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Now in our fifth calendar year
PCR #233  (Vol. 5, No. 37)  This edition is for the week of September 6--12, 2004.

Double Book Review: "Tangled And Dark" by Patty G. Henderson
"Florida Curiosities" by David Grimes and Tom Becnel. Plus...Happy Anniversary Sunshine Skyway
 by William Moriaty
"Napoleon Dynamite"
 by Mike Smith
Chappelle's Show....Fanzine Memoirs
  by Vinnie Blesi
Oddservations Spotlight: Largo's Comic World owner Pat Potter
 by Andy Lalino
Guided By Voices CD review
 by Terence Nuzum
"The Rock and Soul Revue" concert review by guest reviewer Michael Smith
 by Mike "Deadguy" Scott
A Rant About Bush
 by Nick King
The Yankees Suck....Latest Kerry Rumor....Masters of Horror
 by Matt Drinnenberg
Happy Birthday....The Shame of The Yankees....Why Even Try....Is That A Guarantee?....What?....Meet The Beatles, Part 33
 by Mike Smith
Archives of Nolan's Pop Culture Review
Archives 2004
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Archives 2001
Archives 2000
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Couch Potato Confessions by Vinnie B.

Chappelle’s Show
Comedy, like much of pop culture, has been in a rut for quite a few years. When movies like “Dumber and Dumber” are considered humorous and Ben Stiller keeps making movies you know the comedy genre is in grave danger.

Starting its second season on Comedy Central, “Chappelle’s Show”, starring Dave Chappelle is a comedy gem swimming in the current comedy cesspool.

This skit based show is not afraid to be politically incorrect, is funny and even manages to make subtle social commentaries. In the “Racial Draft”, a take-off of ESPN’s football draft coverage, different ethnic groups choose celebrities of different ethnic backgrounds to now be part of their new ethnic group. It is hilarious yet poignant. “The Niggars”, a take-off of 50’s shows such as “Father knows Best”, is about a white family whose last name is Niggar. Chappelle’s portrayal of Tyrone the crackhead is not only funny as hell but shows Chappelle is not afraid to take on urban culture.

The show features a Rap musical guest every week, and I feel that the musical guests need to be more diverse, but other than that this show is just plain “whack”.

Fanzine Memoirs
In 1977 I published a comic fanzine called Advent. Subsequently I went on to publish Advent #2 and Gazette (with Ben Gregory). This ongoing feature will contain my thoughts and musings of those times.

Part One
I have always had an affinity for the printed word. As a child, reading was always a priority for me. I remember reading Michael Crichton’s “Andromenda Strain’ sometime around 5th grade and it gripped my imagination like nothing I had ever experienced before.

That book was a stepping-stone to discovery of other authors such as Asimov and Frank Herbert. I soon discovered the DAW imprint of sci-fi books in the 70’s and began to ingest all that I could. Oddly enough this all occurred before I even picked up by first comic book. Soon after that I began to discover the Marvel comics of the 70’s, when they still had a heavy Stan Lee influence. The stories were sub-plot driven with real human drama, unlike the DC comics of the day that were basically a hero fights villain scenario.

Before I knew it I had become a collector of printed material, and to this day I hold the printed word sacred. Like a renegade fireman from “Fahrenheit 400” books hold a treasure trove of knowledge for me. Computer disks may crash and electricity may no longer be available, but books will always hold information that can readily be accessed.

It was only a natural progression that I wanted to publish my own printed matter. My strongest skills had always been editing and layout and this translated seamlessly to the printed word. In the late 1970’s while still in high school I began formulating the idea for a comic fanzine that would be high quality but retain a sense of unity and community between comic and sci-fi fans. Like any community I remember the fandom scene being dominated by arrogant us against them type publications. Born out of the ashes of fandom chaos was “Advent”.

I had developed a concept and direction for the ‘zine, but where would I get the content and more importantly the money to publish?

My Mom at the time was a single mom of three struggling to make ends meets. In addition to her day job she cleaned an office at night and delivered papers in the morning. Due to her generosity she allowed me to help her with her two additional jobs and she paid me half the wages, which enabled me to go ahead with the dream of publishing my first fanzine.

At the time I was a shy anti-social geek (while not much has really changed) who knew very few people. So looking for editorial content, I advertised in the biggest fandom publication of the time for contributions. The response was overwhelming and led to the success of the first issue of Advent.

My major collaborator for Advent No. 1 was an artist/writer from California named Aldo Stevenson. Without his help and contributions Advent would have never happened. We corresponded heavily via snail mail in those days with Aldo ultimately contributing an excellent cover and logo, a comic strip featuring “The Annihilator”, an article on the rare “Mars Attack” trading cards and various other artwork as needed: such as a pic of “Shanghi: Master of Kung Fu” for an article written by Keith Royster. Also a huge help to me at the time was Hugh Mason who contributed a comic strip and comics quiz.

The issue was nearly complete, except for one thing. I had the opportunity to interview Klaus Janson in person.

Coming in Part 2 -- I go to the Big Apple to interview Janson and also learn what a saddle stapler is.

"Couch Potato Confessions" is ©2004 by Vinnie B.  Couch Potato main graphic by Vin Blesi and Nolan Canova.  Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.