The Thrilling Adventure Hour is a beacon in a grittily realistic, grimdark pop culture landscape, one guiding lost souls to fun, charm and adventure. And I’m glad to see The Thrilling Adventure Hour adapted from podcast radio play into graphic novel because I like what it portends for fun stories in the future and because charm is something I can use more of in my entertainment and my life. Continue reading…
This site is updated 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 and Keith Allison probes science fiction.
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The Cultural Gutter turned ten in May, 2013 and we didn’t make much of a fuss about it. But ten years ago this week, Jim Munroe posted the manifesto that’s guided The Cultural Gutter, even as each subsequent editor has joined the Gutter and added their take on our mission. We thought this would be a good time to celebrate our mission and republish it. (And congratulations to our friends at the Hand Eye Society on their fifth anniversary this Friday).
For a long time, I’ve always felt a little weird about the third question people ask me at parties.
“What do you do?”
“I’m a novelist.”
“Oh! Really! Have you had anything published?”
“Yep, I have three books out there.”
“What kind of writing is it that you do?”
“Well…it’s kind of science-fiction influenced stuff.”
You see the side-step there? Continue reading…
Carol’s wonderful piece about Frozen nearly had me writing one of my own. Sisters being friends, yay! Snowman not as annoying as feared, yay! Big number for Idina Menzel, yay! But the bulk of what I had to say boiled down to ‘better than I thought’. That’s a sentence, not a column.
But Carol’s column did make me think a bit about how stories change in the telling. When it comes to fairy tales, I’m no purist. I love re-tellings, revisions, old favourites made new and strange. That, I think, is what I liked best about Frozen: it took the bare idea of the Snow Queen and told a completely different story, albeit one in which we can vaguely recognize the original.
And that reminded me of some of my favourite fairy tale retellings… and how so many of them are love stories Continue reading…
Whenever I find myself edging towards misery or self-pity, I start humming the ending theme from The 1970′s tv version of The Incredible Hulk. I think to myself, “David Banner will never have a normal life.” It’s a technique I owe to Carol Borden, who has a lot of interesting things to say about The Hulk.
Having inevitably hulked out wherever he’s just been, David Banner is forced to move on down the road at the end of each episode with nothing but a duffle bag and his own radioactive blood for company. When I imagine that the outcome of whatever predicament I’m in will be that I will never have a normal life, the sheer melodrama helps put it in perspective. Continue reading…
Posted May 16, 2011
“A murder is somehow more quintessentially English when committed on the
cobbles of a foggy East End alley. If there’s a silhouetted top hat, a
rustle of crinoline and a scream cut short with straight razor, all the
better.” The Guardian has more on “the Great English Slaying.”
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Of Note Elsewhere
The Mysterious Order of the Skeleton Suit gathered together to harrow ourselves with the the movie Jess Franco walked away from, Zombie Lake (1982). Enjoy our harrowing here. (The Cultural Gutter is a proud Agent of M.O.S.S.)
Driven from its village by cruel Ch’ing officials, Kaiju Shakedown has spent years righting wrongs and secretly training in the world of martial arts. Now Kaiju Shakedown returns to us, using an improved No Shadow Fist to write about Asian cinema at Film Comment.
“Fan-crafted theorizing is fun enough – it’s a solid way to keep up audience engagement over a show’s run and even inject excitement into series that might be flailing on its own (see: that horrifying “dead mother” theory that’s been circulating amongst How I Met Your Mother fans, which is either entirely insane or decidedly brilliant) – but it can be troublesome when an audience becomes too obsessed with the possibilities and suddenly feels that the show is somehow beholden to them.” Film School Rejects has more. And there is discussion of plot points in the show and the finale, as there is in this interview with screenwriter Nic Pizzolatto at Entertainment Weekly.
“In 1911, the famed American medium Anna Eva Fay held a public seance at the London Coliseum, inviting audience members to ask questions that she would answer by channelling the dead. Seated in the auditorium was Violet Coward, whose beloved 11-year-old son, Noël, had just begun his stage career after Violet spotted an advert in the Daily Mirror looking for a ”talented boy” to appear in a play called The Goldfish.” More about Noël Coward, Blithe Spirit, Madame Fay and Spiritualism at The Guardian. (via @katelaity)
“As much as you think ‘We Built This City (On Rock And Roll)’ or Spandau Ballet might be bad, you don’t even know bad, buddy.’” Jon Hunt writes about guilty pleasures, critical faculties, good and bad music, but his thoughts can easily be applied to other mediums. (via @popshifter)
Settle in for a a master class on Will Eisner with comic creators, including Art Spiegelman” “[Eisner was] kinda cannibalizing all other visual metaphors and forms to make his own comic book story. This certainly was a very strong theme for me.” (Find out more about the documentary and the companion book here. (Site in Portuguese)).