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Nolan's Pop Culture Review 2010!
Assistant Editor / Co-moderator: Terence Nuzum

Established A.D. 2000, March 19. Now in our eleventh calendar year!
Number 518  (Vol. 11, No. 9). This edition is for the week of February 22--28, 2010.

The Bay Area Renaissance Festival, 2010
Action Comics #1 Sold for $1 Million
Readers' Comments


Crazed Fanboy's Most Memorable Moments, 2000--2009
As submitted by PCR writers, compiled by Chris Woods
From 2002, Terence Nuzum's ten part article takes you through the great history of the blues.
I wasn't sure whether to call this the "29th" or "30th" Bay Area Renaissance Festival, and online information is frustratingly vague. I thought the sign outside the grounds at MOSI said "29th", but didn't really remember afterwards. I dated my story from 2008 the "28th" which would make this year the "30th", so I'm a little confused at the numbering right now. In any event, it's RenFest 2010 for sure, so we'll go with that.

The village of Fittleworth -- the imaginary 16th century English town the Festival wears as a costume -- has changed little over the years since it moved to the grounds at MOSI (The Museum of Science and Industry) from its previous digs behind the Largo City Library. If anything, it's bigger and more spread out. But that's just my impression.

To really get the most out of the experience, it's helpful to be an enthusiast of the romantic and exciting period of English culture in question. The last of the true kings and queens and princes and princesses and knights in shining armor from the tail end of the Middle Ages, before the Industrial Revolution modernized the world. And a charming world it is. Or was. But is again.

For this year's excursion, I was in the company of co-editor Terence Nuzum, his mother, Yolanda, and his aunt Patty. Going as a family helps put me in a more receptive mood for this type of thing (as it did when I went with Lisa Scherer and the Ciurro family in 2008). No matter what went right or wrong, I was guaranteed to have a good time just being out with these folks. Additionally, we were blessed with fantastic weather, bright sun and clear skies.

Click on images to enlarge. A new browser window will open.
A casual first glance at our environs.
Quaint human-powered kids rides show how it was accomplished 300 years ago!
A look down a lane in Fittleworth.
Beautiful ladies showing their copious attributes during a comical belly-dance show.
Interesting armor! A black knight of the Sith?

Click on images to enlarge. A new browser window will open.
One of the coolest characters we encountered: The "Green Man of the Forest". At first glance, merely part of the shrubbery...until he moved!
Another cool character was the "Tree Man". Inset shows his well-disguised face.
The King (yellow beret) walks among us! Shown here in a casual moment talking with a commoner.
A couple of costumed characters graciously stopped to pose.
I've been attending the Renaissance Festival from the beginning and am a big supporter. The magic is still there for the most part. The period-dressed actors were out in force, though not quite in the numbers I remember. (Still, they leave the strongest memory of the experience.) A few less food vendors as well. The arts-and-crafts folk, however, seem totally unaffected by the current recession and were at least as numerous as years past, thankfully.

I've never attended on a Saturday before, so that may account for why many things seemed different. We arrived just a little too late to catch a jousting tournament and couldn't stay for the next one. I wandered hither and thither looking for my favorite fried veggies stand, but never found it. At the main food stand, The Nuzums were quite taken with the Scottish Egg -- a hard-boiled egg surrounded by a ball of sausage -- but it didn't appeal to me. Instead, I opted for the Portabello Mushroom "burger" which was OK.

I didn't see The Rat Catcher, The Glass Blower, or the Rusty Knight (and gawd do I miss the Slack-Rope Walker from back in the day--wonder whatever happened to him?), but I did take in a fetching performance by a juggler/sleight-of-hand artist who did an entire act around manipulating five crystal balls in his hands. We saw the "Green Man of the Forest" (super-cool), and the "Walking Tree Man" (also super-cool). We caught the tail end of an under-populated comedy act, the single stand-up comedian/story-teller somewhat miffed by our "late arrival" (we were just looking for somewhere to sit down, haha).

There were kids' pony rides and the usual human-powered large swings and the like. Toward the end, I saw The King walk by, but not The Queen (she could've been off somewhere officiating something).

The RenFest calendar is divided into "theme" weekends and ours was "Italian Carnivale" which featured Pet Fest, DaVinci Inventions, Bocce Ball Tournament, and Wine Tasting. The most obvious manifestation of these was the Pet Fest, where it seemed every exotic breed of dog crossed our path. We always stopped to pet the animals and converse with their owners.

Yolanda and I were very impressed with the Roasted Nuts booth (or whatever they called it) and walked away with several big bags of delicious roasted and toasted pecans. I pronounced it the find of the day, especially in lieu of the missing fried veggies.

The Renassiance Festival is always recommended for connoisseurs of English History liberally mixed with local theater. No matter what day you arrive, it'll leave a lasting impression on you.

When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through March 28.
Where: Museum of Science and Industry grounds, 11315 N 46th St., Tampa
Admission: $17.95 adults; $9.95 kids 5-12, $14.95 seniors. Info at renaissancefest.com.
(Look for select days where a four food-can donation will get you a two-for-one pass.)

Ye Olde Editor, on left, with the Nuzum family: Patty (cap), Yolanda, and Terence.


Caught this last night (as I write this) on MSN just before work, so couldn't write a thing before now.

Action Comics #1, the first appearance of Superman published in 1938, has set another record by selling to a private collector in New York City for a cool one million dollars. That's beats the old record -- itself an Action Comics sale -- by over 100%. This marks the first million-dollar comic in history and settles an old question Ye Olde Editor has asked for ages: Would Action #1 ever be worth a million dollars and would I live to see it? Yes. And....yes.

Widely considered the Holy Grail of comic books, it was sold by a private seller to a private buyer, neither of whom released their names. The transaction was conducted by the auction site ComicConnect.com. Stephen Fishler, co-owner of the site and its sister dealership, Metropolis Collectibles, orchestrated the sale.

This particular copy had a grading of 8.0, meaning, on a scale of 1--10, it was pretty darn new and in good shape. In techno-jargon, that's "Very Fine". (There are only about 100 copies known to exist and a pristine mint #1 graded as a "10" likely doesn't exist after 72 years. The books were printed on cheap newsprint which wasn't designed for archiving. Boy, did we learn a lesson!)

Of course, any collectible is only worth whatever a buyer is willing to pay for it. That this more than doubles the previous sale (just under half a million) ramps up the auctioning power of Action #1 quite a notch.

The funny-yet-sad thing to me is this issue -- originally costing ten cents on the newsstand in 1938 -- is forever out of the hands of the casual Joe, who must view it in a museum setting, or perhaps at a comic convention under heavy guard. And that the decendants of the original creators, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, don't see a dime of this money (although I think they see plenty from movie residuals).

I often wonder how many kids threw out these comics before going into the army or whatever, or worse yet (and put this into the "if I had a nickel for every time I heard this" category) well-meaning but myopic parents decided to clean up old rooms and threw away boxes of these priceless treasures, regarding them as faded vestiges from childhood?

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.
Mere Mortal Lisa [01-03-2010 14:55] 
John -- Didn't realize you were acting in Divine accordance there. Good to know. Put in a good word for me with the Big Man Upstairs, would ya? It's good to have connections.
J.MILLER [01-03-2010 14:21] 
Lisa - If your a grown up...And you get killed...And you get killed in a zoo...By a killer whale you were doing tricks with...In Orlando Florida...I would say gods will has pretty much been done and he expects me to laugh pretty damn hard about it...

Matt's Rail [01-03-2010 08:05] 
Inglorious Bastards deserves to sweep these awards in every category nominated. sans Best Supporting actor, which I feel Woody deserves hands down. 2nd in that category to me is Damon. either/or would make me happy.
Matt\'s Rail [01-03-2010 08:03] 
COSTUME DESIGN - "The Young Victoria"
MAKEUP - "Star Trek"
SOUND EDITING - "Inglourious Basterds"
ANIMATED SHORT - Nick Park's "A Matter of Loaf and Death"
Matt's Rail [01-03-2010 08:02] 
i didn't realize the Oscars were upon us. Allow me to offer my choices:

PICTURE: Inglorious Bastards
DIRECTOR: Quentin Tarantino - "Inglourious Basterds"
ACTOR: Jeff Bridges - "Crazy Heart,"
ACTRESS:Meryl Streep - "Julie and Julia"
SUP ACTOR: Woody Harrelson - "The Messenger,"
SUP ACTRESS: Penelope Cruz - "Nine,"
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY - Quentin Tarantino, "Inglourious Basterds"
EDITING -"Inglourious Basterds"
CINEMATOGRAPHY - "Inglourious Basterds"
ORIGINAL SONG -"The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)"
Lisa Lisa [01-03-2010 06:47] 
John Miller: Unlike you, I don't find that Sea World trainer's death funny. I don't find it surprising or unexpected, because of the inherent risks of locking large animals up in small spaces and trying to "tame" or "train" them (and because that particular animal had killed two other people). But the thought of someone being dragged underwater and dying a painful, frightening death by drowning? I personally don't find that giggle-worthy.

And unlike you, I've never financially supported Sea World. Those shows exist because people pay to see them. Practice what you preach.
Michael [28-02-2010 19:58] 
ED, thanks so much for the info! I haven't listened to this thing for years but I do know thinking it didn't sound "right." I think the fact that the makers thank all four Monkees (Dolenz, Jones, Nesmith and Tork) always made me think it was them. I remember when DJB&H toured. They played Big Daddy's in Tampa. I couldn't make the show but I think Nolan and Matt went. You are surely a fountain of information, my friend. I've also got the TIMELESS II pic disc. You're right on the quality, but I think they make a cool collectable.

So, has anyone gone to Moviemikes.com yet??? Comments???
ED [28-02-2010 13:25] 
Mike, the music on Silhouette Records Tails of the Monkees picture disc LP (save one track) is NOT the Monkees. The live music is from a Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart concert. That is why the one B&H track and one strictly DJB&H track are included on the album. When DJB&H toured in the mid 70's, they were often introduced on stage as The Monkees even though they legally could not use that name. White Christmas is from a fan club 45 featuring Mickey, Davy, and Peter that was released a few years later. The flip side, Christmas is My Time of Year, is the better track but was not included on the PD for some reason. There is also a foriegn mix of A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You on there with the drums mixed more up front. That really is The Monkees. Silhouette also produced the notorious Beatles Timeless PD that you have pictured in the bottom photo. It makes Tails of the Monkees look like a prize winner by comparrison!
Michael [28-02-2010 11:28] 
Chris, I taped about 20 films in my younger days...I would then go to bed listening to them. Kind of like a book on tape, but with music!
Chris Woods [28-02-2010 09:39] 
Terence - Liked your review on Sweet Sweetbacks Baadassss Song. Never seen the film, but always wanted to check it out. I did see the movie about Melvin Van Peebles, Badass, with Mario playing his dad. It was pretty good and made me want to see Sweet Sweetbacks.

Mike - I had a Book and Record of Star Wars. The made a lot of those during the 70's and early 80's. I remember every time when R2-D2 made a sound that was the cue to turn the page. I once brought in a tape recorder to Return of the Jedi and taped the whole movie. I remember those days before the home video boom.
J.MILLER [28-02-2010 09:27] 
Tez --- I liked your review for Sweet Sweetback...Have to disagree with you though that there are no black filmmakers who are artsy with their visuals...Have you ignored my praise for Hype Williams? Hes like a blend of Argento, Jodorowsky and Scorsese...The story for Belly may be confusing but the camera work is nothing short of amazing...If you still doubt me watch the videos he made for Missy Elliott, Busta Rhymes and the Wu in the 90s...Or more recently for Kanye West..

The world needs another film like Sweetback...I wonder how a movie like that would be excepted in modern times though...
Steve [27-02-2010 22:33] 
Thanks ED!

Boy, did I feel like an idiot when I read your post!! As soon as I saw the word "Houston", I knew I'd committed a fanboy transgression of great magnitude!

9 lashes for Steve with a roleld up copy of "Nancy & Sluggo" comic book! OUCH!
Michael [27-02-2010 18:51] 
Great issue, everyone. Lisa, love that you've included Margot Kidder in your list of actresses. "Sisters" was a movie I saw with my folks at the drive in and it was pretty intense for a kid of 12. Not sure if you've seen the auditions footage that is on the deluxe DVD of "Superman the Movie," but Stockard Channing WAS pretty good, only her accent made her annoying in the role (Claaarrrkkk). Luckily she became the oldest high school senior EVER in "Grease" instead.
ED [27-02-2010 17:45] 
LOL - Steve, Lee Horsely was the star of the Matt Houston television series! He was also in Sword and the Sorceror and several other films. There was a Matt Helm TV series back in 1975 but that stared Anthony Franciosa.
Steve [27-02-2010 12:44]  
Some of you may remember the Mat Helm TV program, although it didn't last very long. Starred Lee Horsley rather than Dean Martin, who went on to become...retired?
Chris Woods [27-02-2010 07:44] 
Lisa - Great piece on Margot Kidder. I've always liked her in the Superman films and in Black Christmas. A good write up on her and found out some things I didn't know about her.

ED - Liked your article on the Matt Helm films. I never saw any of them, I don't think, but they look interesting. It's cool seeing Dean Martin as a spy.
Phatness in South Tampa [26-02-2010 20:22] 
Is that a new pic of Nolan at the top of the page or have I just noticed it? I once partied with Margot Kiddering. Does that give me Crazed Fan Boy points?
Steve [26-02-2010 15:33]  
John Miller: You speak the truth. The accompanying video (about the tiger in the zoo) was hilarious!
Petrey [26-02-2010 04:42] 
I'm sorry but I've been sitting here laughing at that picture of Superman. The look on the guy's face at the bottom seems to be "where is the nearest payphone?!?! This homosexual in tights and cape to boot(s) has phenomenal strength and is wrecking cars everywhere!!!"
Petrey [26-02-2010 04:35] 
Chris, Isn't that the way it always is? I'm glad ya actually liked at least one of them so your time wasn't a total washout, hah!
Steve Beasley [26-02-2010 00:58] 
I just heard that Batman (Detective Comics #27) just sold for 1.2 million, thereby breaking the world record set by the Action Comics.
Michael [25-02-2010 17:14] 
Actually I was first on the Million Dollar Comic but I don't Rant until the weekend. Maybe I need a "breaking news" area! :-)
Chris Woods [25-02-2010 15:00] 
Terence - Thanks for the kind words about my schlock reviews. Those are the movies I watch the most and I enjoy writing up the reviews of good or bad films.

Petery, ED, and John - I was really disappointed in Blacula. Although I didn't go in thinking to see a crappy blaxploitation, I wanted to see a good horror film, but what I got was a dull one. I just watched Scream, Blacula, Scream and will have the review to that next week. It's funny because all of you are saying it's bad or if I didn't like Blacula I wouldn't like the sequel, but actually I liked Scream, Blacula, Scream better than the first one. To me the story and characters were fleshed out more than the first film and they were a lot of creepy moments in the movie.
J.MILLER [25-02-2010 14:24] 
Chris - I can see why you were disappointed by Blacula...But for me I think its great..

When I originally watched it I was expecting a crappy blaxploitation movie...It turned out to be a good vampire flick that was genuenly decent (least to me)...

I agree with Petrey bout the scene in the photo lab and theres another part I think in a warehouse (been a minute since I seen it) with a bunch of vampires...I was actually impressed by the vampires...Maybe they were lame but they did something for me...

Like everyone else said...Avoid Scream...The only good thing about it is Pam Grier who I would watch in almost anything...Except Scream Blacula Scream
Jason Fetters [25-02-2010 11:56]  
Ed - I had a great time meeting you!! I just got back from seeing the Wolfman. I loved it. Now I need to pick up my severed arm from the movie theater floor and find an emergency room to get it reattached. If only there was some way to stop the bleeding.
ED [25-02-2010 08:16] 
Great meeting you too Randy. Next time stick around for Linksters. You missed the TV theme song medley portion of our program!
Randy [25-02-2010 07:33] 
Nice to meet you guys last night.
ED [25-02-2010 05:50] 
Chris - I always enjoyed the Blacula films although I agree with Petrey that Scream is the far weaker of the two. I love whole prologue at the begining explaining how Dracula cursed him and the culture shock of coming back in the modern day. William Marshall was a great actor and perfect for the part.
ED [25-02-2010 05:48] 
Ter - I agree with you completely on the usability factor of collectibles. I would never buy any comic book I could not read (and re-read). Reprints are OK but they don't have the original ads and letter columns, etc. When I get a Silver or Golden Age comic book, I enjoy reading it cover to cover the same way someone who bought it originally on the news stand probably did. For that very reason, I see no value in things like the CGC where a comic has to remained sealed after they grade it.
Petrey [25-02-2010 02:12] 
Sorry you didn't like BLACULA Chris. I originally saw this as a double bill at a big screen theatre in 1974 with SCREAM BLACULA SCREAM and I hate to say this but if you disliked this one then the 2nd one won't do anything for you.

I saw it in a theatre packed wall to wall with a predominantly black crowd and the screaming and hootin' and hollerin' was a blast! It was like a Horror tent revival, hah!

My two favorite parts of BLACULA was the female cab driver pissing the count off by calling him 'boy' and the slo-mo shot of the morgue chick running toward the camera! CAREEEPYY!

COUNT YORGA double bill played around the same time!
Terence [24-02-2010 18:42] 
though its partly my fault for lack of reviews I think its obvious that without Chris Woods there would be no Schlockarama.
Chris Woods [24-02-2010 17:47] 
New Schlock Review posted: BLACULA
Chris Woods [24-02-2010 17:47] 
Happy Birthday Will!
Terence [24-02-2010 14:05] 
oh yeah now that my ranting is done...Happy B-Day Will!
Terence [24-02-2010 13:56] 

78s i buy to save a peice of history because records have a different sound than cds. but comics with a decent reprint reproduction have no such faults. i always have snickered at people who buy old comics jsut because they are rare or collectable. a true fan buys stuff for the content. anyone else is just lame.
Terence [24-02-2010 13:53] 
John- collecting period to me is kinda of a waste of time. if im going to collect something im going to use it. not have it sit in a case. collecting pulps and comics from decades ago is almost pointless to me. who would really pay gazillions for a comic book that you prolly shouldnt be touching for fear of falling apart. thats what reprints are for. anything else is jsut about trumping someone and saying look what I have and you dont! silliness. i of all people could trump most people I know as far as collectables since i collect old jazz and blues 78rpm records some of which i paid way too much for but they dont just sit there i actually play them on a turntable. unlike comics, where im satisfifed with a reprint, cus i buy old comics for the content and historical reference not the colectibility,
ED [24-02-2010 08:56] 
John - anyone who believes that the action figures created for the last three Star Wars films will appreciate substantially in value is a fool. It only takes about five miniutes of honest research to figure out that they were produced in mass quantities and marketed as collectibles. Everyone and their brother bought them and kept them mint in the package. The number of figures available mint on the card will never dip far below the number originally produced. Any one of these factors would make these figures a risky investment and an unlikely candidate for true collectibility. Add all of them together and you can forget it.
Nolan [24-02-2010 08:21] 
Happy Birthday to Will Moriaty!
ED [24-02-2010 05:38] 
There were a couple of other Koenigs mentioned in the credits for Inalienable. I don't remember if Andrew was one of them or not.
Randy Carpenter [23-02-2010 19:12] 
I recently read that Walter Koening's son, Andrew Koenig (aka Boner) went missing. I wonder if Ed's recent review on Inalienable had any thing to do with that? hahahah
J.MILLER [23-02-2010 19:05] 
Nole --- Im actually glad this story flew semi under the radar...Now days everyone is of the belief that someday the new Star Wars action figure (cards, books, whatever people collect SW was just an example) will eventually be a collectable worth mega bucks...

Its so engrained in our culture that companies are constantly releasing special editions and collectors editions just because its so easy to cash in on this myth...People honestly believe that letting some mass produced item sit in a box for a few years will appreciate its value...

Consumers dont need any more encouragement to buy this rediculous crap...

Jason Fetters [23-02-2010 14:20]  
Can't believe I beat Ed Tucker. Woo Hoo!!
ED [23-02-2010 11:39] 
I first saw the article on Monday morning from one source and then someone sent me a link to another article today. I figured someone else must have already posted on here but when I saw they hadn't I did.
Nolan [23-02-2010 11:11] 
ED: I'm actually surprised Brandon didn't beat us both to it. As I said in my piece, I read about it last night and the only reason I didn't post anything is I was out of time. I realized by waiting until today I was taking a chance, but what could I do.

The million-dollar comic story actually made the radio news as well (which I heard overnight at work), but not sure any TV covered it. Does anyone know?
ED [23-02-2010 10:05] 
I always get a little nervous on sales like this between private collectors even if there is supposedly an auction house brokering the deal. I don't put it past people to artificially inflate the market to drive up the prices of the books they sell. In your "If I had a nickle" category, I wonder how many people have seen the article and said "If Action Comics #1 sold for $1M surely my has to be worth at least $X!". Craigslist and eBay will be looking ugly for a while, just like when Jacko died.
No Nickname Lisa [23-02-2010 10:05] 
Yeah, but I'm the first to wish a happy birthday to all those in the CFB realm who have February birthdays. So there! :P

Will, Cathy, et. al. -- Happy birthday!
ED [23-02-2010 10:00] 
Yes but I was first on the million dollar comic last issue! It's all good.
Brandon [23-02-2010 08:50] 
It's great to be first in a week where the First Million Dollar Comic makes headlines!!!
[31-12-1969 16:00] 
End of Comments    

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"Mike's Rant" is ©2010 by Michael A. Smith     "This Week's Movie Review" is ©2010 by Michael A. Smith     "The Audio Philes" is ©2010 by Terence Nuzum     "La Floridiana" is ©2010 by William Moriaty    "FANGRRL" is ©2010 by Lisa Scherer    "Retrorama" is ©2010 by ED Tucker    "Growing Up Fanboy" is ©2010 by Chris Woods    "Sports Talk" is ©2010 by Chris Munger     "The Asian Aperture" is ©2010 by Jason Fetters     "Lampin' @ the 6th Borough" is ©2010 by John Miller      All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2010 by Nolan B. Canova    
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