Mike McCarthy's art is based on three original Pop Culture contributions that America gave the world during the twentieth century: Comic Books, Rock and Roll, and Drive-In Cinema (not just the physical things themselves, but the ideas behind them). The most progressive and brilliant period of this pulp trinity occurs between 1935 to 1977 ("Bride of Frankenstein" to "Star Wars", Will Rogers death to Punk Rock, the first comic books until the death of underground comics); and the Life and Death of Elvis Presley.

Elvis Presley is not just the king of rock and roll, he is the king of American Pop Culture.

McCarthy notes that the Golden Age and it's darker pre-period with Silent Film and the Euro Avante-Garde (along with capitalism's intrinsic regard for linkage) creates a monstrous family tree where film, comics, and movies are related, often succeeding one over the other. This could be the subject of a book or a documentary ('The Rise and Fall of American Pop Culture'), but instead McCarthy (in the precious time that he has) contributes new regionalistic and millennial (not post-modern) pieces based on ideas gleaned from the past -when American Pop Culture cyclically went from the underground to the mainstream with a quickness and sincerity while sometimes crossing oceans to do so. Guerrilla Monster Films was founded by McCarthy in 1994, and has become a catalog of sorts for his pre-film comic book work, music, and ideas.
"It's our rock and roll they want, not our ideology".

With this Pop realization comes the notion that Memphis Tennessee is ground zero for American Pop Culture, not only in music history as the creation-site for rock and roll and urban proximity for Mississippi blues, but in that Elvis Presley chose to remain here and is buried here. Most tourists come to Memphis to revel in our dramatic history, to witness a "time capsule effect", and the destruction of any old structure that is important to American Pop Culture history (like the Hotel Chisca or the Zippin Pippin roller coaster) is wrong and shows cultural ignorance. (Witness the prime example of the demolition of Stax Records and it's 20 million dollar rebirth).

The things that McCarthy likes about the Golden Age of American Pop Culture that he cannot save will be found in his multi-genre artwork - along with the help of his many talented collaborators.

Has anything ORIGINAL happened in Pop Culture since the death of Elvis Presley?

Mike McCarthy DEMO REEL produced by Craig Brewer and assembled by Adrianna Kirkl. Screen Image of Gina Velour.

foto by Ron Harris