PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

df7a3e_0f87843b64c94247aa75c52a9af6124fmv2_d_2400_3000_s_4_2With one day before the big show, I want to talk about one of the cool guests who’s a regular at JoeLanta and The Great Atlanta Toy Convention. Larry Hama is a writer/cartoonist/editor who created the characters and storylines for GI Joe: A Real American Hero, the 1980s version of GI Joe. His panel happens on Sunday, and it’s going to be jam-packed.

Larry’s also done a ton of other work in and out of comics. He’s been a musician, an actor, an artist, writer, editor and created Bucky O’Hare, and I first encountered him in the comic strip section of the classic National Lampoon magazine. Larry’s panel at JoeLanta will feature him talking about sequential art and storytelling. His panels at JoeLanta are always informative and entertaining.

a969eed4516abafd4833232c0d05a988_originalLarry is even being immortalized in action figure form. Fresh Monkey Fiction has a Kickstarter campaign, which has already exceeded its goal with more than two weeks left, that will see a GI Joe-style figure, complete with backing card, made of the esteemed Mr. Hama. You can find details HERE, and check out the prototype figute at left.

You can see Larry in action below in video recorded at previous JoeLanta conventions, here’s Larry talking about the famous “Silent Interlude” issue of the GI Joe comic book, plus video of him taking questions and walking us through a set of storyboards he did for Boardwalk Empire.

16938562_1263492210354850_6677931610011013306_nThe PopCulteer
March 10
, 2017

In case you hadn’t been paying attention, tomorrow is the big day for JoeLanta and The Great Atlanta Toy Convention. I’ve been posting about it every day here in PopCult, so you should have noticed by now.

We’ll have one more, very special, countdown post later today, and if we’re lucky, I may be able to post some photos from the convention over the weekend. It’s all a matter of time management.

I’ve told you about some of the cool things planned for JoeLanta and The Great Atlanta Toy Convention. Today we’re going to show you even more of the wild and fun things happening this weekend.

Now, to be honest with my readers, we’ve been down here for several days. I wrote almost two week’s worth of PopCult posts in advance so that I could take my time to pack, hunt down items for the lobby swap, and make my way down here in a leisurely fashion.

As you read this, I’m probably on my way to Stone Mountain to see the Cody lane Memorial Toy and Diorma Museum temporary exhibit at the Historic Train Depot. Registration for the deluxe packages is Friday night and the onslaught begins Saturday morning.

I’ll be back home on Monday and will jump feet-first into editing the wrap-up video, which I’m hoping will be online less than one week after you’re reading these words. I will offer up one spoiler: Don’t be surprised if, next year, the name is simplified to “ToyLanta!”

Okay, it’s not so much a spoiler anymore. Next year the name will be shortened to “ToyLanta,” but the JoeLanta roots will still be honored with the Commander’s Package and exclusive figures.

Understandably, I’ve got JoeLanta on my mind, so that’s what the PopCulteer is about today. Check out these cool parts of the grand puzzle that is JoeLanta and The Great Atlanta Toy Convention.

JoeLanta and The Great Atlanta Toy Convention grows into its new name!

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16999060_10212407837773641_450981338952500542_nOne of the highlights of JoeLanta and The Great Atlanta Toy Convention is the JoeLanta Film Festival, curated by Tim and Lisa Weedn. That’s a trailer at the head of this post.

Saturday night, after the dealer’s rooms close, the JoeLanta attendees make their way to the conference room to watch short films made by collectors, starring TOYS, particularly GI Joes, but all toys are welcome. In previous years we’ve seen some fantastic work, ranging from lost adventures of GI Joe to film noir classics to Tim and Lisa’s own Studio Joe creations (we’ll bring you more of those in Sunday Evening Videos this week).

It’s all part of the excitement that is JoeLanta and The Great Atlanta Toy Convention, just two days away. Stay tuned to PopCult for more JoeLanta news.





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 first 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, for the next two weeks, 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 this week’s 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 Travis Stephens and Matt McGuire, recorded live at Charleston’s premiere dive-bar music venue, the World Famous Empty Glass.

And before all that cool stuff, you can tune in at 12:30 PM for a special replay of On The Road with Mel to JoeLanta.

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

Here’s the playlist for RFC International 12:

Joe Jackson  “It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Aint Got That Swing”
Glen Gray  “Casa Loma Stomp”
Louis Prima  “Buona Sera”
Jools Holland & Kt Tunstall “Night & Day”
Royal Crown Revue  “The Rise And Fall Of The Great Mondello”
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy  “Hey Now, Hey Now”
Oingo Boingo  “Minnie The Moocher”
Brian Setzer Orchestra “Jump Jive ‘n Wail”
Bonzo Dog Band  “Tubas In The Moonlight”
Bill Haley & His Comets  “Rock This Joint”
Raymond Scott  “The Toy Trumpet
Cherry Poppin’ Daddies  “Ding Dong Daddy of the D Car Line”
Squirrel Nut Zippers  “Put A Spell On It”
Pardon Me Boys  “Stairway to Heaven”
Atomic Fireballs  “The Man With The hex”
Ell Fitzgerald  “Air Mail Special”
Tom Jones  “St. James Infirmary Blues”
Glenn Miller and the Air Force Band  “St. Louis Blues March”
Ruth Brown “Lucky Lips”
Benny Goodman  “Sing Sing Sing”
The New Morty Show  “Enter Sandman”
Big Joe Turner  “Boogie Woogie Country Girl”
Emerson Lake and Palmer  “Honky Tonk Train Blues”
Ronnie Lane and Pete Townsend  “Catmelody”
The Clash  “Look Here”
Fats Waller  “Handful of Keys”
Cab Calloway  “Do You Want To Jump Children”
Eartha Kitt  “Ain’t Misbehaven”
Der Dritte Raum  “Swing Bop”
Django Reinhardt/Stephane Grapelli  “St. louis Blues/Snook”
Background music: Artie Shaw  “Stardust”

Now that these shows are back in the mix, expect them to turn up in our overnight Swing block.

Toy Fair 2017: The Last Batch of Links

gamspotThe PopCult Toybox

The International Toy Fair in New York wrapped up last month, but news is still dribbling out. Here’s a few more links to help you catch up with what’s coming next from the world of Toys.

Gamespot has a huge gallery of the best they saw from Marvel, DC and the world of Video Games.

CBR shows us more from Diamond Select, with tons of pop culture goodness.

For more images of McFarlane Toys’ The Walking Dead figures, we go to Bloody Disgusting.

For Barbie, Monster High and Mattel news, check out these videos:

JoeLanta and The Great Atlanta Toy Convention is not just one of the coolest places on the planet. It can also be eerie. One of the wild “small world” happenings at the first JoeLanta that I attended was that I met Clay Sayre, who is an expert on monster toys, then later I found out that he’s from Saint Albans and has been longtime buddies with my good friend, Mark Wolfe.

That was a bit odd, driving several hours to meet someone who grew up roughly in the same area that I did, but it was also pretty darned cool. Clay will return to host a panel this year at JoeLanta and The Great Atlanta Toy Convention, and it’s sure to be a blast.



ontheroadtojoelantaWednesday means cool stuff on The AIR, including the conclusion of Michele Zirkle Marcum’s appearance on Behind The Paranormal and a brand-new episode of On The Road with Mel. Check out all the terrific Wednesday programming on The AIR website, or on this embedded radio player…

It’s a special episode of On The Road with Mel at 1 PM, as Mel is joined by your PopCulteer to preview our trip this week to Atlanta for JoeLanta and The Great Atlanta Toy Convention. It’s entirely likely that, if you are a regular reader of PopCult, you may have heard of this paticular toy show.

Mel and Rudy talk at length about all the cool things happening this weekend at the Marriott Century Center in Atlanta–the dealers, the dioramas, the panels, the parachute drop, the Radio Cult concert and much, much more. Tune in for this special episode while you can, because it will not be rerun after this week. We do plan to record a new JoeLanta show while we’re down there.

If you want to listen to this show at your leisure, go to The AIR website and click the “Podcasts” tab on the left side of the page. This will take you to a page where you can find this special episode of On The Road with Mel.

On Life Speaks, this week at 1:30 PM we bring you part three of Michele’s appearance on the nationally-heard radio program Behind The Paranormal with Paul and Ben Eno. This show originates from Boston and can be heard online on OnWorldwide,com Radio. Michele discussed her book, Rain No Evil and her encounters with the unexplainable that lead her to create Life Speaks.

And please tune in for our other fine programming on The AIR Wednesday…

Wednesday on The AIR:

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     Radio Free Charleston: Local Music All Nighter

16865130_1669856303041106_5500808580174819799_nWe’re just four days away from JoeLanta and The Great Atlanta Toy Convention, and your PopCulteer is in full toy-lust mode. One of my favorite toy people in the world, James Wozniak, the owner of Classic Recasts, will not only be in attendance as a dealer, but he’s also moderating a panel that will focus on the plethora of new product coming out of Mexico that’s made using the original Marx molds.

James will relate the story of how he hooked up with Jean Zabre and his family to renew interest in the legacy of Marx Toys. James is one of the masterminds behind the anniversary editions of Johnny West and Sam Cobra that I’ve raved about here in PopCult, and he’s bringing his latest projects to Atlanta. My wallet is going to be seriously lighter after picking up all the figures he’s had made using the original Daniel Boone molds, and I’m also going to be snagging some brand-new Universal Monsters, in never-before-used colors.

James will be talking about what he knows of the Marx molds, and how they’re still being used, some of them more than fifty years after they were created. There’s plenty to learn about the Zabre family and their connections to the Marx Toy Company, and James is the guy to teach that lesson. His panel is one of the ones the PopCult cameras will be recording this year (we’re going to record quite a few, but we can’t get them all).

JoeLanta and Marx Action Figures? There’s no way I’m missing that.

Keep checking PopCult for more info on JoeLanta and The Great Atlanta Toy Convention.


rfc-3-7-l02-ogoIt’s Tuesday and that means that, even with all the JoeLanta stuff going on here at Stately Radio Free Charleston Manor, it’s time for a brand-new Radio Free Charleston on The AIR! Tune in at the website, or on this handy embedded radio player…

Holy Cow, folks! Even in the midst of preparing to head out of town for JoeLanta and The Great Atlanta Toy Convention, your humble PopCulteer managed to expertly craft yet another hour of fantastic live music, with brand-new cuts from Speedsuit, The Wren Allen Band and Bon Air, plus an amazing assortment of gems from the RFC Archives.

Just check out this mind-blowing assemblage of top-flight West Virginia-centric music:


Speedsuit  “Gwendoline”
Wren Allen Band  “Portside”
Bon Air  “Tell Me Why”
The New Relics  “Good Night”
NRVS LVRS  “2 Young 2 Know”
Ona  “Tornado Rider”
Sasha Collete  “Rock of Ages”
Tofujitsu  “Mutants”
The Wild Rumpus  “Columbus Stockade Blues”
Red Audio  “Money Tree”
Vinna Bee  “Snowglobes of a Dustbowl”
American Minor  “Buffalo Creek”
Anna Bo  “Gone”
Bedowyn  “Leave The Living For The Dead”
The Amazing Delores  “Rats In My Trailer”

You can hear Radio Free Charleston’s unique mix of different genres of local music Tuesday at 10 AM and 10 PM, Thursday at 5 PM, Saturday at 10 AM and Midnight and Sunday at 9 PM, exclusively on The AIR.

The PopCult Toybox

Img_6812aThe dioramas at Joelanta and The Great Atlanta Toy Convention embody the true spirit of convention’s beneficiary, The Cody Lane Memorial Toy and Diorama Museum, a space dedicated to preserving the artistry and celebrating the educational value of creative play. Since Dioramas are sort of the raison d’être of JoeLanta, your PopCulteer decided to re-present this post from last year, right after we got back from the big show.

In the above video you can see all of our raw footage of the 2016 diorama room, set to music by Chuck Biel’s Punk Jazz (Chuck gave me permission to use this fantastic music).

Below you will find a rather large photo essay with pictures of almost every entry in the diorama and custom figure contest. Eariler last year we posted a photo essay of Mike Gardner’s Route 66 diorama. You’ll see more of it in the video.

I do need to apologize for an unfortunate omission. The video we shot of Steve Bugg’s enormous Star Wars diorama (seen above right), which was set up in the dealer’s area, glitched and was not usable, so his remarkable display is not properly represented in the video. We have a few photos to lead off this photo essay, but I want to direct your attention to the Wanderlust Atlanta blog, which has more photos of Steve’s masterpiece. If more folks post photos and video of Steve’s work, we’ll link to it.

This is just a bonus to show off the artistry that goes into JoeLanta and The Great Atlanta Toy Convention. There is amazing work on display all over the convention, and in the custom figure contest, which is overseen by my buddy, Dave Matteson.Keep checking PopCult all week for more details on this great toy show.

If only we could have salvaged the video
If only we could have salvaged the video
You could just walk around this all day and find something new on each trip
You could just walk around this all day and find something new on each trip

Continue reading…