Either your browser's javascript has been disabled or it needs an update! Please re-enable your javascript program or update your browser to view this page as designed.
Nolan's Pop Culture Review 2009!
   Assistant Editor / Co-Moderator:  Terence Nuzum.                 HOME           ARCHIVES
Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our tenth calendar year!
Number 470  (Vol. 10, No. 13). This edition is for the week of March 23--29, 2009.

"I Love You Man"
OzFest 2009
Court Orders Ferry Fm Shutdown .... .... .... o
Not News But Funny Because The Guy Freakin Annoys Me .... Goodbye Newsprint .... Passing On .... What Recession? .... Who'd A Thunk? .... Movie Notes .... Good And Evil .... Boston Postponed .... My Favorite Films, Part 2... o

Moving and Shaking

An Old Friend Scores Miami Examiner Gig
The Tampa Comic Con and Toy Show Moves West....Sorta.
Feedback on Spavantare
The World of Nolan Update

Another crazy week at work coupled with another episode of minor health problems resulted in Ye Old Editor's almost not making the Tampa Giant Comic Con this year, in addition to slowing down what I'd hoped to achieve video-wise by this point. My condition's improved a little, though, and creative action has resumed, if a little tardy (tardily?).

And...in case anyone's counting, this homepage scored its 300,000th hit earlier this week. That's to this page alone. The rest of the site's hits are in the millions, but this is the only page with a counter.


Long-time PCR readers may remember the mysterious female known only as "Lauré Piper" who not only wrote several reviews for this website years ago, but also took over editing and email chores for me while I was hospitalized in the late summer of 2005. For as long as she's been on the internet, she always used a pseudonym to create a safe distance between her personal life and her web life. Plus, there are always, you know, stalkers out there and such.

That all changed this week when she scored a gig as a "paid blogger" for the Miami Examiner website, and they insisted on her real name, which now it can be told, is Julianne Draper. Juli and her husband (who still wishes to remain, shall we say, clandestine) have been two of my top closest friends for over 20 years. Their insistence for privacy is the only thing that kept them from being mentioned here before.

She intends to cover many fan-related topics, focusing on books. I think her inaugural page for the Examiner is pretty impressive, and I sincerely wish her the best of luck with this new endeavor. Please take a minute and check out her work at http://www.examiner.com/x-6332-Tampa-SciFiFantasy-Books-Examiner~y2009m3d24-Fandom-Around-Tampa


Click on images to enlarge. A new browser window will open.
L-to-R, Mason Troupe, John Miller, and Terence Nuzum discuss DVD purchases at Sunday's MinReg Con
L-to-R, Terence Nuzum, festival organizer Tim Gordon, and Ye Olde Editor Nolan Canova.
L-to-R, Mary Ann Talento, Mason Troupe, John Miller, Terence Nuzum, and Chris Woods are deep into fan talk.
One of 3 bird's-eye views of the Con taken from the second level. Here, the celebrity artists' table can be seen at right. This is the first space encountered after you enter the hall.
Second bird's-eye view shows the opposite end of the hall.
Third bird's-eye view, dead center of the action.
Just one of the many, many comics dealers present. This man was kind enough to return my cane to me after I'd hobbled off without it!
Click on images to enlarge. A new browser window will open.
The smiling face of, I believe, comic artist Georges Jeanty at the near end of the celebrity artists' table.
Comics legend Herb Trimpe (The Hulk, Wolverine) and the missus at his table.
St. Pete underground comics mover and shaker Greg Vondruska, left, with Mr & Mrs Herb Trimpe in a touching portrait.
Not to be redundant, but I just had to get in one group shot at least! L-to-R, John Miller, Mary Ann Talento, Mason Troupe, Chris Woods, Terence Nuzum, and yours truly.
This is where I found an old Whiz Comics tabloid-style edition, evidently from the '40s (store giveaway?) for about $850. (On the right side of the stand-up rack at left, third from bottom.)
A late-arriving Lisa Scherer Ciurro talks with an amused Terence Nuzum, just before lunchtime.
Well, we don't really know how to refer to it in shorthand anymore. To avoid the mouthful of "The Tampa Giant Comic Con and Toy Show" we've been using "the DoubleTree Con" as the name of Tim Gordon's show for years as that's the location on Cypress Ave where it's always been held. Until the end of 2008, that is. At that time, no agreement between Tim and the hotel managers could be reached regarding the future of of the Con and its scheduling, so a new venue had to be found. That venue turned out to be the MinReg Building at Largo's Honeywell Plant. Not a terribly romantic address, I know. "The MinReg Con" would be accurate, if confusing, to anyone who doesn't know what a "minreg" is (I know I don't), and the "Largo Con" is rather generic and semi-inaccurate as I believe the Con still has "Tampa" in the title. Be that as it may, our shorthand will likely stay "MinReg Con" until we think of something cleverer.

Finding this place was another adventure as not many of us knew our way around that part of Pinellas County. Terence Nuzum and I picked up John Miller (a Pinellas resident) on our way out there, a seeming advantage since John claimed to know the directions. Once we got underway, however, John's self-assuredness started to slip and we began a half-guessing, hit-and-miss trip to the Con. As we neared, Terence got a cellphone call from 18-year-old Mason Troupe, one of our Youth Nation constituents, who reported having already arrived with no problem. Since we all left Tampa at the same time, that was a little embarrassing, as we were still negotiating the twists and turns around this large industrial park located across the street from a trailer park (which I found very funny for some reason). We finally found where "IN" was and saw young Mason waiting for us by the door. Parking, thankfully, was not too much of a hassle given the comparatively small lot. With my walking stick in hand, we headed in.

My first impression was that of holding a comic convention in a high school assembly hall or basketball court -- unadorned concrete block constuction and a 2-story high ceiling with the accompanying echo. When I approached the ticket counter, I saw that Newsradio 970WFLA's Tedd Webb had cancelled due to illness. Darn shame, 'cuz it would've been the first time I'd seen Tedd in months. I heard him on the radio the next day, though, so I'm happy to report whatever the illness was was short-lived.

My second impression is that this Con had grown in size, but Terence disagreed thinking the industrial layout made it look bigger than it was (Tim Gordon himself said it was a little smaller, so I stand corrected here).

My third impression (and this should be the last impression for a while, haha), is who I didn't see behind a booth: Horror authors Andrea Dean Von Scoyoc and Glenda & Tony Finklestein, actors Jeffrey Bresslauer and Joel D. Wynkoop (advertised as a guest, but was detained on a movie shoot), and about a half-dozen independent artists, ALL of whom I saw with regularity when the Con was held in Tampa were conspicuously absent. I'm forced to conclude the hike to Largo was the deal-breaker for these fine folks, and I hope they find their way back some day.

On a more positive note, many comic and DVD dealers did return, and for those who did not, a few new ones took their place. Chris Woods (who'd joined us earlier with visiting cousin Mary Ann Talento) and Terence never seem to have a problem finding desirable bootleg DVDs. I myself found two vintage comic/magazine dealers who had surprisingly rare issues from the '40s and '50s, all in good condition. Unfortunately, I couldn't swing the $850 -- $1,000 for some of those titles! (And before anyone asks me, no, I don't remember specific issues -- the sticker shock swept 'em from memory. Maybe Terence remembers.)

Doug and Wanda Vaters were back holding down the Creature Film Fest, although this was now located on the second floor. Unfortunate, I think, as it's too out of view to encourage much traffic. We went up anyhow to check it out. It's a decent-sized room with terrific window-views of the main hall (I got some pictures from there). A little extra promotion from outside would improve the turn-out for this nice piece of real estate!

"Artists' Alley" was fairly bustling, and guest-of-honor Herb Trimpe (The Incredible Hulk, the first artist to draw Wolverine) was easy to access. I spoke to him as I'd done during the previous Con, and took a couple snaps. A really nice man and an influential artist! Although it looked like comic artist Pat Broderick was a no-show (at least by the time we left for lunch, but we've met Pat a few times before, he's a good guy), the smiling faces of Georges Jeanty, Pablo Marcus, and Fran Matera greeted us. Dick Giordano I didn't see either, but truthfully, I didn't check back before we left for lunch, so he may have been there.

Lunchtime at the DoubleTree was convenient in that The Players Lounge was located onsite. At the MinReg, there was a food room kinda sorta, one of those with a window where you can get hot dogs and pizza slices, and that's about it. OK in a pinch, I suppose (and it did smell good in there) but fighting for limited table space was not conducive to fanboy talk, so the decision was made to stop at an Arby's located not far from where Chris and John live. As always, the fanboy/girl lunch is possibly the best parts of these excursions! Afterwards, we were homeward bound.

UPDATE: 3-26-09. After re-reading the convention overview above, I noticed it seemed that I concluded the article without much...er....conclusion. So here it is: The PCR gang had mixed reactions to the new venue, but (risk of sounding mushy here) we always have a good time whenever we're together, regardless of location. So...we are planning on going back for the July show, and we figure the MinReg will grow on us over time. In fact, while I was re-reading the article it occurred to me that in many ways, it already has.


I'm mentioning this again for two reasons. One, we expected much more feedback about this last week than we got (thanks to those who did post their very positive comments, we appreciate it). If anyone was not able to watch it due to browser incompatibility issues, please let me know.

Two, I re-encoded and re-posted the entire affair after I discovered video interlacing problems in the display that had been aggravated after it had been posted the first time in 16:9 ratio. The "video line noise" has since been removed and the movie reformatted to 4:3.


The upcoming episode of The World of Nolan has seen numerous delays, but will hopefully get posted over the next couple of days.

Readers' Comments

The Readers' Comments section for this issue of PCR is now closed. To continue to interact, please use the Message Board or write a Letter to the Editor! The comments below are listed starting with the most recent. Thank you.

Crazed FanComments -- We Welcome Reader Feedback on any article(s) on this page.
Chris Woods [30-03-2009 22:38] 
ED - Yeah, Pick-Up was a disappointment. Like I said in the review, the poster and trailer looked cool so I checked it out. it was very bad. The Teacher will be my next review going up later in the week. It was much better than Pick-Up. I'll have to watch Trip with Teacher next.
Laure [30-03-2009 11:19] 
Thanks Chris, and thanks Lisa! :) Well, I hope I make y'all proud! I'm nervous as heck about it, but I think...so far so good? But, I think it's about time, like you, that we fangirls come out of the woodwork! Keep your fingers crossed for me, that I don't fall on my face! ;)
Paul Guzzo [30-03-2009 05:50] 
Ybor City is on Ghost Hunters Wednesday at 9 p.m.
ED [30-03-2009 05:34] 
Chris - I saw your review of Pick-Up. It looks like you have volume one of BCI's Drive-In Classics as well. Unfortunately you picked the worst title out of all eight on the set to watch. That's a real stinker that even I had to resort to the fast forward button on. Choose The Teacher or Trip with Teacher for your next selection. The films are unrelated but both are highly enjoyable. Teacher has Angel Tompkins and Jay North in it and any movie where an adult Dennis the Meneace gets killed can't be all bad. Trip is a text book drive-in film with the always entertaining Zalman King as a nut job terrorizing a stranded bus load of high school girls. What's not to love? God bless Crown International Pictures.
Nolan [28-03-2009 19:22] 
Mike had problems with the photos. I don't know about Matt.
Terence [28-03-2009 17:57] 
Mike and Matt: i thought there was supposed to a Boston story or something in your columns. what gives?
ED [28-03-2009 16:32] 
Chris - did you listen to the commentary track on Don't Answer the Phone? BCI puts all these neat extras on their sets and then they don't bother to advertise them or even list them on the box. I guess it's no wonder their DVD division went belly. I highly recommend you pick up the other three volumes of Drive-In Classics while you still can. Someone should write a book on Crown International.
Chris Woods [28-03-2009 11:33] 
Nolan - Great piece on the Tampa Comic Con. It was fun going to it and my cousin had a good time.

ED - Glad you liked the Don't Answer the Phone review. I have one of the BCI box sets, that's where I watched Don't Answer the Phone. I got a few more coming from that set that will be up soon.

Brandon - I'm glad you liked my last article and thanks for the kind words. Like Nolan said part 2 will be posted the second week of April.

Petrey - That's cool you liked the short film. It's was cool making it. I liked when you said it represents a woman's pent-up sexual frustration, that's classic. Thanks again.

And congrats to Lauré Piper on the blog. Best of luck to you.
One Of Many Fangrrls Lisa [27-03-2009 13:41] 
Laure -- Congratulations!! I'm happy for you and proud of you ... and slightly envious (but in a good way :). I enjoyed your first blog post and look forward to reading -- and enjoying -- future ones. Thanks for speaking out about Tampa's fandom community and events. And especially thanks for representin' us fangirls!
Petrey [27-03-2009 10:00]  
"Spaventare" was a cool short, a nod to all involved. I think it represented a woman's pent-up sexual frustration very nicely ;)
ED [26-03-2009 10:18] 
Nolan - I will make it a point to get some classic comic book shots at FX next month.
Nolan [26-03-2009 09:39] 
Brandon, Chris Woods' Growing Up Fanboy series is monthly only at this time, so the next issue would be about the second week of April.
Nolan [26-03-2009 09:38] 
WOW, thanks for the additional, you guys. Now I'm sorry I didn't have Terence hold the book up so I could get a better picture of it -- or the Captain Marvel right next to it. I didn't expect so much discussion, but it's been most enlightening! Next time, I'll know better, haha.
Brandon [26-03-2009 09:31] 
Where's Chris Woods' part 2 toy collecting article , I'm looking forward to it . There should be more collectors like Chris
Brandon [26-03-2009 09:21] 
The comic in the image is the Whiz Comics Wheaties give away issue from 1946. There may have been other promotions at the time. $850 seems really pricy unless it's in super condition. Whiz #2 does NOT have a Blue Whiz logo.

To expand on Ed's comments, it's harder and harder to price these old comics, especially a rare one like this, in part because of CGC professional grading and a lack of listing in more recent price guides.

The guy has graded copies of Amazing Fantasy 15 and Amazing Spider-Man #1 amongst Silver Surfer #1, Iron Man #1, and even Watchmen , Dawn on the rack -- very impressive selection
Nolan [26-03-2009 07:32] 
Done and done, Paul! The Film News is up. That template is functioning properly (thank god) and this time I can confidently say the problem is on your end. Sorry to hear about that, of course, hope you can get that straightened out soon.
Paul Guzzp [26-03-2009 06:29] 
Nolan, my computer is still F'd up ... I emailed you my film news. Can you copy and paste it in for me? For some reason, my warped computer can't access my column page.
Michael [25-03-2009 22:13] 
ED, great job on the OZ piece. I only just found out last week that Clarence Swensen had passed away and plan to mention it in the Rant this week. He, Meinhardt, Margaret and Jerry were part of a promotion I did here to open a new theatre and they were a delight to spend time with. Meinhardt is probably the smartest man I've ever met (I believe he graduated from M.I.T.) Again, great work.
Curious [25-03-2009 19:52] 
ED [25-03-2009 19:50] 
Nolan - Fawcett did all kinds of premiums back in the 40's including radio tie-ins, cereal, Ovalteen, and promotions related to the movie serial starring Tom Tyler. In addition to comic give aways (usually reprints) they did some really neat toys and even Captain Marvel shaped paper gliders. Most of this stuff is rare but it's also hard to value because no one knows how many were made and some were used multiple times.
Nolan [25-03-2009 19:42] 
Yes, that's why I described it as a possible store giveaway -- the cover was the same pulp material as the inside and it suggested a premium of some sort. ED, I am aware of Captain Marvel's history, thanks tho, but I just wasn't sure where this ashcan/giveaway/whatever fit into it, except that it definitely dated to that era.
Paul Guzzo [25-03-2009 16:58] 
Creative Loafing ... sorry ... It gives it one hell of a write up. Only a paragraph, but it hails it as the must visit website for a filmmaker in need of networking. Dan's done a great job with it - expanding what Chris and Joe started. You can find crew for any position via his website now.
Terence [25-03-2009 14:00] 
I believe the issue nolan was talking about was a ashcan given away in a wheaties box.
ED [25-03-2009 13:34] 
Nolan - Whiz Comics was where the original Captain Marvel made his first appearance (in issue #2) along with a number of other Fawcett superheroes. This must have either been an early issue, in really good shape or both. You can pick up later issues in readable shape for $40-$50 if you look for them.
ED [25-03-2009 12:35] 
Nolan, your assesment was dead on. Those photos look just like the old high school gym and armory comic shows I remember from the eighties. What a step back.

Chris - I just finished watching Don't Answer the Phone on one of the Drive-In Collections from BCI. These are awesome collections of the Crown International Pictures film catalog from the late 60's through the mid-80's. Phone was a cheesy, straight forward, slasher film that even had the guy who played Porky in the Porky's movies in a cameo as a porno producer! I am watching Blood Mania now. I highly recommend you get these sets while they are still available since BCI has closed it's DVD distribution company.
Nolan [25-03-2009 12:21] 
Listed where, Paul? Congrats to Dan.
paul guzzo [25-03-2009 12:14] 
Tampa Film Network's website was listed as the best local website for indie film. COngrats to Dan Brienza, who recently took it over for Chris and Joe.
[31-12-1969 16:00] 
Add Comment    

"Mike's Rant" is ©2009 by Michael A. Smith    "Matt's Rail" is ©2009 by Matthew Drinnenberg     "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2009 by Michael A. Smith    "Retrorama" is ©2009 by ED Tucker    "Growing Up Fanboy" is ©2009 by Chris Woods    "FANGRRL" is ©2009 by Lisa Scherer Ciurro    "Sports Talk" is ©2009 by Chris Munger      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2009 by Nolan B. Canova    
Crazed Fanboy dotcom is owned and operated by Nolan B. Canova

Please consider making a donation to help support Crazed Fanboy! Click on the "donate" link below and give whatever you can. I sincerely thank you for any and all consideration.---Nolan

In Association with Amazon.com

Back to Top