plucked from our library of excellence. That’s a fancy way of saying that we’re still in reruns because your PopCulteer is hard at work on the ToyLanta (JoeLanta) video wrap-up.

Here’s the full day’s line-up:

7:00 AM     The Swing Shift
9:00 AM     Radio Coolsville
11:00 AM   The Mystery Hour
Noon          Curtain Call
1:00 PM     On The Road with Mel
1:30 PM     Life Speaks with Michele Zirkle Marcum
2:00 PM     The Best of The Real with Mark Wolfe
3:00 PM     Curtain Call
5:00 PM     Indie Music On The AIR
7:00 PM     Life Speaks with Michele Zirkle Marcum
7:30 PM     Word Association with Lee & Rudy
8:00 PM     Prognosis
10:00 PM   The Comedy Vault
Midnight    The BS Crazy Show/Comedy Vault overnight marathon

Greatest Hits Revisted On The AIR!

10 17 air logoBIt’s Tuesday and this week we’re in reruns for Radio Free Charleston and The Swing Shift on The AIR! Tune in at the website, or on this handy embedded radio player…

Your PopCulteer needs time to recuperate from his wonderful trip to JoeLanta and The Great Atlanta Toy Convention, so this week we’re bringing you encore presentations of many our internet radio programs.

At 10 AM you can tune in for three hours of recent episodes of Radio Free Charleston (episodes 34, 35 and 36), loaded with music from The Wren Allen Band, Bon Air, Speedsuit, Todd Burge, Holly and The Guy, The MFB, Under Surveillance, Fabulous Head, Deni Bonet and more. Episode 34 will play again at 10 PM.

At 2 PM we’ll revisit the final two-hour episode of Radio Coolsville. Next week DJ Betty Rock will return in a sleek, new one-hour format with all-new episodes.

At 3 PM we’ll have two recent episodes of The Swing Shift, loaded with the best swing music from the last century. That’s followed at 5 PM by a replay of last week’s encore episode of Radio Free Charleston International, which brought back the first of our two Swing specials, which acted as the pilot for The Swing Shift. You can hear that again at 11 PM, in case they don’t allow you to jitterbug at work.

At 7 PM you can listen to an hour of “The BS Crazy Show,” followed at 8 PM by Sydney’s Big Electric Cat. You can also bask in the New Wave goodness of Sydney’s Big Electric Cat all night long, starting at 1 AM.

Back Home From ToyLanta: This Is The Haul

17309371_1283316801705724_8430803179771612796_nActually, it’s about 85% of the haul. I mean, you go to a toy show to buy toys, right? In the event that you haven’t read a single post here at PopCult for the last two weeks, ToyLanta is the new name for JoeLanta and The Great Atlanta Toy Convention. JoeLanta remains the core of the convention, but the show welcomes collectors of all toys, and as the convention grows, the name needed to shrink.

This year BotLanta was added to the mix, and dealers had everything from Shogun Warriors to Funko Pop to Hot Wheels, Barbie and model kits, in addition to GI Joe and Transformers. It was a killer show, and your PopCulteer will be hard at work to bring you the video highlights in a timely manner (unlike last year). So keep checking PopCult for all the juicy details. In the meantime, now that I’m back home and unpacked, here’s a group photo of most of what I got this year.

It was a great show.


dont panic airMonday night, beginning at 5 PM, The AIR presents a fourteen-hour marathon of all of the original episodes of the BBC adaptation of Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. This will give listerns a chance to hear the entire series in one sitting.

You can listen at The AIR website, or on this rather amazing virtual radio player…

Normally The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy can be heard Thursday at 6 PM on The AIR, with replays throughout the following week. We’re actually bending time by bringing you all of the series at once, before the final two hours have run on The AIR. Consider it a special bonus, or perhaps a geometric anomoly.

Fans of late-1970s really cool British dramatizations can tune in two hours earlier, as Prognosis presents Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds at 3 PM.



This week’s art is a digital painting based on a toy that I was taking down to JoeLanta to the lobby swap because I have two of them. The toy is the Action Man Surf Mission, which includes an action figure on a wind surfboard, and a dolphin. I thought the photo looked cool, so I ran it through a bunch of filters, then painted over it in the computer.

It looks like March is turning into “Toy Month” here in Monday Morning Art. Click the image to see a larger version.

Sunday Evening Videos: Studio Joe

16602255_763442253821565_3666631589334630455_oSo your PopCulteer is still in Atlanta, enjoying the last day of JoeLanta and The Great Atlanta Toy Convention, but since I promised you folks at least one post every day, and since I don’t know if I’ll have time while I’m down there to pull myself away from the fun long enough to blog, this post is being written more than a week in advance.

We are going to salute Studio Joe, which is Tim and Lisa Weedn, who not only curate the JoeLanta Film Festival, but they also create their own hilarious stop-motion-animated shorts. Tonight we’re going to bring you a few of them, so you can see what all the fuss is about.

Above you see “Joe at Fifty,” which Tim and Lisa created in 2014 to mark the fiftieth anniversary of GI Joe’s creation. Below you’ll find “The Lost Intruder,” from 2013 and last year’s epic, “Off Duty: Stranger in a Strange Pub.”

The image you see at the above right is a preview of one of their upcoming films, which I’ll bring to you here in PopCult as soon as it’s available.

Enjoy, I’m still down South, playing with toys.


ToyLanta: Avengers Assemble!

mike-001One of the highlights of JoeLanta (now ToyLanta) each year is the ridiculously epic and gargantuan 1/6 scale diorama built by Mike Gardner. This year is no different, as Mike took on the entire Marvel Universe with an amazing “Avengers Assemble” diorama.

This mini photo essay is just a taste. You’ll be seeing a lot more of Mike’s work in the coming days. The diorama itself is a huge creation that cannot be fully appreciated in photo form. You really need to see it in person. You could stare for hours and still find new details every few minutes.

At the head of this post you see the first of three pictures of the diorama in the process of being assembled. The final three images are close looks at the finished product. We’re going to go in-depth on this next week.

ToyLanta is the new name for JoeLanta and The Great Atlanta Toy Convention. It is open to the public Saturday and Sunday at the Marriott Century Center in Atlanta Georgia. PopCult is here and will be documenting the event in video and pictures over the next week or two.











PopCult Note: Readers who have been paying close attention may notice that we have skipped an episode of the show in our chronological presentation of every episode of Radio Free Charleston. The show that would have run in this space will show up in three weeks, and it’ll make perfect sense. Trust us.

montage41athumbThis week we head back to April, 2008, for “IWA East Coast Shirt,” the forty-first edition of our show. This music-packed show featured A Place Of Solace, Holden Caulfield, and from Nashville, special guests The Coal Men, who crashed at Stately Radio Free Charleston Manor one night after performing at The Empty Glass.

We also had an announcement from The Concept, and a short burst of animation from my brother Frank.  I hosted from Davis Park, using a real microphone for the first time on the show. It made a difference, and that ten-dollar mic that I bought at Sun Electronics back in the early 1990s is still part of the RFC production arsenal.

I’m not sure about The Coal Men, but every other group on this show, and Sun Electronics too, have either broken up or fallen off the face of the Earth.  Read the original production notes HERE.


JoeLanta Becomes ToyLanta!

jl17001JoeLanta and The Great Atlanta Toy Convention doesn’t open to the public until Saturday, but folks who purchased the Commander’s Package, or other special event packages, were privvy to some special early events.

Thursday night, there was the first of two editions of E.J.’s Lobby Swap. We snuck a few pictures of the wheeling and dealing, and we also got a glimpse of the new name for this event.

Because “JoeLanta and The Great Atlanta Toy Convention” is quite the mouthful, going forward this spectacular event will be known as “ToyLanta.” The branding is already evident in the photo seen at right.

Below, you get just a taste of the clandestine big-money toy transacting that took place in the lobby of the Marriott Century Center in Atlanta.

Keep checking PopCult for more info on TOYLANTA all weekend.

Not too many details. This is a room full of toy collectors, seen in their natural habitat. The names have been obscured to protect the guilty.

Continue reading…