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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 487  (Vol. 10, No. 30). This edition is for the week of July 20--26, 2009.

"Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince"
Terror of Mechagodzilla
Turning 600! .... Where It Began For Me .... The Mcfarlane Era .... Ross Factor .... Jsm .... It All Started With A .... .... .... u
Corruption In Jersey & Crazies On Fox .... As Healthcare Turns .... Slanderous Debate .... That's Senator Racist To You.... .... That's A Go Comrade .... Funny Lady .... Enemy In Nyc .... o
Ben Roethlisberger Is A Rapist? .... Vick .... Make Love To The Camera .... .... .... .... .... e
Happy Birthday .... This Week In Baseball .... Movie News .... More From Greg .... Passing On .... .... .... .... My Favorite Films, Part 2... a

To The Moon!
The Tampa Giant Comic Con for July
To The Moon!
Readers' Comments

SUNDAY, JULY 12, 2009
Minnreg Convention Hall
6340 126th Ave N., Largo, FL

No matter how many times I write up this experience, I always find a little something new to talk about. This time it was a couple faces, both new to this Con, and both worth mentioning, that made this foray unique for yours truly.

The first, on a personal note, was the first-time visit of Jacksonville-based PCR writer ED Tucker, who's been trying to find an opportunity to join us here for quite a while. The stars finally lined up correctly Sunday, July 12, and ED was actually the first to arrive at the convention hall.

The other new face, a comic-book legend, was Chris Claremont, one of the best writers Marvel ever had, and who practically reinvented The X-Men some thirty years ago, catapulting both he and they to legend status.

PCR co-editor Terence Nuzum and I traveled to St. Pete to meet up with Chris Woods and Simon Lynx at Chris's new apartment. Terence went right to work inspecting the DVD and album collection, haha, while I pondered how this place would become a movie set at one point. All of Chris's apartments wind up in his movies somehow. After a brief tour, Terence and I followed Chris and Simon to the Minnreg building, part of a larger industrial complex, in Largo.

Parking can be tricky because it isn't what you'd call abundant, but streetside spaces are available. Ter and I were in first as Chris continued looking for parking.

Despite the hall being slightly smaller than the former location at the DoubleTree Inn, a busy crowd can still make finding cohorts complicated which necessitated a cellphone call to ED to see where he was. We agreed to stay close to the celebrity artists area and ED would find us, which he did in short order. Happily, ED seemed very pleased with the Con so far, even havng picked up a few items already in the short time he'd been there.

Soon, Chris and Simon caught up with us, and young Mason Troupe arrived as well. As is customary, we stick fairly close together while "doing laps" around the Con to take it all in before we temporarily go our separate ways.

Click on images to enlarge. A new browser window will open.
Marvel comics legend Chris Clarement (X-Men) signs autographs for fans.
The always friendly Pat Broderick (Micronauts) says hello.
John Lewis (Creature Productions), left, with our own ED Tucker (Retrorama)
Our traditional group shot. L-to-R, Chris Woods, Nolan Canova, Cathy Wynkoop, Joel Wynkoop, Terence Nuzum, ED Tucker, and John Lewis. Unfortunately, Lisa hadn't arrived yet, so missed this one.
One of my favorite vintage comics dealers from one angle.
And from another angle.
The celebrity artists table.
Click on images to enlarge. A new browser window will open.
Lisa FANGRRL Ciurro, left, finally arrives and joins Mason Troupe, center, and yours truly.
L-to-R, the dark trio of Simon Lynx, Joel D. Wynkoop, and our own Chris Woods are gathered at Joel's table.
Video producer and fiction writer Glenda Finklestein (standing) is always very friendly and great to talk to. Husband Tony (seated) is probably keeping an eye on Creature Prouctions, haha.
This young man stopped me to talk about his new comic just as I was leaving. I admired his approach, so here he is: Tari Owei and Alpha Jaguars !
ED Tucker, left, says, "Joel Wynkoop just kills me with his approach to self-promotion!"
Comics and video entrepreneur Bill Black (left) was someone I'd never had the opportunity to meet until now. A late arrival, I'd nearly missed him before I decided to check one last time before lunch! Nick Cuti, right, looks on.
Like the Con from last March, I found a lot to like here, plenty of vintage books and magazines, much of which was out of my price range, but a lot that was reasonable as well. It's encouraging to see so many dealers return to Tim Gordon's show, because if you can't cut some deals this time, maybe you can do it next time (Tim puts on three of these shows a year). Plenty of great artists all displaying their work (see pics), bootleg DVD dealers in full swing (this is where I usually lose Terence and Chris), posters, action-figures, everything. They make a lot fit into a small space, haha.

A pleasant surprise awaited me in the Indie Film room, formerly Creature Film Fest, now a Doug Vader production. I was eagerly ushered in the room by Mr. Vader to see the first few shorts, and after viewing them I could see why: he inserted my name into the opening credits of his first short! Something along the lines of "Welcome everybody and Nolan, too. Yada Yada, if you have anything to say about these films, keep it to yourself, and this means you, too, Nolan!" HAhaha. My reputation preceeds me. Thanks, Doug. I enjoyed a short Star Trek fan film and a Joel Wynkoop commercial before I rejoined the others on the convention floor. I'm sorry I couldn't see more films, but there are only so many hours I can spend at these things with my brutal schedule.

I think by about this time, FANGRRL Lisa Scherer Ciurro arrived and we started taking some more pictures and discussing lunch plans.

The ever-weird John Lewis (Creature Productions) was hanging close to his table which was manned by the ever-glowering Nick Cuti (Captain Cosmos, Eerie comics). John and I go way back, but our communication has never been the best. We asked if his daughter Ashley (formerly of both PCR and Creature Productions) was going to join us. He said he thought so, but would have to make a call to say how soon. We never got an answer, but twenty minutes later, John was outside walking around in the rain (it had just finished pouring) near a ditch, and presumably still talking to Ashley! I guess a "yes or "no" regarding her arrival was not realistic.

We adjourned to a local Chili's to commence our post-Con fanboy/girl summit where we discussed what we just experienced and talk fandom in general. This is the first time I related to all but Terence about the robbery I experienced at 7-Eleven (as told last issue). I gratefully received lots of support about that and I appreciate it. I then ordered two big maragaritas and the rest, as they say is...well, maybe not history, but definitely a blur.

As a final note, those who wish to know our individual purchases, please keep checking Readers Comments. I encourage the PCR entourage to post what they'd like to share of their acquisitions for the world to see. I didn't make an attempt to memorize them, and I myself passed up purchases for this go 'round. But my wish list stays with me, regardless.

For more information about the Tampa Giant Comic Con & Toy Show please visit their new website location.

To The Moon!

If you belieeeeeeeved....we put a man on the moon, man on the moooooon...".

Hearing that lyric from R.E.M.'s "Man on the Moon" was the first time I realized that it was possible a huge part of an entire generation had come to the conclusion that the Apollo moon landings were a fraud, so much so, that it was beginning to permeate popular culture as "common knowledge". OK, the song was actually about Andy Kaufman, but the moon reference is so cynical and short-sighted, it upsets me every time I hear it.

I do not and cannot concur that the US gov't staged the entire moon landing as a hoax to somehow cover the supposed fact we couldn't actually do it. Or to convince the Russians we could. Or something like that.

Tragically, NASA recently admitted they've lost their original videotapes of the first moon landing, forcing them to resort to second-hand (but reliable) sources for a back-up copy. This hasn't helped their case -- upwards of 25% of the American public believe the hoax story, new polls suggest.

Yes, I'm well aware of the conspiracy theories dealing with alleged inconsistencies in the historical and photographic record. None of this is new. In fact, I dealt with much of the hoax "evidence" waaaaay back in 2001, via PCR #48 (See: Did We Land on the Moon?). It was ridiculous then, it's ridiculous now.

The 40th Anniversary of the Moon Landing, Monday, July 20th, 2009 was a day to celebrate, and celebrate I did, with a trip to Mad Dogs & Englishmen, and English-style pub near me. Several of us clinked glasses and toasted our space-age achievements. We recalled where we were when Neil Armstrong descended the ladder and uttered, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." (I was awakened by my parents to see it on TV...it was after 10:00pm on a school night.)

As One Conspiracy Dies, Another Begins....
New hi-rez satellite pictures have been released that actually show the Lunar Lander exactly where it was left forty years ago. Never ones to let a good conspiracy die, however, the naysayers have started building a new angle that the new pictures are doctored!

Nevertheless, the new space probes are re-mapping the entire Lunar surface and, among other things expected with the new technology, are pictures of ALL the original landing sites.

I'm sorry Walter Cronkite didn't live quite long enough to see this anniversary. (Cronkite died last week at the age of 92.) The veteran newscaster is inextricably linked in my memory with the Apollo program. In fact, any science broadcast of the day benefited from Cronkite's narration, not only because he was the "most trusted man in America", but because of his acknowleged deep interest in science.

To Mars and Beyond
With a new, science-saavy Administration in place, there is renewed interest in a manned spaceflight to Mars. I couldn't be happier about that, despite the practical hurdles we'll have to overcome to make it happen. We have the technology. Funding will be problematic (nothing new there), but I'm hopeful to see it happen in my lifetime.

I suppose the conspiracy buffs will be mounting their efforts to label that mission a hoax, too. After all if we never made it to somewhere fairly close like the Moon, how could we ever make it to Mars??

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.
Always Fashionably Late Lisa [27-07-2009 07:05] 
To Curious: I bought "Rocky Horror Picture Show" trading cards, "V" cards, "Raiders of the Lost Ark" cards, and two pieces of Michael Jackson chewing gum. I spent a whopping five bucks total.

FYI at the last Tampa Comic Con I bought the comic "Alpha Jaguars" from the local author in Nolan's photo above.
Paul Guzzo [26-07-2009 18:15] 
I am SOOOO watching my film on TV! WOOOT!
Jamison [26-07-2009 07:06] 
The Nuge!
C [25-07-2009 21:39] 
In a random posting...
I was just channel surfing and saw a HIGHLY disturbing hunting show hosted by rocker Ted Nugent. That was F'd UP!
Curious [24-07-2009 16:48] 
Tell me more ... and say it slow and sexy like...
Chris Woods [24-07-2009 16:21] 
Nolan - Thanks. I'm glad you liked the review. I enjoyed the write up on the Tampa Comic Con. I had a great time there as always. Looking foward to the next.

On what I bought, well, a few DC horror comics from the 70's and two DVDs (Splatter University and Filmgore)

Brandon - I'm hoping that Spider-man 4 is a lot better than 3, but I think they drop the ball on Venom and should of kept him for part 4.
Curious [24-07-2009 15:25] 
It better!
Nolan [24-07-2009 06:30] 
Chris -- great review of "Splatter University" on Schlock, thanks.

Curious -- IT'S COMING.
Brandon [23-07-2009 17:50] 
Thanks Chris,

I've been a Spidey collector on and off since I was kid. I've been more dedicated to collecting stories rather than series or runs. I agree about the first two films and I only hope the studio backs off and let's things run free again for Spider-Man 4.
Chris Woods [23-07-2009 14:59] 
Brandon - I enjoyed your article on the 600th issue of Spider-man. He's also my favorite super hero of all. Since I first read a Spidey comic in the 70's and watched him on TV (cartoon and live action) I've been a huge fan of him. As a kid I even had a bunch of some of the first Spider-man comics from the 60's that my Uncle owned. Then I started collecting them myself starting in the mid-70's up until the mid-80's. I was finally glad to see Spidey hit the big screen and was happy with the first two films.
Curious [22-07-2009 14:00] 
Chris Woods [21-07-2009 15:19] 
ED - That's cool you got to see the film in a theater. I first saw it in the mid-90's when I use to order a lot of horror imports from a company called Midnight Video. They had a lot of uncut imports from their catalog. Yeah, the ending is kind of strange to City of the Living Dead/Gates of Hell, but the gut barf scene still grosses me out to this day. Sorry they cut it out when you first saw it.
ED [21-07-2009 13:58] 
Chris - I was fortunate enough to get to see Gates of Hell in the theaters on a double feature with Zombie! Sadly, the gut barf scene had been excised for US theatrical release. I remember most of the audience booing the ending of the film for making no sense. Zombie started about five minutes later and the crowd shut up fast!
[31-12-1969 16:00] 
End of Comments   

"Mike's Rant" is ©2009 by Michael A. Smith     "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2009 by Michael A. Smith    "FANGRRL" is ©2009 by Lisa Scherer Ciurro    "Retrorama" is ©2009 by ED Tucker     "Splash Page" is ©2009 by Brandon Jones     "State of the Nation" is ©2009 by Brandon Jones    "Growing Up Fanboy" is ©2009 by Chris Woods    "Sports Talk" is ©2009 by Chris Munger      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2009 by Nolan B. Canova    
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