PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

lady-dThe PopCulteer
December 22, 2017

In today’s PopCulteer we have news of a big show Friday night at The Bakery, plus some other random tidbits and a few photos, too.

Tonight a legend of West Virginia music performs at The Bakery. Lady D, Doris Fields, W.Va’s First Lady of Soul has joined forces with Washington D.C.’s Rogue Johnsen Trio. That’s them at right. Together, they were declared the winners of the D.C. Blues Society’s Battle of the Bands. That win will now send them to Memphis in January 2018 to compete in the International Blues Challenge.

“The Road to Memphis Tour” is a fundraising effort to cover the band’s expenses, so they’re playing not only because this is what they love but they’re playing to keep their dream alive.

This collaboration includes blues veteran, Rogue Johnsen on keys. Rogue has toured extensively with W.C. Clark, Archie Bell & the Drells and Miss Lavelle White. He’s played sideman for such legends as Bo Diddley and has opened for B.B. King, Albert King, Buddy Guy and many others. Other members of the trio are Jim Barrett on saxophone and Earl Ivey on drums.

If you love New Orleans style blues and jazz, you’ll be in the right place at the Charleston Music and Arts Collective’s new venue, The Bakery. Lady D and the Rogue Johnsen Trio are bringing you Blues for Christmas, so you can bring the whole family out for an evening of “roots” music, New Orleans style.

Tickets are $15 at the door. Admission price is the same for all ages. Light refreshment and non-alcoholic drinks are included in the admission. (As the Charleston Music and Arts Collective is still in the renovation stage, they’re encouraging audience members to bring camp chairs or a folding chair as seating may be limited). The Bakery is located at 1007 Bigley Avenue, on Charleston’s West Side. Call 567.525.8016 for more information.

Christmas On The Fire Escape

It’s a Christmas tradition here in PopCult, and we will post this video again Monday morning, but here is the now Mrs. PopCulteer, Melanie Larch, performing “Ave Maria” acapella on the fire escape outside the old LiveMix Studio on Quarrier Street in Charleston, recorded December 6, 2006 for Radio Free Charleston.

Holiday programming on The AIR

xmas-air-logo-01The AIR leaps face-first into the holiday spirit all weekend long, with tons of great Christmas programming. Check it out at the website, or on this little embedded audio player present…

Among the revelry you’ll hear holiday episodes of Radio Free Charleston, Curtain Call, Big Electric Cat, The Swing Shift, Prognosis, Beatles Blast and The Bat (something) Crazy Show, plus we have several hours of The AIR XMAS MESS, which presents a mix of holiday songs, comedy bits and classic episodes of The Goon Show. Also added to the mix are classic radio productions like Orson Welles’ “A Christmas Carol” and Christmas editions of Dragnet and Suspense.

This collection of shows will run all-day Saturday, Sunday and Monday. We will still bring you our overnight marathon of Radio Free Charleston, Saturday at midnight, and we learned over Thanksgiving not to mess with our Sunday and Thursday overnight marathons of The Swing Shift, so there will be a few breaks in the holiday celebration, but for the most part, The AIR will celebrate Christmas right alongside you, all weekend long.

Rotofugi in Chicago

We have a few more photos from our early-December trip to Chicago, all of these taken at the Designer toy store/art gallery, Rotofugi.

The portal to one of the coolest places on the planet.
Blind-box designer toy insanity!
We somehow managed to resist the call of the Yeti, but these things look really cool.
Selfie in front of the Tokydoki wall.
I finally remembered to get a decent picture of Chris Ware’s Jimmy Corrigan.
Some of the designer toys are huge.
We leave you with the biggest one, on display in the window.

And that is our PopCulteer. We wish you a happy Christmas and a healthy new year, and ask you to come back and check out our daily posts here in this odd little blog.

20171206_132414Okay, let me bore you with more of my vacation slides. This is part three of our Chicago in December photo essay. Earlier this month your PopCulteer and his lovely wife made our way to the city of wind to celebrate her birthday, and hijinks ensued.

We were there for the better part of a week, and had a blast. It was interesting that, whenever we go to Chicago we get some ribbing from some friends who think that Chicago is still the “Murder Capital” of the country. This simply is not true, even though certain White House residents like to spread that misinformation. The truth is, Huntington is way higher up in the per capita murder charts than Chicago. When it comes to per capita murder rates, Chicago, Illinois is not in the top 30 in 2017. Huntington is number three now.

I mean, the entire week we were in Chicago, we’d turn on the morning news every day, and there was not a single murder reported in the city. The week after, when we were home, we’d turn on the morning news, and Huntington had three murders (out of five shootings) and Charleston had at least one.

So we felt safe riding the “L” and walking all over the downtown area. I felt safer walking around at night in Chicago than I do in Charleston these days.

But the point was, we were safe and had fun, and celebrated Mel’s birthday in style, taking in the new Tracy Letts play at Steppenwolf (that’s a subway ad for Steppenwolf at the head of this post). We got into some other stuff, too, and here’s part three of our adventures.

The city at night.
Waiting for the L to Steppenwolf.
We like Chicago, but it’s lousy with these things. You can’t turn a corner without walking into one.
Melanie indulged in some Rainbow Cake for her birthday at Front Bar, before taking our seats for “The Minutes.”
That would be the new play by Pulitzer and Tony-winning playwright, Tracy Letts, which is headed straight to Broadway when it wraps up its run at Steppenwolf.
Meanwhile, at the LEGO Store at Water Tower Place, we saw an $800 Millenium Falcon.
Meanwhile, at the LEGO Store at Water Tower Place, we saw an $800 Millenium Falcon.
To be honest, I was more impressed by the Taj Mahal, even though it cost less than half as much as the Falcon.
And we finish off part three of our Chicago in December photo essay with a shot of the best hot chocolate in the world, which just edged out the Belgian hot chocolate we had at Christkindl at Wrigley two days earlier. It came from La Vazza, which is part of Eataly, an Italian food mall sort of thingy. This was just like the finest chocolate in the world, in liquid form.

If our photos don’t bore the heck out of you, be sure to read The PopCulteer later this morning. We have a few straggler pictures from our visit to Rotofugi while we were in Chicago.

Chicago In December Part Two

lionWelcome to part two of our quick photo essay of our recent trip to Chicago. In this post we’re just going to spend the whole time at the famed Art Institute of Chicago, home to some of the most famous works of art on the planet.

To your right you see one of the giant lion sculptures outside the Art Institute, decorated for the season, and photographed from the warmth of the Walgreens across the street. Which, by the way, sells sandwiches and sushi. We don’t get stuff like that at the Walgreens here in West Virginia.

At the Art Institute we took in our favorite paintings by Seurat and Hopper, and tried not to get peanut-butter smudges on the other works by Van Gogh and Warhol, and we also stumbled upon the works of Rodin, in once case almost literally. It was at the Art Institute that I discovered the “selfie” feature on my new phone. As this was realy the first time I used the camera in my new phone, my ineptitude meant that a lot of great photos came out fuzzy and out of focus, so I did the best I could. Get off my back already.

They also had a huge exhibit of Soviet Propaganda art, so that we can prepare ourselves for what we’ll be subjected to here in the future.

Here’s some of what we saw…

Within these halls reside the greatest works of art known to man.


Rodin’s famous “Big Naked Dude,” a life-sized sculpture. Behind him you see his less-famous, “Little Old Man with his clothes on.”
It can be tricky trying to get an artistic photo of one of the world’s most famous works of art when you’re using a camera for the first time.
To the person on Facebook who saw this and wrote “Two Thinkers and a Stinker,”–Not funny, dude, not funny.
My Melanie, in her happy place.

Continue reading…

Chicago In December Part One

20171205_145103Week before last, while in the midst of posting the 2017 PopCult Gift Guide, your PopCulteer snuck out to Chicago for a birthday trip for Mrs. PopCulteer. We had a blast because Chicago is really special this time of year.

It’s also cold as hell, but it’s a special kind of cold.

As has become custom whenever I take a trip and have a camera handy, you’re going to get a PopCult photo essay of the highlights. Because our new blogging template is still a bit wonky, you’re actually going to get three of them. They’ll each have ten pictures or less, but this way I can caption them without making the website crawl off in the corner and die.

In this post We’re going to look at the sights of Chicago as we get settled in, and also as we took a trip to Wrigleyville to check out the new pop-up Christkindl Market. Christkindl is a huge outdoor bazaar that sets up in Daley Plaza and has dozens of little kiosks that sell ornaments, scarves, gloves, trinkets, as well as Hot Chocolate, Gluvine, Apple Cider and true to its German origins, hot pretzels, sausages, latkes, and tons and tons of imported candy. It’s always packed at Daley Plaza, but through the week the new location at Wrigley Field proved to be way more accessible. The image at the head of this post shows the Picasso in Daley Plaza looming over the mid-morning crowd for Christkindl Market. You’ll se a bit of a difference when we get to Wrigley.

But first, let’s get into town.

I finally remembered to turn around and take a picture of Union Station from the cab on the way to the hotel. This is where our train pulls in.
The view from our hotel window, with a spectacular real glint on The Hancock Tower. This photo has not been manipulated in any way.
Look up. I think we found Wrigley field.
The barely-inhabited friendly confines of Wrigley, where we had the best hot chocolate we’d ever tasted, until two days later when we had some that was even better.
The booths were all filled with Christmas cheer…uh…
Krampus was well-represented too.
We will end this photo essay with one last look at the iconic sign outside Wrigley Field.

xmas-air-logo-01Wednesday looks great on The AIR.  We are running full speed ahead toward Christmas, with thousands of loyal listeners who are tuning in and you can hear why at the website, or on this nifty embedded radio machine doohickey…

You can see the schedules for the rest of the week in the embedded thingy below, but let’s run down the highlights for Wednesday, shall we?

Wednesday at 1:30 PM Life Speaks to Michele Zirkle Marcum presents a new half-hour show centered around a remarkable interview with Charlene Koontz, an eyewitness to the aftermath of the Silver Bridge tragedy. The show replays at 7 PM.

Beatles Blast presents an hour of the Beatles Christmas Fan Club records and more holiday goodness at 2 PM. These were officially released just last week, and we bring them to you with no interruptions from your humble host. We also toss in some holiday tunes from John, Paul and Ringo.

At 3 PM Mel Larch presents music from Langston Hughes’ Black Nativity, and a half hour of new holiday tunes, plus she brings you a whole hour more of Christmas music from the stage on  Curtain Call.

The RFC Audio Playhouse brings you a double-shot this week. At 5 PM tune in for Orson Welles’ radio adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. You can hear classic Christmas episodes of Dragnet and Suspense at 10 PM.

And in case you miss them, rest assured that we will be playing you all of The AIR’s holiday programming this weekend, and all day Monday.

rfc-12-19Are you ready for BRAND-NEW episodes of  Radio Free Charleston?  Tune in at 10 and 10 at, The AIR. You can listen at the website, or on this embedded radio player…

Now that your PopCulteer has wrapped up the 2017 PopCult Gift Guide, it’s back to the radio grindstone.  Radio Free Charleston is new this week, and next week almost all of our afternoon music shows will be back in gear to get you through the post-Christmas blahs. Here’s what you can hear this week on RFC


Johnny Compton  “Too Rolling Stoned”
Barkin’ Iron Band  “For What It’s Worth/Season of the Witch”
Farnsworth  “Green Valley”
Speedsuit  “Hold Me Up”
The Heavy Editors  “I’m Buying A Stratocaster”
Membrane Cell  “Tap The Screen”
Superfetch  “Tongues and Fingers”
Stark Raven  “Lonesome Fiddle”
Chuck Biel  “Thufir Hawat”
Justin Johnson  “Easterlily”

At 10 AM and 10 PM you’ll get a full hour of terrific local music, much of it just-released, and both airings will be followed by last year’s RFC XMAS special. Today at 3 PM you can hear an encore of The Swing Shift Holiday Special. Tomorrow look for a brand-new episode of Life Speaks to Michele Zirkle, as well as special holiday episodes of Beatles Blast and Curtain Call. We’ll dropping in more new and classic holiday treats all week long, so stay turned to The AIR, and check out our schedule, embedded right here for your pleasure…

Monday Morning Art: Bus Ride


We kick off this last week before Christmas with another example of the new “neo-expressionism” style that I just made up a couple of years ago. This one is inspired by a bus ride I took in Chicago week before last. We’d been riding the “L” a lot on our most recent trip to the Windy City, and one night the Southbound Lanes on the Red Line were shut down due to a minor derailment. We were greeted at the station by a CTA employee who told us to hop on the Northbound Red Line, and get off at the next stop, where there would be a shuttle bus ready to take us where we needed to go.

It was a fun little adventure as the bus driver took off and proceeded to stop and pick up anybody who looked like they needed a lift downtown, before dropping us off quite a distance away from our hotel. We wound up grabbing a cab the rest of the way. However, the trip itself was pretty wild as we saw parts of Chicago that we hadn’t yet had time to explore, and the lighting on the bus was strange enough that you could see reflections of your fellow passengers combined with the sights from outside the bus, just by looking out the window. That’s the feeling I was trying to capture in this piece. Click it for a bigger version.

The 2017 PopCult Gift Guide is in the books (except for a last-minute bonus that’s coming tomorrow), and you can check out the Master List HERE. Be advised that it’s probably too late to order any of the stuff that you can’t find locally, unless you pony up for express shipping.

air-6-6-17While all this is going on, please remember that you can tune in and hear cool stuff on our internet radio station, The AIR.

You can listen at the website, or on this familiar little embedded player…

We’re bringing you more of the best independent radio that you’ll ever hear anywhere on our humble little internet station. Your PopCulteer is planning to crank out some special holiday programming this week on The AIR, including a new edition of Radio Free Charleston on Tuesday, and new episodes of Life Speaks to Michele Zirkle  and Curtain Call on Wednesday, plus we’re adding new special holiday music all week long. Take a gander at this ever-changing embedded schedule…

Sunday Evening Videos: RIP Keely Smith

keely-smithWhile your PopCulteer was out of town for a quick, one-day trip, news broke that legendary singer, Keely Smith, best known as the deadpan partner to Louis Prima’s “The Wildest” stage persona,passed away. We have bumped our scheduled night of holiday clips to bring you some examples of her exquisite voice.

While she rose to fame as Mrs. Louis Prima and part of his stage act in the 1950sa, Smith blazed a trail after her marriage to Prima ended as world-renown singer and a woman who controlled her own career, setting up her own record label and guiding her own business.

Tonight we bring you a few videos of Keely Smith, with and without Prima, and we will be playing more music by Keely Smith in the coming weeks on The Swing Shift, on The AIR.

Smith died of an apparent heart attack in her home in Palm Springs, at the age of 89. PopCult and The AIR send our sincerest condolences to her family, friends and fans around the world.

The RFC Flashback: Christmas 2009, 2013

rfc-89-04This week on the RFC Flashback, you will see the much-anticipated (at the time) 2009 Christmas episode of Radio Free Charleston. Being a Christmas show, there was only one thing we could call this edition of RFC–”Terry Funk Shirt.” This extra-long episode is packed with music from Molly Means, Joseph Hale, Todd Burge, and Melanie Larch with The Diablo Blues Band (seen right). There’s also some classic animation from the British studio Halas and Batchelor, plus a news flash about a visit from Saint Sputnik.

Coincidentally, Joseph and Todd’s songs were recorded at The Boulevard Tavern. We returned to the Tavern for our 2013 Christmas show, with two festive songs from The Bob Thompson Unit. You can see RFC 194 below. The show also has a great holiday tune from Frenchy and the Punk and animation from Jake Fertig.

We will be bringing you more Radio Free Charleston Holiday memories all week long here in PopCult.

The 2017 PopCult Gift Guide Master List

ml-01The PopCulteer
December 15, 2017

The 2017 PopCult Gift Guide is in the books, and today we’re bringing you the master list of every item we featured.

Be advised that we ran really long and late this year, so if you plan to order anything on this list (that is still available) you’d better rush and do it now. This list goes live on the very last day that many retailers guarantee delivery by Christmas using regular mail. Amazon Prime customers can probably wait until next Tuesday, but that’s still tempting fate a bit.

Each year in the PopCult Gift Guide I strive to provide a list of gift ideas that you don’t get anywhere else. I don’t sell spots on the list like most of the mainstream publications do, and I tried to avoid the really obvious gift ideas. The whole point is to tell you about new stuff that you don’t already know about. I think this year there are only one or two “ringers” in the batch.

I would also like to address a couple of points of criticism that this list has had pointed its way. First is that I do not honor “the reason for the season,” and that most of my picks are examples of the crass commercialization of Christmas. That’s a fair point. PopCult covers pop culture, and much of that is a celebration of crass commercialization. This is a secular blog, and it’s not my job to preach or convert. If something that truly celebrates the spirit of Christmas comes my way, like Billy Tucci’s beautiful Nativity graphic novel of a few years ago, I will rush to include it. This year nothing like that really struck me as being special and underexposed enough for the list.

Likewise, I had far more criticism for not including any Star Wars stuff in the list this year. It’s true that Star Wars is pretty much the biggest force in pop culture at this very moment, however, it really doesn’t need my help. There is a ton of cool Star Wars stuff out there, and I’m sure that if you’re interested you already know about it.

So with those points addressed, here is the entire list of the 2017 PopCult Gift Guide. Note that the links are descriptive, and may not be the actual titles of the books, comics or movies listed.


Cryptid Cinema, by Steve Bissette is the first in a promised series of books about horror movies. This one addresses the creepy critters of the big screen.

Daily Inspiration for Progressive America is Danny Kuhn’s book of helpful words to help intelligent people deal with living under our current president.

85 North by Bobby Nash is a collection of witty and clever short stories in a variety of different genre.

The Story of Brian Pillman explores the life of the late, controversial wrestler.

The Johnny West Library is a series of books by Tom Heaton that dish out all the details about Marx Action Figures.

Toybox Time Machine is an amazing collection of ads and promotional artwork for toys and cool things that never really existed.

Sticks ’n Stones ’n Dinosaur Bones is a children’s book that recounts the late 1800’s “Dinosaur Wars.”

The Art of Oliver Hibert is a collection of work by the man whose work covers albums by The Flaming Lips, Miley Cyrus and more.

Let’s Get Monster Smashed is a guide to what drinks best go with cheesy horror movies.

Examining the Monkees’ Songs in this in-depth book with a very long title, every song by The Monkees is put under the magnifying glass.

Last Girl Standing is the engrossing and fascinating autobiograph of legendary underground comics artist and writer Trina Robbins.

How To Write Cheesy Movies is a guide that tells you how to write bad movies, written by TV’s Frank from Mystery Science Theater 3000, who certainly knows the topic well.

Adventures in Pop Culture is a collection of essays on pop culture by my buddy, Thomas Wheeler.

The Walking Dead Cookbook tells you how best to chow down in the post-apocalyptic zombie wasteland.

George Harrison In His Own Words is an updated and expanded edition of the closest that Harrison ever came to writing an autobiography.

Inside Full Moon Entertainment Studio, is a book about Charles Band and his epic low-budget movie empire.

The Marx Brothers on Stage is a history of the famed brothers before they hit the silver screen.

Brooklyn’s Sweet Ruin is a photographic document of an abandoned sugar factory, days before it was demolished.

The Book On Vintage Transformers by J. E. Alvarez is virtually a bible for fans of the robots in disguise.

Barbie’s Battles Against Bratz are depicted in detail in this book by a noted legal scholar.




Behaving Madly an incredible collection of top-notch material culled from 1950s imitators of Mad Magazine.

The Beatles: All Our Yesterdays is a graphic novel history of the early days of the Fab Four.

Wonder Woman: The True Amazon is Jill Thompson’s amazing, award-winning story of Wonder Woman before she came to “man’s world.”

The Dimensioneer is Dan Reed’s super-fun superhero comic.

Sax Rohmer’s Dope is adapted as a graphic novel by Trina Robbins.

Josephine Baker is a lengthy and detailed bio of the legend, told in comic form.

The Walking Dead: Here’s Negan is the origin story of the chief bad guy from The Walking Dead, collected in book form.

Jack Kirby’s “The Demon” collects the entire run of Kirby’s rhyming Demon with ties to Merlin in an affordable format.

Classic Popeye books collect the work of Bud Sagendorf, in ten hardcover volumes of spectacular comic bookery.

Starstruck: Old Proldiers Never Die by Elaine Lee and Michael Kaluta continues the story of Harry Palmer and his search for his…friend.


Mind Melter Coloring Book presents the work of cult artist Dirty Donnie Gillis, in colorable form.

The Burlesque Coloring Book puts the “adult” into “adult coloring book.”




These are self-explanatory, except where noted.

The HESS Toy Truck is sold out as of two days ago, so never mind on this one.

Build & Imagine’s Career Dolls

Beatles Hot Wheels

True Heroes 12 Inch Mudslide Figure and ATV Playset 

Back to the Future Electric Slot Car Race Set (this has been marked down to half price from AutoWorld)

BMC Toys WWII Playsets

The Dolly Alanna

The Johnny West Library (same listing as in books, but listed here as well, since it’s books about toys)

Lucky Cat (locally made)

Robin Hood and Sheriff Figure Sets

The Walking Dead Lucille Cosplay Replica

Yellow Submarine Magnets

Teddy Ruxpin (new and Bluetooth-compatible, so there’s no tape player inside of him)

Cabbage Patch Kids Little Sprouts



Playmobil Ghostbusters Ecto 1

The Book On Vintage Transformers (same listing as in books, but listed here as well, since it’s a book about toys)

Egg Babies


Nintendo Classic Edition Wireless Controllers give you the old-school feel on the Wii

Ice Cool is the award-winning board game.

Ultra Dash is an electronic game that will have kids running all over the house.

Accentuate is a party game where you get to talk funny.



Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, is a DVD/CD combo of the retro Swing Band in action.

Rick Wakeman’s Gastank DVD collects an early 1980s British show where rock musicians talked and jammed together.

The Films of Anna Biller are incredible. Buy and watch them.

ASIA in Bulgaria is a DVD/CD of the band performing in an ancient Roman arena, accompanied by an orchestra.

Batman vs. Two-Face presents the final performance of Adam West as Batman, going up against William Shatner as Two-Face in this new animated epic.

Justice League Action collects the first half of the first season of the unjustly-overlooked cartoon.


The Company Stores “Little Lights” Powerful and electic music from the local powerhouse band.

The Sgt. Pepper Box Set A deluxe collection of the Beatles’ classic, remixed by Giles Martin, and with tons of previously unreleased bonus material.

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy See the listings for DVD/ Blu Ray

Rick Wakeman’s Gastank DVD See the listings for DVD/ Blu Ray

Byzantine “The Cicada Tree” World-shattering music from Charleston’s Earth-conquering metal legends.

Scarlet Revolt “Cold Town” Dark and heavy new music from one of Charleston’s hardest-working bands.

Seal “Standards” The R&B singer turns his attention toward standards, and even manages to swing a little.

Steve Martin And The Steep Canyon Rangers Bluegrass music with intelligent and amusing lyrics by a comedy legend.

Dhani Harrison “IN//Parallel” The son of the “quiet Beatle” unleashes a debut solo album that proves he follows his own musical path.

Chuck Berry “Chuck” The worthy swansong from the late grandfather of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

Emerson Lake and Palmer “FANFARE” Everything the progressive legends ever recorded in one box, with hours of unreleased live material and a book.

YES “Topographic Drama” The first recorded document of this incarnation of YES, following the death of founding member Chris Squire.

ASIA in Bulgaria See the listings for DVD/ Blu Ray

Ringo Starr “Give More Love” The bright new solo album by Ringo, with tons of guest musicians and positive vibes.

Todd Rundgren “White Knight” The Runt collaborates with a wide variety of guests to create yet another fairly epic new album.

The Rolling Stones “Their Satanic Majesties Request” box set presents the controversial Stones album in a deluxe box set that restores the 3D cover.

The Music of Louis Prima Jr.The son of The Wildest is pretty wild himself, killer retro Swing.

Ian Dury and the Blockheads “New Boots and Panties!!” The legendary album presented as a box set forty years after its release.

Thirteen Local Bands This is a list of thirteen more great albums by local musicians. Most are download-only, so you don’t have to worry about shipping or wrapping.


SHOLDIT is a scarf, but it’s also a wallet. Pretty sneaky, sis.

Guide To Cool Online Retailers Prepared for Cyber Monday, it may too late to order from them for Christmas, but you can always try your luck.

Power AirFryer XL A kitchen gadget to die for. French fries cook up crispy without oil.

Woody Numbers Tribute Shirt You can pay tribute to a fallen comrade. Miss you, Woody.

And that wraps up the 2017 PopCult Gift Guide.  At some point this weekend I will post a shorter list that just includes the local gift ideas, but for now your PopCulteer is going to kick back and try to rest a bit. Next year we will change the format of the PopCult Gift Guide (once again). The plan is to start it earlier, run five items a day, seven days a week for three weeks, and be done with it by the Monday after Thanksgiving. That way you will have plenty of time to order any gifts that can’t be found locally and not have to panic about them getting here on time.

I hope everyone has a terrific holiday season, regardless of what you worship, and rest assured, PopCult will be back with its regular features starting tomorrow.