The Cultural Gutter

building a better robot builder

"We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." -- Oscar Wilde

About

“My experience of life is that it is not divided up into genres; it’s a horrifying, romantic, tragic, comical, science-fiction cowboy detective novel. You know, with a bit of pornography if you’re lucky.”
― Alan Moore

 

The Cultural Gutter is updated every Thursday afternoon with a new article about an artistic pursuit generally considered to be beneath consideration. Carol Borden draws out the best in comics, Chris Szego dallies with romance, alex MacFadyen stares deeply into the screen, Keith Allison probes science-fiction, and our Guest Stars shine here.

Thanks to EJ Lee for providing the fantastic art we used in the banner and The Cultural Gutter book.

While the writers have considerable enthusiasm for their subjects, they don’t let it numb their critical faculties. Tossing away the shield of journalistic objectivity and refusing the shovel of fannish boosterism, they write in the hopes of starting honest and intelligent discussions about these oft-enjoyed but rarely examined artforms. Contact us here.

Our Editors

Raised by two international catburglars, Carol Borden turned her back on her heritage to take up a life of art. Sometimes, late at night, she regrets her decision. You can read and listen to some of her other shenanigans at  Monstrous Industry. For her particular take on gutter culture, check out, “In the Sewer with the Alligators.”

Chris Szego reads romance. Along with poetry, mystery, sf, non-fiction of all kinds, cereal boxes (but not horror, because she’s kind of a chicken). For her particular take on the gutter, check out, “Love For Sale.”

Born and raised in Canada’s Cowtown, alex MacFadyen first embraced the cultural gutter through the local country music station. Needless to say, his family did not get it, and that was only the beginning. For his particular take on the gutter, check out, “The Social Relevance of Jackassery.”

When he’s not explaining some obscure historical or anthropological point while oblivious to the fact that he is slowly sinking in quicksand, Keith Allison writes about Science Fiction and Fantasty for The Cultural Gutter and runs the cult culture website Teleport City. For his particular take on gutter culture, check out, “The Sci-Fi Life.

SF/F Editor Emeritus James Schellenberg lives in Ottawa, and runs a book website called BiblioTravel that keeps track of where fiction is set. For his particular take on gutter culture, check out, “Even When They’re Wrong, They’re Right.” (Retired from The Gutter).

Screen Editor Emeritus Ian Driscoll is the screenwriter of numerous gutter-level films including the Harry Knuckles series, Jesus Christ, Vampire Hunter, The Dead Sleep Easy and Smash Cut. His day job is in advertising, which helps explain the drinking. And, because he apparently needed another thing to keep him busy, he recently became a partner in running Ottawa’s oldest surviving cinema, the Mayfair Theatre. If he had a band, he would name it Two-Panel Marmaduke. For his particular take on the Gutter, check out, “Dangerous Because it Has a Philosophy.” (retired from The Gutter)

Jim Munroe has written three science-fiction novels. His videogame column in eye is called Pleasure Circuit. His No Media Kings website is home to his projects as well as many do-it-yourself articles on movie and book making. He lives with his wife in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood but enjoys an occasional trip to Liberty City, where he’s shot a lot of video. For his particular take on gutter culture, check out, “Vive Le Gutter!” (Retired from The Gutter)

Guy Leshinski is a writer and editor, a slapdash cartoonist and bass player, and sometime bon vivant. His comics column, The Panelist, appears every other week in Toronto’s eye Weekly. For his particular take on gutter culture, check out, “Gutter Thoughts.” (Retired from The Gutter)

Video Games editor Andrew Smale has retired from The Gutter.

Movie Editor Robin Bougie is writer and editor for the seminal Cinema Sewer magazine (retired from The Gutter)

 

Affiliations

The Cultural Gutter is a member site of The Mysterious Order of the Skeleton Suit (M.O.S.S.), a shadowy confederation of like-minded writers, broadcasters, creators, and jetsetters who have banded together in a bold mission to bring international intrigue and pop entertainment to the masses. Can anyone stand in the way of their diabolical schemes???

 

 

 

The Cultural Gutter is also a proud sponsor of The Drive-In Mob, along with the Grindhouse Cinema Database and Shelf Life Clothing Company.  Find the Mob on Twitter every Thursday and join in the tweetalong with the hashtag “#driveinmob” as we watch a classic genre film double feature.  Check driveinmob.com  or @driveinmob on Twitter for the weekly schedule and learn more about the Mob’s history here.

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    We have been bereft since GWAR lost Oderus Ungerus. But lift up your heads and rejoice, fans of GWAR, there is a new member. She is Vulvatron! (via @saladinahmed)

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    Throne of the Crescent Moon author Saladin Ahmed has posted “a micro-mini Crescent Moon Kingdoms world guide that had previously only been available as part of a UK-exclusive ebook” for people to use in their roleplaying games. But even if you aren’t a gamemaster, it’s pretty sweet.

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    At We Are Respectable Negroes, Chauncey Devega interviews friend of the Gutter Mark D. White about the virtues of Captain America. “In this, the ninth episode, of the second season of WARN’s podcast series, we talk about what comic books and superheroes can tell us about philosophy and politics, work through what makes someone ‘heroic,’ the ways that the general public often misunderstands and misreads the Captain America character, as well as how American exceptionalism, race, and identity relate to superhero and other types of comic books and graphic novels.”

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    Alexander Chee writes about difficulty some have in evaluating comics or even in taking them seriously. “As a frequent juror on prizes, colonies and fellowships, I am, it could be said, so tired of this, that in fact, I will fight you for Roz Chast’s right to be on this list. I will fight you for the right for Bechdel to get that MacArthur. In a ring, covered in grease, MMA style. That is how sick of it I am.”

    And Dylan Meconis has some suggestions on how to improve writing about comics. “This leaves all the critics who are just beginning their journey into comics reading, or who have yet to be entirely won over to the medium but want to keep an open mind (perhaps due to peer pressure: I remember a literati cocktail party where somebody near me anxiously muttered ‘I guess we’re all supposed to read graphic novels now.’) These brave souls are willing to give it a try, but they tend to make a lot of mistakes when they first start out.” (Thanks, Gareth!)

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    At Black Girl Nerds, Jamie Broadnax writes a powerful piece about racism, cosplaying, police violence and the homicide of Darrien Hunt. “The first thing we need to do is NOT let this story scare us nor intimidate us into believing that we should be fearful of cosplaying.  We should still encourage others who may not yet have participated in cosplay to know that there are several communities for people of color to have safe spaces where they can be embrace and be their nerdy selves. If there is little to no news about this incident on other mainstream geek sites that feature cosplayers, then framing this around race is pertinent and they should be called out on their silence.  Even IF this is not an incident where Darrien Hunt was actively cosplaying, the tone has already been set and anyone who is a part of the cosplay community should address this matter.  Many Black cosplayers are concerned about this, and still wonder if they would be viewed as ‘suspicious’ walking down the street.”

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    Nerds of Color announces that their own David Walker will be writing Dynamite’s Shaft comic. Denys Cowan shares the cover for Shaft #1 drawn by Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz. Sanford Greene shares some his cover work here and here. Black Comix posts Ulises Farinas’ cover.  Comics Wow has more and previews covers. (Via Black Comix and World of Hurt)

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