PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

THE 2018 POPCULT GIFT GUIDE MASTER LIST

The PopCulteer
November 9, 2018

Well, I made it through the month. There were a few times when I thought I might not. The 2018 PopCult Gift Guide is in the books, and this is the index. Below you will find all the items I recommended as holiday gift ideas this year, with their names being live links so that you can jump right to the post where I make my suggestion.

This year I decided to try to spread the gift guide over the entire month of November, with two or three posts every day. I think it’s safe to say that I won’t be doing that again. It seesm like I kicked into things too early, and burned myself out in the process. So next year I might do the gift guide after Thanksgiving, and maybe have five to ten posts each day for a week to ten days.  However, aside from the grueling pace I created for myself and the forced withdrawal from social media or watching television, I think this might be the best Gift Guide that I’ve ever done. So here, organizized into rough catagories, is The 2018 PopCult Gift Guide:

(Note that some items are listed more than once because I’m lazy or something)

APPAREL

Lady D ‘s Not Just Music

Mitch O’Connell Leave It To Beaver Monster Shirts

TranslunaGen Shirts

Greenlight Tees

 

BEATLES

John Lennon: Imagine – The Ultimate Collection/Complete Fan Bundle

The Beatles (White Album) Super Deluxe Edition

The Beatles Yellow Submarine Graphic Novel

Paul McCartney “Egypt Station”

The Roof: The Beatles’ Final Concert

 

BOOKS

Pinpricks: A Book of Tiny and Terrible Oddities.

Bastard Battalion: A History of the 83rd Chemical Mortar Battalion in World War II

Comic Book Implosion

Democracy in Chains: The Deep History of the Radical Right’s Stealth Plan for America

Stranger Things: Worlds Turned Upside Down: The Official Behind-the-Scenes Companion

Forever Nerdy: Living My Dorky Dreams and Staying Metal

The Best Of SHOCKED AND AMAZED! – On & Off the Midway

New GI Joe Books From Thomas Wheeler

The Joy of Joe: Memories of America’s Movable Fighting Man from Today’s Grown-Up Kids

Exotica Moderne Magazine

The Roof: The Beatles’ Final Concert

 

COMICS

Frankenstein Alive Alive

Akira 35th Anniversary Box Set

The Prisoner Jack Kirby Gil Kane Art Edition

The Creeps Magazine Fan Club

The Beatles Yellow Submarine Graphic Novel

Super Patriotic Heroes

Charlton Comics Classics

A Bunch of Jews (and other stuff)

The Best of Don Winslow of the Navy

Batman: The Complete Animated Series (Deluxe Limited Edition)

Reefer Madness Comics

Joe Kubert’s Tarzan of the Apes Artist’s Edition

DC Universe

Forbidden Gallery #3

 

GAMES

Rick and Morty Games

Yeti In My Spaghetti

Relative Insanity The Party Game About Crazy Relatives

 

LOCAL CREATORS OR SHOPS

Pinpricks: A Book of Tiny and Terrible Oddities.

Karen Allen: Here We Are Now

Bastard Battalion: A History of the 83rd Chemical Mortar Battalion in World War II

William Matheny: Moon Over Kenova/”Christian Name”

Local Spotlight: Oddbird Emporium

Todd Burge: The First Album and Your Reflection Will Kill You

Glen Brogan Art

Lady D ‘s Not Just Music

Local Spotlight: Two Tinkers Jewelry and Fine Art

Ann Magnuson: “The Sun Don’t Care”

Local Spotlight: Art Emporium

Moonage Daydream: The David Bowie Songbook

Local Spotlight: Kin Ship Goods

Eat Local

Local Spotlight: Record Store Day Special Release

Rabin’s Relics

Local Spotlight: Route 60 Music

TranslunaGen Shirts

Local Spotlight: The Purple Moon

Greenlight Tees

 

MUSIC

Karen Allen: Here We Are Now

John Lennon: Imagine – The Ultimate Collection/Complete Fan Bundle

William Matheny: Moon Over Kenova/”Christian Name”

Dr. Demento: Covered In Punk

SpongeBob Squarepants The Musical Original Cast Recording

Todd Burge: The First Album and Your Reflection Will Kill You

The Beatles (White Album) Super Deluxe Edition

The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society

Lady D ‘s Not Just Music

Small Faces “Ogden’s Nut Gone Flake”

Ann Magnuson: “The Sun Don’t Care”

Best Of R.E.M. At The BBC

Moonage Daydream: The David Bowie Songbook

Matt Berry:Television Themes

Music From Big Pink – 50th Anniversary Super Deluxe

The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown – Deluxe Box Set

Paul McCartney “Egypt Station”

I Don’t Know How They Found Me, But They Did: 1981 Extended Play

 

TOYS

THE 2018 HESS RV WITH ATV AND MOTORBIKE

IAMElemental Action Figure Gift Sets

LEGO Creator Expert James Bond Aston Martin DB5

BLUE LIGHTNING – E-Z APP TRAIN CONTROL Train Set

LEGO Harry Potter 71043 Hogwarts Castle

Auto World 10′ Route 66 Slot Race Set

Hot Wheels Track Builder System Race Crate

STRESS MANATEE

MEGO Figures at Target

Fresh Dolls/Fresh Squad

 

VIDEO

The IT Crowd: The Complete Series

Best of Warner Bros 20 Film Collection: Best Pictures

The Completely Mental Misadventures of Ed Grimley

Batman: The Complete Animated Series (Deluxe Limited Edition)

Tex Avery’s Droopy: The Complete Theatrical Collection

DC Universe

 

OTHER COOL STUFF

The Creeps Magazine Fan Club

Retro Planet Tiki Mugs

Glen Brogan Art

Local Spotlight: Two Tinkers Jewelry and Fine Art

Ann Magnuson: “The Sun Don’t Care”

Pulling Gifts Out of Uranus

MST3K trading cards

STRESS MANATEE

The Lights of Broadway Show Cards

Cyber Monday Guide

Rabin’s Relics

Earth III Guitar Straps

Local Spotlight: Route 60 Music

Local Spotlight: The Purple Moon

Exotica Moderne Magazine

 

There you have The 2018 PopCult Gift Guide Master List. I hope this has been a useful endeavor for my readers, and maybe alerted you to some great gift ideas for your loved ones…;or yourself.

Tomorrow PopCult reverts back to its normal (ish) self, with our regular features and at least one post per day. Next week on The AIR we’re scrambling the schedule and running marathons so that those of you who have yet to take the plunge can tune in and sample some different programs.

 

Forbidden Gallery #3

Forbidden Gallery #3

Our month-long journey to bring you the coolest gift ideas from the world of pop culture concludes with a comic book that I reviewed enthusiastically just a few weeks ago. This is our final pick in The 2018 PopCult gift Guide.

If the person on your holiday shopping list likes great horror comics, say, the kind that combine classic EC Comics with Rod Serling’s Night Gallery, then you can’t go wrong with Forbidden Gallery #3.

As I said in my review, this third issue continues the wonderful combination of veteran talents with bright newcomers and creates a perfect comics experience for the Halloween season with five scary short stories , all hosted by Archimedes, the curator of the Forbidden Gallery. Forbidden Gallery #3 is a worthy successor to the excellent previous two issues .

Now, you can get Forbidden Gallery #3, as well as the first two issues, plus ACP Comics T Shirts and posters for 25% off their regular price, and on top of that, 25% of all proceeds will be donated to Hero Initiative, the charity that helps comic book professionals who have come upon hard times. All you have to do is visit the ACP Comics website for details.

You get the chance to load up on great comics and goodies, plus help out a worthwhile charity, all the while putting a smile on the face of your comic book-loving loved one. You can’t go wrong with that.

With that, we wrap up The 2018 PopCult Gift Guide. This may be the last time that we devote an entire month to the Gift Guide, as it has been exhausting. We aren’t done yet, though. A special PopCulteer with the master list to this year’s guide is still coming later this afternoon, and we’ll be reminding you of some of our suggestions all next week, so stay tuned to PopCult.

All of our regular blog features return tomorrow.

Fresh Dolls/Fresh Squad

Fresh Dolls/Fresh Squad

Next up in The 2018 PopCult Gift Guide we find a great new line of African-American fashion dolls, Fresh Dolls, and their male counterparts, Fresh Squad.

Created by Dr. Lisa, of World of EPI fame, Fresh Dolls came on the scene last year hoping to fill a void in the fashion doll market. An extension of the Positively Perfect baby doll line, Fresh Dolls were designed with a variety of custom-blended skin tones ranging from deep mocha, caramel, latte, and even blended. They have authentic facial features, like beautiful full lips, and cute noses and eyes. Their stylish hair features braids, afros, afro-puffs, wavy and curly styles. FRESH doll bodies are specifically designed to be more representative of multicultural young women so they have fuller hips, thighs and more realistic waists.

Due to popular demand, The Fresh Dolls are getting male companions. Shipping December 1 is The Fresh Squad, three male fashion dolls, with the same attention to multicultural detail and sharp design sense. That’s also the date that Fresh Dolls releases their second wave of female figures, including YouTube sensation, Froggy.

These dolls are of interest not only for fashion doll fans, but also for action figure customizers. With a greater amount of articulation, and a much more diverse range of face sculpts and skin tones, these dolls are easily adapted into action figure dioramas, and can greatly expand a hobbyist’s selection of different characters with which to work. They’re very well-made, with terrific headsculpts and the rooted hair is much more realistic that what you find on a typical fashion doll. These are quality products.

You can find Fresh Dolls at most toy retailers, as well as Amazon and their own website. In order to get the guys from Fresh Squad, or the second wave of Fresh Dolls in time for Christmas, you’ll have to order directly from the website.

Fresh Dolls and Fresh Squad are great gift ideas for young girls who find Barbie to be a little too bland for their tastes, and also for 1/6 dioramists who want a larger cast of characters.

 

Greenlight Tees

Greenlight Tees

We begin the final day of The 2018 PopCult Gift Guide with a new T-Shirt line designed right here in Charleston. Greenlight Tees offers a new concept, postive affirmations written in an attractive font, printed in reverse so that the person seeing them in a mirror can read them.

For an explanation, we turn to their Facebook page:

Green light Tees is a women’s line of t shirts (and more coming soon!) that focus on sending out a positive, self-affirming message.But here’s the cool part… The message is written backwards! We do it this way because the message is for YOU, not everyone else to read. The most important person to impress and live up to is yourself.

Why’s it all backwards? The point of GreenLight Tees is that the only person you need approval from is yourself! These shirts aren’t designed to shout a message to every random stranger you meet, but for you to remind yourself every time you look in the mirror that you are IMPORTANT, SPECIAL, BEAUTIFUL, and LOVED. (Plus, when you take selfies, you can read the design.)

So, when you’re about to walk out the door, getting ready for the day, or just happen to catch a glance of yourself in a mirror, you’ll be reminded that you are beautiful, strong, and unique.

The shirts are available in a wide variety of designs, colors, and sizes at The Greenlight Tees webstore, and would make a great gift for any woman who deserves a little affirmation in her life.

The Roof: The Beatles’ Final Concert

The Roof: The Beatles’ Final Concert
by Ken Mansfield
Post Hill Press
ISBN-13: 978-1682617571
$28,00 (discounted at Amazon)

Just when you thought every possible word that could be written about the Beatles had been writ, up pops a new book with new insight from somebody who was there. This book, penned by the former manager of Apple Records’ US division, is a great gift idea for the die-hard Bealtemaniac on your holiday shopping list.

Just published a couple of weeks ago, The Roof: The Beatles’ Final Concert, was written by Ken Mansfield, billed on the cover as “The Man In The White Coat.” Coming up on the fifteith anniversary of the January 30, 1969 concert that closed the movie, Let It Be, Mansfield gives us new details on how this strange and epic event came to happen.

In this book, Apple Records former US manager Ken Mansfield takes a touching and comprehensive look back on one of Rock’n’Roll’s most significant events, while bringing an insider’s perspective to the days leading up to those 42 fascinating minutes of the Beatles monumental Rooftop Concert.

There are moments in time that cause us to stop and take notice of where we were and what we were doing when they happen in order to commit the experience to memory—how it made us feel, who was there with us, why it felt important. January 30, 1969 was one of those moments.

There are those who were on the periphery of the event that day and heard what was going on; but as one of the few remaining insiders who accompanied the Beatles up onto the cold windswept roof of the Apple building, Ken Mansfield had a front row seat to the full sensory experience of the moment and witnessed what turned out to be beginning of the end. Ken shares in The Roof: The Beatles Final Concert, the sense that something special was taking place before his eyes that would live on forever in the hearts and souls of millions.

As the US manager of Apple, Ken Mansfield was on the scene in the days, weeks, and months leading up to this monumental event. He shares his insights into the factors that brought them up onto that roof and why one of the greatest bands of all time left it all on that stage. Join Ken as he reflects on the relationships he built with the Fab Four and the Apple corps and what each player meant to this symphony of music history.

Any Bealtes fanatic will want this book, which can be ordered from any bookseller, using the ISBN code, or…well, you know the drill.

To see what all the fuss is about, check out this excerpt of The Beatles’ rooftop concert, as they perform “Don’t Let Me Down”

 

Exotica Moderne Magazine

Exotica Moderne Magazine

Our next pick in The 2018 PopCult Gift Guide is a new magazine dedicated to Tiki Culture and its related ephemera, Exotica Moderne.

Exotica Moderne is a quarterly publication showcasing the new tiki and lowbrow art and artists, exotic cocktails, kustom kulture, music and more. Focusing on where these genres have been and where they are heading, Exotica Moderne features emerging artists as well as those spearheading these movements. Where all of these subcultures meet and intersect, Exotica Moderne covers next wave of tiki and lowbrow art.

Regular Features include: Tiki with Ray ; Cocktail Hour; Moving in Stereo; and Private Oasis. There have been two issues published so far, and they can be ordered directly from the magazine’s publisher, House of Tabu, who also offer some cool Mugs and other items like shot glasses and memberships in The Order of The Golden Fez.

Determined not to fall into the trap that has ensnared some other Tiki magazines, Exotica Moderne does not offer subscriptions. You can sign up for their email list, and you will be notified when the new issue is available to order. It’s neater that way. Nothing beats being able to flip through a magazine and find great articles and cool graphics about stuff that just screams “COOL” at the top of its lungs.

This is a great gift for the Tiki fan on your holiday shopping list who still reads paper magazines, and it’s cheap enough to be a stocking stuffer. You can order it HERE.

Local Spotlight: The Purple Moon

One of the pillars of the “Downtown Cool” places to shop in Charleston is The Purple Moon. Chuck and Connie Hamsher’s store is filled with Mid-century art, furniture, decor and design delights.

West Virginia’s only shop dedicated to vintage mid-century modern and contemporary design, furnishings, accessories, and art. Their store, tucked away at 817 Quarrier Street, right in the heart of downtown Charleston is a treasure trove of atomic age delights. Chuck and Connie Hamsher have created a terrific space where Charlestonians can finally find all that cool retro stuff that we see on the Home & Garden channel when they do a post-modern weekend.

The Purple Moon has been featured in PopCult since our first year blogging, and in that time we’ve seen them move to new locations twice as they expand and improve their mission to preserve the coolest stuff of the past seventy years for our enjoyment and enlightenment.

Saturday, December 1, is Chuck’s 60th birthday, and to celebrate there will be hot chocolate and candy canes given out in front of The Purple Moon and Art Emporium, and Santa will be at the Purple Moon to meet kids and help out with The Sonjourners Toy Drive. Charleston is even throwing a parade in Chuck’s honor, although some folks might mistake it for the annual Christmas Parade. Check out the event page HERE.

Or course, we’re mentioning The Purple Moon here because you ought to be able to find great gifts for anyone on your list among their offerings. Whether you’re looking for Blenko glassware, small or large pieces of art, furniture or any sort of cool knick-knackery, chances are you’ll find it here. The Purple Moon is open Tuesday through Saturday, from 10 AM to 6 PM (8 PM on Thursdays).

TranslunaGen Shirts

TranslunaGen Shirts

Today’s local pick for The 2018 PopCult Gift Guide points you to the webstore of TranslunaGen, where you can buy all manner of shirts emblazoned images, logos and album art by great local bands like Aaron Fisher and Ghost Fleet and Hurl Brickbat.

TranslunaGen is the new graphics and advertising company managed by acclaimed area singer-songwriter, Aaron Fisher, who you may have seen with Aaron Fisher and Ghost Fleet, or with many of the other bands that he’s worked with over the years. Aaron is also the owner-operator of The Fishbowl Recording.

In addition to band shirts, you can also find garments with Aaron Fisher’s photography and art. Aaron has a great eye as well as a great ear, and he delivers the full package as a musician, producer and photographer.

Aaron will be launching a video series, “Art on Art” very soon, and it’s cool to see the creativity on display right here in Charleston.

These shirts are the perfect gift for fans of Aaron’s music or art or the bands he produces, or just for anyone who wants to support the local scene. Visit the website HERE.

The Joy of Joe: Memories of America’s Movable Fighting Man from Today’s Grown-Up Kids
edited by Jim Beard, Bill Nedrow and Justin Bell
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN-13: 978-1720307273
$9.99

Today’s second entry in The 2018 PopCult Gift Guide is another cool book about GI Joe. This time it covers the entire history of the original action figure from 1964 to the present, with a collection of essays that make this the perfect gift for anybody who grew up as a fan of GI Joe.

The Joy of Joe: Memories of America’s Movable Fighting Man from Today’s Grown-Up Kids is a compendium of heart-tugging essays from folks who had their lives touched by GI Joe.  For well over fifty years the joy that kids feel for G.I. Joe, Hasbro’s toy phenomenon, stands as nothing short of amazing. Few other creations can boast of such an enduring love from fans of all ages across the globe.

Fall in with thirty such fans as they tell tales of childhoods marching alongside Joe through action and adventure, creating memories that have lasted lifetimes. THE JOY OF JOE will amuse you and touch your heart!

Featuring essays by Paul Kupperberg, Fabian Nicieza, Jerry Ordway, Dave West, Alan Porter, and many more. I’ve even got some Facebook friends among the contributors to this book. Beard, Nedrow and Bell have compiled an amazing Valentine to Hasbro’s greatest hero.

I got my hard copy directly from Jim Beard at the final GI Joe Club Convention last June, but this book really puts you in the mood for Christmas. It’s the perfect gift for any kid at heart who loves GI Joe. You can find it at Amazon.

I Don’t Know How They Found Me, But They Did: 1981 Extended Play

Today’s first pick in The 2018 PopCult Gift Guide is the debut EP by a new band (that’s actually been together for a few years), I Don’t Know How They Found Me But They Did, a duo consisting of Dallon Weekes of Panic At The Disco and Ryan Seaman. formerly of the band Falling In Reverse. Some folks shorten their name to IDKHOW. You might want to remember it. These guys could be the biggest band of the 1980s!

The band caught my eyes and ears with the single, “Do It All The Time,” which you can see at the bottom of this post. As you can tell, this tune occupies a sonic space displaced in time somewhere between DEVO and The Buggles, circa 1980.

Aside from the strong New Wave influence, the band also shows off a familiarity with “Nuggets” style garage rock, grunge, glam and BritPop…all things that make your PopCulteer’s ears perk up.

I Don’t Know How They Found Me, But They Did released “1981: Extended Play” just a couple of weeks ago, and you ought to be able to find it at any store that sells new music, or take the easy route and hit up Amazon. It’s six great songs for eight bucks. Can’t go wrong with that. You can even get it on vinyl and cassette, directly from the band’s website.

It’s the perfect gift for the hip retro musicologist on your holiday shopping list.

But first, check out the video and see if it tickles your fancy.