The Cultural Gutter

taking the dumb out of fandom

"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

    At Sequential Art, Ryan Carey deconstructs and reconstructs Jack Kirby’s OMAC . “In order to better understand OMAC, then, we’ll be taking things one piece at a time here — we’ll look at where the ideas came from, how they related to other views of the future popular at the time, where Kirby was, creatively and professionally, in 1974, and ultimately try to decipher precisely why all of this ended up in the shape it ultimately did.  After that, we’ll concern ourselves with the real nitty-gritty of examining each and every one of the series’ eight issues, before taking a look at how, and in what form, the legacy of both the character and the book continue, and evolve, to this day.”

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    Video of illustrator and character designer Katsuya Terada drawing and talking about his work. (via @aicnanime)

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    A 1,300-year-old Egyptian book of spells has been translated. “Among other things, the ‘Handbook of Ritual Power,’ as researchers call the book, tells readers how to cast love spells, exorcise evil spirits and treat “black jaundice,” a bacterial infection that is still around today and can be fatal.”

    ~

    Zack and Steve go through and review Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Module S-1: The Tomb Of Horrors at WTF, D&D?!…so you don’t have to.

    “Steve: Most of the opening paragraph is a warning about difficulty. ‘You’ll never find the demi-lich’s secret chamber’ and the tomb is fraught with “terrible traps, poison gases, and magical protections.” It’s telling you not to play the adventure.

    Zack: Not just in that part. In the DM’s notes section at the start, Gygax explicitly warns Dungeon Masters that if your players enjoy killing monsters they will be unhappy with the adventure.

    Steve: ‘This module is only for parties that enjoy dying immediately and repeatedly.’ Oh, man, we’re not going to play though this thing are we?”

    ~

    Dr. Nerdlove takes a brief break from helping the nerd get the girl to address something that’s been bugging him. “Pardon me while I go off on a bit of a media criticism/ rant here. So I’ve been enjoying the *hell* out of The Flash lately except for one thing: Iris Allen. Her character is screen death; every time she’s around, everything comes to a screeching halt.

    The problem is: it’s not her fault, it’s the writers. Rather like Laurel Lance in the first two seasons of Arrow, she has Lois Lane syndrome. Her (like Laurel and Lois) entire character arc is based around being ignorant of events that literally everyone else in her life is aware of.”

    ~

    Get your own copy of the Satanic Temple’s The Satanic Children’s Big Book of Activities!

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