PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

Sunday Evening Video: The Drag

This week’s Sunday Evening Video is an animated short from The National Film Board of Canada about the dangers of smoking. The Drag is a 1966 Canada anti-smoking animated short, animated and directed by Carlos Marchiori and produced by Robert Verrall and Wolf Koenig for the National Film Board of Canada. Originally aimed at young people, this short film was sponsored by the former Department of National Health and Welfare. Both entertaining and visually rich, the film is a deterrent against smoking drawn in typical ’60s modernist/pop-art style.

The film offers a comical look at dangers of addiction and the difficulties of quitting through the story of a chain smoker, recounting his experiences on a psychiatrist’s couch, and also explores the part that cigarette advertising—which was legal in those days—played in getting people hooked.

The Drag was entertaining enough that it was nominated for an Oscar for best animated short. We present it to you this week as a reminder that smoking is bad, M’kay?

Okay, we’re still running a little behind due to some technical issues here at PopCult, but I think some of the bugs are worked out, and I’m going to try to wrap this extended photo essay up with just this and one more installment. Keep your fingers crossed that the photos don’t squoosh out and wind up all over the blog page.

ToyLanta 2019 took place in Atlanta earlier this month, and one of the highlights, as always, was the amazing talent on display in the custom figure, vehicle and diorama contests. Today, with some explanation in the captions, are more of the entries.  You can see some of fhe winners in part one of this photo essay. You can also see video, which captured more entries than I did with still images HERE.

Again, special thanks to Dave “Tanker” Matteson, for running the contests and letting me swipe a few of his photos for this essay.

Monday afternoon we’ll post photos of the featured dioramas by Mike Gardner and Steve Bugg, plus some additional non-competition displays.

An overhead shot of the second-place diorama winner, Ronnie White’s “Iron Giant.” You also see it at the head of this post, and below.
Another look at this lovely, compact diorama.

Continue reading…

The RFC Flashback: Episode 177

This week we go back ot January, 2013 for episode 177. “Sock ’em Who-Bots Shirt” was the first episode of Radio Free Charleston for 2013. Host segments for this episode were recorded at The Dale Morton Studio  in Hurricane, WV. Our musical guests were Frenchy and The Punk, Flare Baroshi, and Johnny C and The Scurvy Dogs. This episode also includes a short film by K.D. Lett and an exclusive fake trailer for the MTV series “BuckWild,” with footage you won’t see anywhere else. This will be really funny for anybody who remembers that there used to be a show called “Buckwild.”

Big thanks go out to Dale Morton, who allowed us into his mascot and costume studio so that we could have loads of really cool looking stuff in the background. Plus, as a bonus, we got to shoot indoors during the winter. Dale does amazing work and has an international list of clients ranging from schools to big name corporations to well-traveled members of the cosplay community. It was a real treat to record our host segments in such a cool place. He’s still producing top-notch work, and you should follow that link if you need any mascot, costuming or cosplay work done.

Musically, this episode is loaded with great stuff. Frenchy and The Punk made a triumphant return to Radio Free Charleston with their performance of “The Confession of Jack Bonnie and Sally Clyde,” They have a new album out, which you can find at their website. Also making a triumphant return to Radio Free Charleston on this episode was Flare Baroshi, who made her mark on the show on our Halloween 2009 edition with the music video for “Vampire Mafia.”  We welcomed her back with the music video for her song “Phoenix,” co-directed by Elizabeth McCormick and Joscelyn Atkinson. Wrapping up the show this week, we had Johnny C and The Scurvy Dogs with their tender and heartfelt cover of The Go-Go’s “We Got The Beat.”

The PopCulteer
March 29, 2019

Okay, so here I am, ready to bring you the long-awaited photos of the dioramas on display at ToyLanta, which happened three weeks ago, and the internet gremlins have decided to bedevil my blogger interface. My eyes are doing much better, and I’ve slowly been editing this images for the past couple of weeks, and now I’m going to have to dole them out a few at a time.

To make a long story short (and a photo story serialized), the layout of PopCult started going nuts every time I try to post more than ten photos in one post.  It worked fine last week, but this week, not so much. So, since I have so many photos, I’m going to be divvying them up into at least four posts. And I’m going to be stretching those out over the next three or four days. You probably won’t see part two until later in the day on Saturday, and then rest will be posted Sunday and Monday, so you have bonus content to look forward to going into next week!

Today we’re going to look at winners of the custom figure, diorama and vehicle contests. In a later post or two we will bring you the rest of the contest entries, and then we’ll wrap up with the featured dioramas and displays by Mike Gardner, Steve Bugg and the displays from Clay Sayre. I also want to note that a few of the photos have been previously posted to Facebook by Dave Matteson. Dave adminstered the contests, and in many cases, he had much better photos of the figures than I did, because my hands were a bit shaky from Myasthenia Gravis. So thanks, Dave, for all the help getting the list of winners, and for the pictures I swiped.

Today, though, we focus on the contest winners. Like Jack Hall’s first-place figures, The Banana Splits, as seen at the head of this post, with more photos below.

This was pretty much the show-stopper. Jack Hall managed to come up with a set of figures and vehicles that punched all the nostalgia buttons of the folks at ToyLanta.
Jack found his inspiration with someplush dolls, then he hired master seamstress Kathy Ellis to tailor-up Banana Splits costumes to fit GI Joe. Here we see Bingo and Fleagle, and their Banana Buggies.
Here’s Drooper and Snorky (sans head), with their Banana Buggies. Fans of Mr. Cartoon, here in WV, may recognize Drooper’s head as the headpiece that eventually, minus the hat and glasses, and with a coat of paint, became the head of Beeper.
While Jack’s figures came in first place, his vehicles came in second-place over-all. The competition was fierce.
Joey Tutor’s amazingly-detailed Recon Motorcycle took first place in the custom vehicle division.
Cathy Jones won first place in the diorama catagory with her wonderful “Sunday Drive.” Every year Cathy has the coolest Steampunk entries.

 

Michael Dickey took first place in the Youth vehicle catagory with this cool Mech Suit.
Michael Dickey Also took home first place in the Youth Catagory for his cool Vietnam-era figure.
The second-place custom figure winner is the Paramarine protoype, based on the early mock-up figure made by Don Levine before they settled on the name, “GI Joe.” This was by Randy Sapp.

Okay, we want to cogratulate the winners. We have much more to bring you, but we’ve hit our limit of ten photos for this post. Check PopCult over the weekend for more posts, along with all our regular features, as we prepare to enter a new month, with loads more new pop culture news, reviews and stories for our loyal readers.

We have a full-blown PopCulteer coming your way Friday afternoon, but this morning we’re going to tell you about today’s schedule on The AIR, as Friday sees special new episodes of Radio Free Charleston International and Sydney’s Big Electric Cat, both of which pay tribute to “Ranking Roger” Charley, who passed away Tuesday afternoon. You can listen at the website, or on this embedded radio player…

Ranking Roger came to prominence as a member of The Beat (The English Beat, here in the US). He joined the band when he was still in his teens, and set the standard for toasting and dancing during the second wave Ska movement of the early 1980s. After three albums with the pioneering ska band, Roger joined Dave Wakeling, the Beat’s lead singer, in a new group, General Public, and they had several hits before going their separate ways. In recent years, Ranking Roger reformed The Beat in London, while Wakeling formed his version of the band, now officially called “The English Beat,” in Los Angeles, and the two coexisited on peaceful and friendly terms.

Last Sunday, when I posted the vintage Ska performance movie, Dance Craze here in PopCult, I mentioned that this week’s episode of Radio Free Charleston International would be devoted to Ska music. With Roger’s passing on the day before I was set to record the show, I decided to make the first hour a tribute, bringing together music from The English Beat, General Public, Roger’s solo works and his reformed version of The Beat, which just relased a great new album a few weeks ago. It was during the mixing of this new album, “Public Confidential,” that Roger fell ill, and was discovered to have two brain tumors and lung cancer. Despite all this adversity, Roger remained upbeat while doing publicity for the album.

I had originally planned to open RFC International with the song “Good Day For Sunshine” off of that new album, but now it’s the second song you hear in the show. We open with “Ranking Full Stop,” his introductory song from the original Beat.

Our graphic at the head of this post is an unused album cover that cartoonist, Hunt Emerson, posted to Facebook following the news of Roger’s death. Emerson designed flyer art and album and single sleeves for the band, and it was nice to see such a lovely tribute. I hope he’s cool with me sharing his art here. It perfectly captured Roger’s spirit.

The second hour of this week’s show jumps around with examples of first, second and third wave Ska, and I even worked in a local band. All times listed are EDT.

At 1 PM, Radio Free Charleston International goes Ska, with a tribute to Ranking Roger. Here’s the playlist…

RFCI 064

The English Beat “Ranking Full Stop”
The Beat “A Good Day For Sunshine”
Ranking Roger “One Minute Closer (To Death)”
General Public “General Public”
The English Beat “Doors Of Your Heart”
Ranking Roger “Wingmaker Dub Pt 3)
The Beat “Long Call Short Talk”
The Beat “Skank Away”
Ranking Roger “They Know”
General Public” As A Matter Of Fact”
The English Beat “Spar Wid Me”
The English Beat “Stand Down Margeret/Whine & Grind”
The Beat “Public Confidential”
The English Beat (2018) “Redemption Time”
The Specials “A Message To You, Rudy”
Desmond Dekker “The Israelites”
The Skatalites “Lucky Seven”
Madness “Night Boat To Cairo”
The Toasters “Don’t Let The Bastards Grind You Down”
Bad Manners “Lip Up Fatty”
Save Ferris “Lies”
Operation Ivy “Take Warning”
Goldfinger “You Think It’s A Joke”
Reel Big Fish “It’s Not Easy”
No Doubt “Blue In the Face”
The Selecter “Big Badoof”
The Aquabats “Idiot Box”
The Science Fair Explosion “Before It Ends”
Gogo 13 “House Ape”

Radio Free Charleston International is the show where I play whatever I want, and you can hear RFC International Friday at 1 PM, with replays Friday at  10 PM, Saturday afternoon, Sundat at 1 AM and 2 PM and Tuesday at 11 PM, exclusively on The AIR.

At 3 PM Sydney’s Big Electric Cat includes a few tributes to Roger among its two hours of New Wave bliss. Legendary London DJ, Sydney Fileen, who graces us with her presence each week, was a fixture on the London music scene in the early 80s, and counts many New Wave and Ska musicians among her personal friends. This week she plays a few tracks featuring Roger, and also brings us a set of pure British Ska of the New Wave Vintage. You can see the playlist for Sydney’s show right here…

BEC 043

General Public “Tenderness”
Ranking Roger “Falling Down”
Madness “Embarrssment”
The Selector “On My Radio”
Bad Manners “Baby Elephant Walk”
The Higsons “Run Me Down”
The Specials “Concrete Jungle
Adam and The Ants “Antmusic”
XTC “Neon Shuffle”
Small Affairs “Pictures & Magazines”
Les Enfants “Flesh and Blood”
Ultravox “Mr. X”
Toyah “Ieya”
The Dickies “You Drive Me Ape (You Big Gorilla)”
The English Beat “Rough Rider”
ABC “4 Ever 2 Gether”
Erasure “Ship of Fools”
Duran Duran “Hold Back The Rain”
Gary Numan “Are friends Electric (live)”
Joy Division “Disorder”
Ellen Foley “Stupid Girl”
Talk Talk “Dum Dum Girl”
Naked Eyes “Flag of Convenience”
Men At Work “Dr. Heckyll and Mr. Jive”
The Producers “”Femme Fatles (The Woman With The Orchid)”
Berlin “Pleasure Victim”

Each week Sydney Fileen brings you two hours of the best music of the New Wave era. Sydney’s Big Electric Cat is produced at Haversham Recording Institute in London, and can be heard on Friday at 3 PM, with replays Saturday afternoon, Tuesday at 7 AM, Wednesday at 8 PM and Thursday at 10AM, exclusively on The AIR.

Friday mornings now kick off with a 7 AM replay of the week’s new episode of Prognosis, followed by Word Association with Lee & Rudy at 9 AM and The BS Crazy Show at 9:30. This one-hour combo of Word Association and The BS Crazy Show will repeat at 9 PM, for those of you who don’t want to listen to these NSFW programs at work.

At 10 AM The AIR will broadcast The Best of The Real with Mark Wolfe. At 11 AM we’ll bring you two hours of The AIR Music Mix, featuring a great assortment of music by local artists.

Look for The PopCulteer, featuring the long-awaited ToyLanta Diorama photo essay, late Friday afternoon.

The Life And Times Of Jay Lynch

The PopCult Comix Bookshelf

Ink And Anguish: A Jay Lynch Anthology
by Jay Lynch, Ed Piskor, Patrick Rosenkranz
Fantagraphics
ISBN-13: 978-1683961468
$39.99 (discounted at Amazon)

Jay Lynch was a pioneer of the underground comix scene of the 1960s. As the founder of the Chicago scene, he acted as a publisher for Robert Crumb, Gilbert Shelton, Skip Williamson, Art Spiegleman and many other founding fathers of underground comix. He also managed to segue into a career at Topps, helping create The Garbage Pail Kids, and develop Wacky Packages.

Lynch’s main claim to fame in the underground scene was the strip, Nard ‘n’ Pat, which he wrote and drew. This was the adventures of a cat-owner who was regularly hectored and bullied by his obnoxious cat. He also wrote the long-running strip, Phoebe and The Pigeon People for The Chicago Reader, which was drawn by Gary Whitney.

Jay was also a colleague of mine at Non Sport Update Magazine, and we got to be Facebook friends for a few years before he passed away after a battle with lung cancer in 2017. It’s cool that, with this book, he’s finally getting the career recognition he deserves as a peer of Crumb, Shelton, Deitch, Spiegleman and Williamson.

Let’s go to the publisher’s blurb: “Jay Lynch was a counterculture Renaissance man whose career as cartoonist, satirist, and archivist spanned over six decades. This book is the definitive anthology of the artist’s life as he contributed to the earliest underground comix, designed timeless novelties, and eventually settled down as a painter.

Ink & Anguish: A Jay Lynch Anthology includes all his signature Nard n’ Pat stories; selections from comics like Bijou Funnies and Mineshaft; a sampling of his art for Bazooka Joe, Wacky Packages, and Garbage Pail Kids; and collaborations with Art Spiegelman, Robert Crumb, and Ed Piskor.

From his dysfunctional childhood to the day he picked out his head stone, Lynch’s life is also narrated throughout by comics historian Patrick Rosenkranz, adding to this retrospective of an American original and one of comics’ most beloved figures.”

Patrick Rosenkranz crafts a terrific, fast-paced narrative of Lynch’s life, weaving short chapters of biographical material between longer segments of Lynch’s comics and other work. Ed Piskor, Lynch’s collaborater later in his life, contributes more details and finished art for some of Jay’s last works. We not only see Lynch’s artowrk, but we get the context in which it was created.

Lynch, who would sometimes sign his work “Jayzy,” has one of those epic life stories that meanders from his childhood in New Jersey and Florida to his exodus to Chicago at the age of 17, where he became a key part of the city’s creative scene. In this book you’ll read about how he prepared the first issue of one of the key underground comix during the Chicago riots, and how he wound up writing Bazooka Joe comics for Topps, in addition to his work in the trading card industry.

This book collects a good chunk of Lynch’s work (we only get a few pages of Phoebe and The Pigeon People, which awaits its own collection someday), and in addition to the comix work, you’ll find examples of his merchandise design, trading card and packaging artwork, and in what was a little surreal for me, some of his covers for Non Sport Update, which happen to include articles that I wrote.

In addition to collecting the fine work that Lynch produced, the prose chapters paint a great picture of the life of an underground cartoonist, as he had to find a way to make a living that would allow him to practice his art.

Ink And Anguish: A Jay Lynch Anthology is a great introduction to an unjustly-overlooked cartoonist. Aside from being a key contributor to the undergound comicx movement of the 1960s, Lynch went on to teach at The Art Institute of Chicago, and write for Mad Magazine. This is a good step in recognizing the brilliance of someone who’s face belongs on the Mount Rushmore of Underground Comix.

It’s another week filled with all-new programming on The AIR, and Thursday sees a new episode of Prognosis. You can listen at the website, or on this embedded radio player…

Our new Thursday morning sees Psychedelic Shack gaining an addtional replay at 9 AM, followed by a replay of the previous week’s edition of Sydney’s Big Electric Cat at 10 AM and Radio Free Charleston International at Noon. Then at 2 PM we replay this week’s new episode of Radio Free Charleston, before kicking into a brand-new Prognosis at 3 PM.

This week on Prognosis Herman Linte presents another two-hour burst of Progressive Rock with tunes from King Crimson ,Fish, Dream Theater and more. You can read the playlist right here:

Prognosis 043

Dream Theater “Barstool Warrior”
Coheed and Cambria “Toys”
ESP “Wings To Fly”
Fish “Waverly Steps”
KIng Crimson “Starless” (Live 2018)
Pink Floyd “Two Suns In The Sunset”
Steve Hackett “There are Many Sides To The Night”
Manfred Mann’s Earth Band “Starbird”
Keith Emerson Band “Tarkus”
Yes “Gates of Delirium”
Robert Berry “In These Eyes”

Prognosis can be heard every Thursday at 3 PM, with replays Friday at 7 AM, Saturday at 10 AM, Tuesday at 8 PM and Wednesday at 10 PM, exclusively on The AIR. Also tune in Monday at 11 PM for a weekly eight-hour marathon of the best of Prognosis.

Tomorrow we’ll tell you about a very special Ska tribute to Ranking Roger on Radio Free Charleston International, plus we’ll bring you the details on a new edition of Sydney’s Big Electric Cat. Later Today The PopCult Bookshelf should return.

It’s time to welcome Spring with more new programming on The AIR, Wednesday brings new episodes of Beatles Blast and Curtain Call to our sister internet radio station. You can listen at the website, or on this embedded radio player…

In the morning, following our regular 7 AM replay of the previous day’s episode of The Swing Shift, we will bring you up to date with Prognosis at 9 AM and Psychedelic Shack at 11 AM.  At noon tune in for Word Association iwth Lee & Rudy, followed by 90 minutes of The AIR Music Mix.  All times listed inthis post are Eastern, by the way.

At 2 PM it’s a new episode of Beatles Blast that dives into the vast and uncharted waters of cover versions of Beatles tunes. Presented in a mixtape format, you’ll hear everyone from Manfred Mann’s Earth Band to Willie Nelson and all the musical styles between.

Beatles Blast offers up a new episode every Wednesday at 2 PM, with replays Thursdays at 9 PM, Saturday mornings, and Sunday at 5 PM, exclusively on The AIR.

At 3 PM Mel Larch presents a new hour of great musical theater on Curtain Call.  This week Mel opens with a song from Ain’t Too Proud, the new musical based on the life of the Temptations.  The rest f the show is filled with gems of the stage, ranging from huge hit songs to obscure classics. Check out the playlist:

Curtain Call 058 Playlist

“Shout” Ain’t Too Proud: The Life And Times of The Tempations
“Hello Dolly” performed by Pearl Baily
“Die, Vampire, Die” [Title of Show]
“Eating Myself Up Alive” A New Brain
“The Baseball Song” Falsettoland
“I’m Alive” Next To Normal
“Lovefool” Cruel Intentions A 90s Musical
“Sweet Summer Days” Mythic
“I’ll Build A Stairway To Paradise” An American In Paris
“Brush Up Your Shakespeare” performed by Charles Nelson Reilly and Robert Morse
“It All Comes Back (Opening)” Fun Home Off-broadway cast
“I Could Not Have Dreamed Him” Andy Capp
“He Come Down this Morning” Raisin

After the new hour of Curtain Call, stick around for two additional episodes from the Curtain Call archives. Curtain Call can be heard Wednesday at 3 PM, with replays Thursday at 7 AM and 8 PM and Saturday at 6 PM. An all-night marathon of Curtain Call episodes can be heard Wednesday nights, beginning at Midnight.

New programming returns with a splash Tuesday on The AIR as we introudce new episodes of Radio Free Charleston, Psychedelic Shack and The Swing Shift into the mix. Why don’t you take the time and give it a listen at the website, or on this embedded radio player…

It all kicks off at 10 AM (with a replay at 10 PM– all times EDT) with a brand-new edition of Radio Free Charleston. Now in its thirtieth year, RFC continues to bring you more local music than any other source. This week we begin with new music from Emmalea Deal, and then jump all over the stylistic map with rock, country, ambient, progressive jazz, alternative and more kinds of music than some people might think we have in West Virginia.

Check out the playlist here:

RFCv4102

Emmalea Deal “Queen”
Todd Burge “Of The Birds” (For Bill Thompson III)
Half Batch “Long Time Traveller”
William Matheny “Living Half To Death”
The Big Bad “Nobody Makes It Out Of Here Alive”
Neostra “Obscurity and Release”
Todd Tamenend Clark “Talons of The Raptor”
Poor Man’s Gravy “Disappoint You”
Beneath “Visage”
Kathy Mattea and Tim “O’Brien “Gentle On My Mind”
Flare Baroshi “Vampire Mafia”

Following the 10 AM debut of this episode, you can stick around and listen to three previously-aired shows, for a four-hour local music fix.

Radio Free Charleston can be heard Tuesday at 10 AM and 10 PM, with replays Thursday at 2 PM, Friday at 8 PM, Saturday at 11 AM and Midnight and Sunday at 1 PM, exclusively on The AIR.

At 2 PM on Psychedelic Shack Nigel Pye checks in from Haversham Recording Institute with a 60-minute mixtape of groovy Psychedelic Rock. Here’s what Nigel has in store this week:

Psychedelic Shack 017

The Claypool Lennon Delirium “Amethyst Realm”
10 CC “Art For Art’s Sake”
The Nice “Ars Longa Vita Brevis”
The Residents “Good Vibes”
The Beatles “I’m Only Sleeping”
Pink Floyd “Summer ’68”
Matt Berry “Angi”
Manfred Mann “Up The Junction”
Katie Melua “Nine Million Bicycles”
Jethro Tull “Move On Alone”

Psychedelic Shack can be heard Tuesday’s at 2 PM, with replays Wednesday at 11 AM, Thursday at 5 PM and Saturday at 7 AM and the next Tuesday at 9 AM.

At 3 PM your PopCulteer returns to host a new hour of The Swing Shift as we continue to bring you the best Swing Music of the last century.

Here’s this week’s playlist:

The Swing Shift 065

Big Joe and the Dynaflows “Great, Great Pleasure”
Bill Potts “It Ain’t Necessarily So”
The Cluster Sisters “Route 66”
Count Basie “One O’Clock Jump”
Hot Swing Sextet “Lagwood Walk”
The Cat’s Pajamas “Bourbon Street Parade”
Dave Stuckey & The Hot House Gang “‘Tain’t No Use”
Royal Crown Revue “Take A Long Drink For Me”
Dan Barrett “Little Jazz”
Benny Goodman “Benny Rides Again”
The Monkey Swingers “St. James Infirmary
Marty Elkins “Day In Day Out”
Woody Herman “Crown Royal”

You can hear The Swing Shift Tuesday at 3 PM, with replays Wednesday at 7 AM, Thursday at 7 PM and Saturday at 9 AM, only on The AIR. You can also hear all-night marathons, seven hours each, starting at Midnight Thursday and Sunday evenings.

Remember, you can tune in to The AIR at all hours of the day and night for a variety and quality of programming that you will not find anywhere else. Check PopCult every day this week for details on our new episodes.

 

 

 

Monday Morning Art: Early Morning Atlanta

 

What you see above is an actual pencil sketch I did based on a photograph on my phone of the Atlanta Skyline, as seen riding in traffic, very early in the morning… before it becomes insane. I was supposed to be resting my eyes this weekend, but I found the original photo on my phone, and in a dimly-lit room sketched this based on it. I hadn’t held a pencil in months, but a couple of hours and many hand cramps later, I had this.

Of course, then I had to hook my scanner back up for the first time in over a year, so I could get this image into the computer to share it with you. Having done that, I couldn’t resist the urge to paint over it digitally in an attempt to capture the weird early-morning colors of the original scene. That digital painting came out okay, so you can see it at the bottom of this post. But the one on top is the one I’m happiest with. You can click both of them for a closer look.

Meanwhile, Monday on The AIR,  7 AM sees a mini-marathon of Prognosis, our progressive rock showcse, hosted by Herman Linte, which comes at you for eight hours.  Then at 3 PM you can settle in for eight hours of great New Wave music with Sydney’s Big Electric Cat. At 11 PM you can spend you overnights with eight more hours of the best Progressive Rock of the last half-century on Prognosis.  It’s like a Big Electric Cat sandwich, with Prognosis as the bread.

You can listen to The AIR at the website, or on this embedded radio player…

And here’s the painted version of today’s art…