PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

The PopCulteer
August 19, 2022

It’s a week for a few random notes, so let’s dive in…

Poor Groucho

Forty-five years ago today, Groucho Marx, one of my personal heroes (as a comedian, not the way he conducted his life) passed away.

And nobody gave a crap because Elvis died two days earlier and was still getting all the press.

Seriously, even the local papers (on the 20th) stuck Groucho’s obit on page 12 and 15, while Elvis was still front page news.

Now, I’m not knocking The King, but 1977 was the year before I got interested in music. Comedy was my bag, and it was pretty galling that my “King” got shunted off to the back pages so that Elvis could be on page one for another two weeks.

I’m not exaggerating here. The death of Elvis was front-page news for more than two weeks. It sold papers, which considering that nothing sells papers anymore is quite remarkable.

Anyway, since I have this blog here I can, just 45 years late, say what I want about Groucho and not waste any more time talking about Elvis.

Man, it really sucks that Groucho died.

I guess that would’ve been more satisfying if more folks had said it back then.

At least Rob Zombie won’t be directing that movie about Groucho now. I don’t think I would’ve been able to watch it with Sherri Zombie as Groucho.

Radio Notes

For the next 8 or 9 days on our sister internet radio station, The AIR, we will be running 24-hour marathons of our specialty programming. If you’re a fan, you can soak in the gloriousness of it all from one midnight to the next.

You can listen to The AIR at The Website, or on the little embedded playeright here…

Why would I pull such a programming stunt? The answer is simple.

I need a week off from making radio so I can catch up on other stuff in the blog, and prepare for a mini trip for my anniversary, which is one week from today.

Starting Saturday at midnight (that’s late Friday night), you can hear 24 hours of Nigel Pye’s Psychedelic Shack. Sunday tune in for Herman Linte’s progressive rock showcase, Prognosis.

Monday will see The Swing Shift, and Tuesday will bring you Radio Free Charleston.

I’ll have posts up each day after that to let you know what program will begin at midnight that night.

More Stuff To Do

A nagging technical glitch is liimiting the number of graphics I can include in each post here at PopCult, and this week there is a ton of things you can do, so I’ve got a few leftovers.

First, a note about flood relief efforts in Campbell’s Creek, and where folks who need food can get it…

 

Second, a note about a really cool GI Joe show happening in Hershey, Pennsylvania on Saturday. Mel and I had a blast when we went to this show in 2019, but it wasn’t in the cards or the budget this year. If you’re in the area, check it out…

 

Finally, Saturday there’s another cool show at The Loud in Huntington, with several great bands for just ten bucks.

 

And with that, this PopCulteer is in the books. Check back for our regular features and fresh content every day.

Special note: PopCult may disappear from this location at The Charleston Gazette-Mail soon. Don’t miss out on our new posts at our NEW HOME. Bookmark the new site, and subscribe to our RSS feed. You can also follow PopCult and Rudy Panucci on social media at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Yet Another Look at The Kentuckiana GI Joe Toy Expo

This is the last batch of photos I took at The Kentuckiana GI Joe Toy Expo last month.  Apologies for dragging these out, but our technical restraints here at the blog (I can’t currently include more than ten photos in a post) combined with an influx of mundane and time-consuming paying work, caused delays.

I do plan one more photo essay of the cool stuff I got at the show, but that will have to wait until I have time to unpack it and take photos.

It’s been that hectic, juggling the blog with the radio station with the paying gigs and with other obligations, I haven’t had time to even look at the cool figures, playsets and custom stuff that I picked up at the show.

In fact, tomorrow I’ll be telling you about a radio programming stunt for The AIR that is designed to lighten my workload a bit next week so that I can get away to celebrate my eighth wedding anniversary.

But the cool part of today’s photo essay is the inclusion of photos of the prototypes of Super Joe Unlimited. Ths is the revival of the unjustly-overlooked 8-plus inch-tall incarnation of GI Joe that existed between the Adventure Team and the Real American Hero.  New, sturdier, figures are being designed and tooled up, and hopefully we’ll have some exciting news about how you can buy these before the end of the year.

Sadly, most of the photos I took of the prototypes on display fell victim to a defective SD Card, but we got a few good pics, and you can find more images and information at their Facebook Page, along with up-to-date news.

After the Super Joe Unlimited pictures, we have a few more shots of the cool toys at The 2022 Kentuckiana GI Joe Toy Expo…

A slimmer Gor, Darkon and Super Joe, prototypes on display.
Gor, The King of the Terrons!
Prototypes for new characters and helmets.
“We’re getting the band back together!”
More vintage goodness. It was only a lack of space in stately Radio Free Charleston Manor that kept this scramble van from coming home with me.
More recent 12″ figures.
More 3D printed goodies from Brad Curry’s Bee-Active Toys.
Aside from the Action Man and Star Wars stuff, I already had most of this stuff. Still cool to see it in the wild.
Finally we glimpse some Dragon figures and some MEGOs. Good stuff to be found ’round every corner at Kentuckiana.

A very busy week of STUFF TO DO

There is a ton of stuff to do in and around Charleston this week, so let’s dive in.

First, my feature pick is the evening of restored Max Fleischer cartoons that will be screened at The Alban Arts Center on Saturday. You can find full details at the Facebook event page, but I’ll let you know a little more about it here with a quote from that very page:

Join Betty Boop, Popeye, Superman, and pals in this rare opportunity to see classic Fleischer Studios cartoons from the 1920s and 1930s on the big screen – featuring all-new, absolutely stunning prints taken from the best surviving sources!  This event is also a fundraiser to help the Fleischers preserve and restore more of their classic animated shorts, in collaboration with Rockin’ Pins and a group of cartoon enthusiasts and collectors.  You may have seen these shorts before, but you’ve never seen them like this!

Admission is ten dollars, with half the proceeds going toward restoring more Fleischer cartoon classics.

Wednesday AEW Wrestling returns to Charleston for a live broadcast of Dynamite, and a taping of Rampage.  Before that action begins a the Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center, right next door at the Beni Kedem Temple a Mini-Wrestling Convention will be held from 2:30 PM to 5:30 PM. Admission is free, and fans can pay for autographs and photos with legends like Kurt Angle and Ronnie Garvin.

Also Wednesday, Summerfest kicks off in South Charleston.  For four days you can enjoy music, food vendors, family fun and a car show, on Saturday. Local bands, performing nightly at 6 M, include Non Friction, Hair Supply, The Esquires and City Heat. The music is free, and it’s always a fun time partying around the Mound on D Street.

Thursday, ArtWalk returns to Charleston’s downtown area as galleries open up to show off new works in the early evening.

Live Music is back at Taylor Books. There is no cover charge, and shows start at 7:30 PM. Friday it’s Matt Mullins. Saturday sees The Parchute Brigade at Charleston’s Bookstore/coffeehouse/art gallery institution.

If you are into GI Joe and don’t mind a long, long drive, this weekend the Hershey Toy Show takes place in Hershey, Pennsylvania. We went a few years ago, and it’s a great time, but we couldn’t make the schedule work to attend this year.

Please remember that the pandemic is not over yet. Many people who have very good reasons are still wearing masks, and many of us, understandably, are still nervous about being in crowds, masked or not. Be kind and understanding  while you’re out.

If you wanna hear something funny,  tune in to The AIR Wednesday night at 11 PM where we will offer up a new episode of The Comedy Vault, this time featuring an hour of Classic material from Richard Pryor.

If you’re up for going out, here are some suggestions for the rest of this week, roughly in order, but not divided by day. Since we’re running this feature early this week, there’s bound to be more cool things pop up…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s a special day on The AIR  as we premere a new episode of The Swing Shift, plus we have a landmark new Radio Free Charleston too. You simply have to point your cursor over and tune in at the website, or you could just stay here and  listen to the cool embedded player right here…

Today we had to figure out what to do to celebrate Radio Free Charleston Volume Five #100, which you can hear at 10 AM and 10 PM Tuesday.  I decided to make the whole three-hour show almost all local, and present double-shots of music from all over the RFC Archives of the last 30-plus years.

To be honest, this isn’t quite the milestone that it seems to be. This is the third time Radio Free Charleston has hit episode 100. Heck, our video show (Volume Two) passed 200, and is still running. This is the 100th three-hour episode of the show, which reformatted this way back at the beginning of 2020.  In case you’re wondering, Volume One was the first, broadcast radio, incarnation of RFC, which ran from Labor Day 1989 to May, 1990. Volume Two is the video show, which began in 2006, and is still running as an annual special. Volume Three had about 45 episodes on the internet radio station, Voices of Appalachia, from 2014 to 2015. Voices of Appalachia re-branded as OnTheAIRadio, and then simply “The AIR” in 2016, and that’s when I started the numbering over as Volume 4, which was a solid hour of local music.  I also launched RFC International at that time, which allowed me to return to my free-format radio roots, much like the original broadcast version of the program.

Then in 2020 I decided to combine RFC and RFC International, and make it even more like the original version of the show. One of the joys of the first incarnation of the show was that I could play local musicians side-by-side with their musical heroes. I missed that, and also wanted a little more freedom to make radio anarchy like I did in my youth.

So basically, while this is #100 of Volume Five, if you count The RFC MINI SHOW and RFC International in the mix, I’m probably closing in on 600 radio and video programs under the RFC banner.

For this show, I decided to go all-local, which is something else that I did a few times back in 1989 and 90.

We open the show with a couple of songs from Three Bodies that I co-produced with Spencer Elliott about 31 years ago (and won’t shut up about). We contine with a mix of vintage music from 1987 to 2020, and several new tunes that haven’t been heard on RFC before.  Even the one indie artist we bring you from North Carolina has West Virginia’s William Matheny contributing.

I had so much fun putting this show together, and was a tad frustrated at having to leave out so much good stuff, that our next episode (which may be in two weeks) will follow this format with a totally different line-up of West Virginia musicians.

Check out the playlist below to see all the goodies we have in store (live links will take you to the artist’s pages where possible)…

RFC V5 100

hour one
Three Bodies “The Trax” “Shingles and Tar”
Brian Diller & The Ride “Don’t Stop At Anything”
Brian Diller “Days Like These”
The Paranoid Style “The Worst of My Love” “Ten Floors of Basement”
Three’s Company Blues “Steppin’ Out” “Bringing Back The Thrill”
Corduroy Brown “I Know Better” “”Who Am I For Now”
Strawfyssh “Netted Fish” “Graveyard Shift”
Hasil Adkins “Big Red Satellite” “She Said”
J Marinelli“Saturn of Clarksburg” “Kevlar Weather”
Unmanned “Baloney” “Wayward Girls”

hour two
Go Van Gogh “Shut Up, I Love You” “I Can’t Sleep At Night”
Joseph Hale “Time” “Church of Paranoia”
Emmalea Deal “Queen” “The Light”
Stark Raven “More To Life Than This” “Whiter Shade of Pale”
Mark Beckner “Odessa” “With The Scientific Curiosity of Ghouls”
Battleship Battleship “Ad Hominem” “Entropy”
Lady D “Karma Is A Bitch” “Disturbing My Peace”

hour three
Mother Nang “Knee Deep In Wine” “Buy The Farm”
Bane Star “Finality” “You Should Have Seen Her”
Ann Magnuson “The Picture On My Dentist’s Wall” “Disassociation”
John Radcliff “Company Song” “The Enemy”
Todd Burge “Rapid Fire” “Might Be The End”
Hello June “Candy Rain” “Wish I Could Fly”
The Big Bad “Set Sail The Sinking Ship” “Frighteners”

You can hear this episode of Radio Free Charleston Tuesday at 10 AM and 10 PM on The AIR, with replays Thursday at 2 PM, Friday at 9 AM, Saturday at Noon and Midnight,  and  Monday at 11 AM, exclusively on The AIR. Now you can also hear a different episode of RFC every weekday at 5 PM, and we bring you a marathon all night long Saturday night/Sunday morning.

I’m also going to  embed a low-fi, mono version of this show right in this post, right here so you can listen on demand.

 

Then at 1 PM we have two hours of  MIRRORBALL.

At 3 PM a new hour of The Swing Shift arrives  with a special mixtape show that I can’t give you a playlist for because that show hasn’t been recorded yet as I write this.

I can tell you that it’s nearly a solid hour of the legendary Duke Ellington collaborating with a wide assortment of legends like Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Rosemary Clooney and even Mahalia Jackson. It’s a sophisticated slice of Swing to help you feel smooth and sophisticated and all that kinda junk.

And of course it ends with Lady Ella singing our tag line, “It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing).

You can hear The Swing Shift Tuesday at 3 PM, with replays Wednesday at 8 AM and 6 PM, Thursday at 2 PM and Saturday afternoon, only on The AIR . You can also hear all-night marathons, seven hours each, starting at Midnight Thursday and Sunday evenings.

Special note: PopCult may disappear from this location at The Charleston Gazette-Mail soon. Don’t miss out on our new posts at our NEW HOME. Bookmark the new site, and subscribe to our RSS feed. You can also follow PopCult and Rudy Panucci on social media at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Monday Morning Art: Clouds

 

This week art isn’t that ambitious. It’s a watercolor doodle of clouds in the sky, with some green hills in the distance. I did this a couple of weeks ago, just to limber up the fingers and I liked it enough to use here (with the borders cropped out because they were sloppy). I took the weekend off from doing much resembling work, so this was fine to drop here to get the new week off to a bright and colorful start. For some reason, after scanning it, the texture of the paper made the watercolors look more like oils in places, but this is pure watercolor.

To see it bigger try clicking HERE.

Meanwhile, Monday at 2 PM on The AIR, we bring you a recent episode of  Psychedelic Shack, followed at 3 PM by a recent edition of Herman Linte’s weekly showcase of the Progressive Rock of the past half-century, Prognosis.  You can listen to The AIR at the website, or on the embedded radio player elsewhere on this page.

Psychedelic Shack can be heard every Monday at 2 PM, with replays Tuesday at 9 AM, Wednesday at 10 PM, Friday at 1 PM,  and Saturday at 9 AM. Classic episodes can be heard Sunday at 9 AM as part of our Sunday Haversham Recording Institute collection.

You can hear Prognosis on The AIR Monday at 3 PM, with replays Tuesday at 7 AM, Wednesday at 8 PM, Thursday at Noon, and Saturday at 10 AM. You can hear two classic episodes of the show Sunday at 2 PM.

Tonight at 8 PM you can hear an hour of hilarious musical comedy from Flight of the Conchords on The Comedy Vault. Wednesday evening at 10 PM, we’ll have another new episode of The Comedy Vault.

Then, at 9 PM we bring you an overnight marathon that’s really just a sampler of the most recent episodes of our music specialty shows. It kicks off with last week’s new RFC, just to further whet your appetite for tomorrow’s 100th episode of the lastest incarnation of my thirty-three year old radio program.

Special note: PopCult may disappear from this location at The Charleston Gazette-Mail soon. Don’t miss out on our new posts at our NEW HOME. Bookmark the new site, and subscribe to our RSS feed. You can also follow PopCult and Rudy Panucci on social media at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Sunday Evening Video: The Mummy and The Monkey

A few years ago on the late, lamented (RIP Rhonda) Roku Channel, Bizarre TV, I discovered a couple of horror movie hosts operating out of Cleveland, The Mummy and The Monkey. Featuring Janet Decay, Cleveland’s First horror hostess and Grimm Gorri, Cleveland’s Late Night Missing Link, the duo are the hosts of The Mummy And The Monkey’s Hairy Scary Hangout.

The Mummy And The Monkey have been part of Cleveland Ohio’s horror movie scene since 2014. They host cheesy movies on their Channel on most Friday nights at 9:45 PM (Eastern Time) and you can watch on YouTube or their Facebook Page.  Past episodes are archived, so you can catch up whenever you want. They follow the usual format of the classic horror movie host (think Svengoolie or Elvira) but they put their own spin on it and make it loads of fun to watch.  They even have their own merch and also maintain a cool eBay store, stocked with wild vintage items.

Above you see their latest show, featuring The Death Kiss, a pre-code mystery movie starring none other than Bela Lugosi and a couple of his Dracula co-stars from the year before!

The RFC Flashback: Episode 117

This week we go back to January, 2011, and begin a run of episodes of Radio Free Charleston that may be a little bittersweet. This episode and the next two all prominently feature the music of Mark Scarpelli, the beloved, musican, composer and music educator who passed away earlier this year.

This week we have Mark’s Beatles tribute band, Rubber Soul, as they prepare for a performance of The White Album at The Alban Arts Center, which was a benefit for The Ronald McDonald House.

This edition of the show was a “fly on the wall” preview, showing rehearsals for that benefit show, recorded just days before it premiered, which was just days before the concert itself.

Mark was always very generous in letting me come in and record his musical projects “in progress” so I could get them posted here in time to promote the actual events.

You’ll get to see three complete songs in this episode of RFC: “Back in the USSR,” with lead vocals by Chris Conard; “Dear Prudence,” sung by Michelle Melton; and “Yer Blues,” sung by Joey Collier. You’ll also see snippets of other White Album classics, with vocal turns by Rubber Soul’s leader, Mark Scarpelli, guitarist, Greg Hunt, and drummer, Brian Holstine.

Other featured instrumentalists seen in the show are Jamie Skeen on bass, Alasha Al-Qudwah on viola, Jeremy Severn on Trumpet and Kathy Coyle on woodwinds.

Because of the nature of how we filmed the band, the audio isn’t up to our usual standards. I felt it was a decent trade-off so that we could get it online quick enough to help promote what turned out to be a sold-out show.

 

Disco Divas Run Wild On MIRRORBALL!

Mel Larch dances it up bigtime as the ladies take over Friday afternoon on The AIR.  The AIR is PopCult’s sister radio station. You can hear our shows on The AIR website, or just click on the embedded player right here…

At 2 PM, Mel Larch uncorks a new MIRRORBALL! The AIR’s showcase of classic Disco music shines it’s sparkly spotlight on classic Disco tracks featurng female vocalists. It’s “Ladies Night,” only without that particular song, which of course, was sung by dudes. A special side note this week is the very Disco-sounding opening track by an artist who isn’t usually associated with Disco music.

Mel wanted to pay tribute to Olivia Newton John, who died earlier this week, and she found just the right song for the job.

For one hour you can go back to the Golden Age of Disco, with women leading the charge.

Check out the playlist…

MIRRORBALL 057

Oliva Newton John “Xanadu”
Yvonne Elliman “If I Can’t Have You”
Diana Ross “Love Hangover”
Donna Summer “Rumor Has It”
Esther Phillips “What A Difference A Day Makes”
Gloria Gaynor “I Will Survive”
Gladys Knight & The Pips “Come Back and Finish What You Started”
Tina Charles “I Love To Love”
Odyssey “Native New Yorker”
Frantique “Strut Your Funky Stuff”
Blondie “Call Me”
5000 Volts “I’m On Fire”
Vicki Sue Robinson “Turn The Beat Around”
Baccara “Sorry I’m A Lady”
Labelle “Lady Marmalade”

You can hear MIRRORBALL every Friday at 2 PM, with replays Sunday at 11 PM, Monday at 9 AM, and Tuesday at 1 PM  exclusively on The AIR.

At 3 PM, we’ll be replaying Sydney Fileen’s a classic episode of Sydney’s Big Electric Cat. You can find the playlist and background info HERE.

Sydney’s Big Electric Cat is produced at Haversham Recording Institute in London, and can be heard every Friday at 3 PM, with replays Saturday afternoon, Monday at 7 AM, Tuesday at 8 PM, Wednesday at Noon and Thursday at 10 AM, exclusively on The AIR.

Friday at 9 PM you can tune in for a three hours of classic stand-up on The Comedy Vault, with George Carlin, Robin Williams and Eddie Griffin.

Special note: PopCult may disappear from this location at The Charleston Gazette-Mail soon. Don’t miss out on our new posts at our NEW HOME. Bookmark the new site, and subscribe to our RSS feed. You can also follow PopCult and Rudy Panucci on social media at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The PopCulteer
August 12, 2022

I’ve never specifically said how old I am in this blog.

It’s not like I’ve tried to hide it. I write about TV shows I watched and toys I had in the 1960s all the time. And I think I wrote about how my earliest memory is the mailman coming to the door crying, asking if he could come in and watch some of the coverage of Kennedy’s assassination, but I’ve never come right out and said how old I am.

Tomorrow I turn 60 years old.

How the hell did that happen?

I mean, I don’t feel 60. I haven’t checked lately, but I don’t think I look 60. I sure as hell don’t act 60.

But chronologically I have became a pop culture journalist who’s reached an age that pop culture tends to consider well past relevance.

It must be some kind of aberration. Or maybe this happens to everybody. Maybe nobody ever really feels old unless they’re sick or something.

I’m not tempted to do anything that “old people” normally do, at least not knowingly. I still collect toys, read comics, watch cartoons listen to music and subscribe to more streaming services than I can watch. I don’t sit around and watch Matlock. I don’t vote for Republicans. There are no goddamned kids in my yard to yell at.

I have to admit to being a bit puzzled by all this. It seems really weird to me to have vivid memories of breaking my collarbone while playing Batman fifty-six years ago. It’s hard to wrap my brain around the fact that I have favorite comic book artists who died of old age after I was a fan for more than fifty years.

I’ve been thinking about what I was going to write in this space for almost three months. About a month ago my first wife died. We split up thirty-six years ago, and that is pretty much an entire lifetime. Kathy’s death put me in a very reflective mood as I relived our time together (a topic for a future column) and then relived the turns my life took afterward.

Many people can’t imagine me being with anybody besides my Melanie. It’s hard for me to do that too. She is my very reason for being and I would be miserable without her. We’ve been together more than half my life and it’s easy to feel like my life really began when we met.

But it didn’t, exactly. See, being a comic book fan for my entire life, I do have a story to tell for this post. I have a “secret origin.”

I’ve written about how, all my life I’ve been the person saying “Check this out, it’s really cool.” And a lot of folks know me as a strong advocate of local artists and musicians. Now I’m going to pull back the veil a bit and give you some insight about what motivates me to be this way.

Let me take you back to 1986. My disastrous first marriage was all over except for the signing of papers. I was an emotional wreck, but I put on a brave face and threw myself into my work.

My work at that time was as the de-facto publisher, editor, proofreader, gofer and head of publicity for CODA, a comic book written and drawn by my brother, Frank, with a back-up strip by me.

CODA was my main focus. I pretty much felt like a failure in life, and saw this comic book as my path to redemption. Foremost among my jobs was getting promotion for CODA. I managed to convince Jennifer Bundy to interview Frank for The Charleston Daily Mail. I bought ads in The Comics Buyers Guide and sent review copies to other fan publications.

And I hung out a lot at Greg Miller’s Comic World, on Charleston’s West Side. This was the comic book shop in Charleston and it gave me the chance to network with other area fans.

One day I walked into Comic World and recognized a low-level reporter for a local TV station berating Greg. He was promising extravagant TV coverage of Greg’s store, if only Greg would supply him with some free comics. He was especially keen on getting free Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics to do a feature on the “black and white comics boom.”

I stayed out of the conversation and looked through the new comics until Greg just ended the conversation and said he had to get back to work, but he’d consider the idea.

The local TV reporter turned and started to walk out, and remember now, I was totally emotionally invested in making CODA a success, so I stopped him, held up a copy of CODA #1 and said, “Hey, you know…there’s a black and white comic book published out of South Charleston, and I bet your viewers would love to know about it!”

He turned, looked at me, scowled and said, “Nobody cares about that SHIT!” Then he walked out.

I was stunned, but was resigned to living the life of the rejected at that point. Greg was much angrier than I was and did his best to make me feel better. It just sort of stung that somebody in a position to help a local creator could be so unneccesarily cruel. I have to admit, it left a scar.

I drove home, and my Mom said that somebody called about the comic while I was out. I returned the call and it was a writer for Amazing Heroes Magazine. He’d seen CODA and was writing the semi-annual preview issue and wanted to know what we had coming up in future issues.

I was excited, but still down a bit, and he could tell. He asked what was going on, fearful that the book was not going to make it to its second issue, and I told him what had just happened.

He was stunned, but then he told me that he was trying to break into comics himself, and was used to particularly cruel rejections. And then he said, “You can either be the kind of person who builds people up, or you can be the kind of bastard who tears people down.”

So, with that pep talk, from Mark Waid by the way, I decided that I was never going to stomp on anybody’s dreams. I was going to be a person who supported artists, and musicians and encouraged people to create.

I was never going to be an asshole, like that TV reporter was to me.

Three years after that, I wound up on the radio, and I created Radio Free Charleston and have been supporting the local scene for over thirty years now. It’s why I still cover local stuff here in PopCult. It’s why I reach out to indie comic book creators and unsigned musicians from other cities.

Basically, living by the mantra “don’t be an asshole” has worked out pretty well for me. When I was put in a position to write a review of something that very TV reporter was involved with, I  gave him decent notices. The temptation was definitely there to get even after all these years, but I didn’t want to sink to his level.

A couple of weeks ago Brian Diller, who was one of the major forces in the Charleston music scene back when I started RFC, wrote a wonderful and thoughtful post about me and my contributions to the local music scene on Facebook. I have to admit it caught me off guard and it came at a time when I really needed a shot in the arm. It’s been a bit of a cruel summer with my Myasthenia Gravis flaring up, technical issues here at the blog, weird power outages, ex-wives passing away and a car that seems to want to have its address changed to my mechanic’s place.

It was nice to be reminded why I do what I do. That a couple of hundred people “liked” that post, and a few dozen commented or shared it really warmed my aging heart (which has checked out quite well, by the way).

It’s really nice to be appreciated.

Instead of a grand adventure for my birthday (or a party, I absolutely hate being the center of attention at parties), Mel and I are going to have a quiet day, hang out together, eat cake and ice cream and pizza and just relax and watch Matlock.

No, wait, NOT MATLOCK! WE ARE DEFINITELY NOT WATCHING MATLOCK!

That is this week’s PopCulteer. Thanks for reading and remember to check back for our regular features and fresh content every day, for the next sixty years or more.

Special note: PopCult may disappear from this location at The Charleston Gazette-Mail soon. Don’t miss out on our new posts at our NEW HOME. Bookmark the new site, and subscribe to our RSS feed. You can also follow PopCult and Rudy Panucci on social media at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Even More Stuff from Kentuckiana 2022.

Your PopCulteer has been  slow posting photos from this year’s Kentuckiana GI Joe & Toy Expo , and I apologize for that.  Today we’re going to bring you another small batch of images from the show, and there will be at least one more photo essay next week.  You can see our first photo essay HERE and our video with another photo essay HERE.

Sadly, a technical glitch (a bad SD Card this time) wiped out the last twenty photos I took, which included close-ups of Super Joe Unlimited prototypes and much of the custom figures, but I’ll be havesting images from the video for our next photo essay, so all is not lost.

This is part three of what we saw. PopCult will have at least one more 2022 Kentuckianua GI Joe & Toy Expo photo essay next week.

There were plenty of more recent GI Joe toys on hand.
And there were also tons of rare, boxed sets from the glory days of the 12″ action figures.
This vendor had tons of vintage goodness.
And there were lots of non-GI Joe figures at the show, too.
You can’t go wrong with Golden Age comics and monsters!
A very cool lucite-encased diorama, one of the few custom contest photos that survived the SD card going bad.
Chuck Chiriaco with his incredible custom figure, Bakshassa. We first saw this guy and met Chuck at ToyLanta, and this figure still blows our mind.
Chuck’s entry into the custom figure contest was a mystical Rasputin, who was floating over a vanquished foe. Sadly our SD card died before he had the completed scene assembled, but Rasputin is pretty darn cool by himself.