The Cultural Gutter

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

Karen Berger and Vertigo

The New York Times profiles Karen Berger, former editor of DC’s Vertigo comics imprint. “When the Vertigo imprint was introduced in 1993, it was a way for writers and illustrators to retain ownership of their work and be free of the restraints that governed superhero stories.”

The Great Alan Moore Re-Read

Tim Callahan is re-reading and writing about all of Alan Moore’s major comics.  From Hell, Moore’s collaboration with Eddie Campbell, is the 26th installment.

Alan Moore Responds to Frank Miller.

Frank Miller disagrees with Occupy Wall Street (i.e. “Wake up, pond scum”). Alan Moore disagrees with Frank Miller about Occupy Wall Street, and probably everything else ever.

Full and Uncut Interview with Alan Moore

comicbookGRRRL‘s Laura Sneddon has posted her full and uncut interview with Alan Moore.  An abridged version, “Superheroes are our visions of ourselves,” originally appeared in The Independent. Moore talks superheroes, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Lost Girls and attracting a female readership.

Dreadful Thoughts

As an adult, my strongest impressions of horror have come from comics. My childhood ones are almost exclusively from tv—the trailer for Magic and a misguided viewing of the beginning of Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein. But as an adult, I remember picking up the first issue of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman (Vertigo) and being so freaked out […]

Rohrshach vs. Alan Moore

Rohrshach has discovered a new conspiracy, a plan to ensure that no one watches The Watchmen. (Via Forbidden Planet International)

Rolling Stone Interviews Grant Morrison

Grant Morrison notes some things about superheroes, the comics industry, Mark Millar, sexism and rape in an interview with Rolling Stone:  “I suddenly think how many times has somebody been raped in an Alan Moore story? And I couldn’t find a single one where someone wasn’t raped except for Tom Strong, which I believe was […]

Good-Bye, Oracle–Hello, Batgirl

As part of its massive “reboot,” DC Comics will make Barbara Gordon Batgirl again. This means, though that her 20 year history as Oracle, peerless hacker and information broker with an eidetic memory, leader of The Birds of Prey and one of the few examples of a differently-abled hero in comics, is gone.  Some readers […]

Ditko = Ditko

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“For my own part, regret nothing. Have lived life, free from compromise … and step into the shadow now without complaint.” –Rohrshach’s journal (Alan Moore, Watchmen) I read Watchmen as many people do, without knowing the comics history Moore invoked. In a story that begins as a superhero murder mystery and becomes so much more, […]

Commodification is Inevitable

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Joe Steckart has an interesting response to Patton Oswalt’s “Wake Up, Geek Culture. Time to Die“: “Reading Watchmen does not make you cool. Being able to talk about it intelligently does. The counterculture, the ineffable ‘cool,’ will always be manifesting itself in something. Right now it’s manifesting at least partly in geek culture, and that’s wonderful. […]

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Preview

Bleeding Cool has a preview of Kevin O’Neill’s art for League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Century: 1969.

“Crisis in the 36th Chamber”

Chris Sims and Rusty Shackles bring you, “Great Comics That Never Were (But Shoulda Been)!”

Jenkins’ List

Henry Jenkins writes up a handy list of some comics he’s enjoyed recently, divvied into stories of everyday life, superheroes, science fiction/fantasy/horror, and some unclassifiable items.

Talking Shit about Grant Morrison and Alan Moore

Savage Critics Jeff Lester and Graeme McMillan talk some shit about Grant Morrison and Alan Moore, smart shit. And if that’s not enough, the talk a lot about other comics. But hearing them talk about Grant Morrison and Alan Moore is enough if that’s all you have time for.

Alan Moore Knows The Score

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“It’s nice to hear all the old songs, isn’t it?”–the Devil, The Black Rider I was surprised to hear the old songs in Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Century: 1910 (Top Shelf, 2009). I probably shouldn’t have been. The chapter title, “What Keeps Mankind Alive” distracted me, but I kept […]

AN ANICONIC ICON

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This month we’re mixing it up at the Gutter, with the editors writing about something outside their usual domain. This week Ian Driscoll writes about comics. Well, mostly comics. When the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published twelve editorial cartoons, several of which depicted the prophet Muhammad, well, you probably remember. Outcry. Controversy. Embassies on fire. All […]

Saturday Morning Watchmen

Get out your favorite milk-dying sugar saturated cereal, it’s “Saturday Morning Watchmen!” Dr.Manhattan turns into a car. That’s tight.

ROUND THE DECAY OF THAT COLOSSAL WRECK

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In the run-up to, and wake of, the release of Watchmen, it has become common currency to say that adapting Zach Snyder, et al undertook a massive challenge in adapting Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ complex, sprawling medium- and genre-defining work for the screen. But I’m going to suggest that they actually undertook an even […]

Wrangling Watchmen

Read everything you wanted to about the Watchmen movie? Let us wrangle you a little more. Marc Hirsch argues for the comic as its own form and Andrew O’Hehir is shocked to be writing that it “way out-darks The Dark Knight and immediately leaps near the top of the list of apocalyptic pop-culture operas.” Meanwhile, […]

“It’s a new world, Arcane.”

Andrew O’Hehir tricks us all by writing about Alan Moore and Swamp Thing instead of movies at Salon: “[T]wo things are clear: Moore knows what comics readers want and intends to give it to them, and whether or not they want something more complicated, more tragic and more adult (I know it’s a loaded word), […]

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    “I want to tell you about when violent campaigns against harmless bloggers weren’t any halfway decent troll’s idea of a good time—even the then-malicious would’ve found it too easy to be fun. When the punches went up, not down. Before the best players quit or went criminal or were changed by too long a time being angry. When there was cruelty, yes, and palpable strains of sexism and racism and every kind of phobia, sure, but when these things had the character of adolescents pushing the boundaries of cheap shock, disagreeable like that but not criminal. Not because that time was defensible—it wasn’t, not really—but because it was calmer and the rage wasn’t there yet. Because trolling still meant getting a rise for a laugh, not making helpless people fear for their lives because they’re threatening some Redditor’s self-proclaimed monopoly on reason. I want to tell you about it because I want to make sense of how it is now and why it changed.” Emmett Rensin writes more at Vox.

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    At Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, Elyse has some things to say about reading Romance. “In the end, it doesn’t matter what I read. It doesn’t even matter that I do read, quite frankly. What matters is that we live in a world where fiction aimed directly at women is perceived as garbage. That doesn’t say anything at all about me, it says a lot about what needs to change.”

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    Brain Pickings looks at the life and work of Tove Jansson and the wisdom of her character, Too-ticky. “Too-ticky, the sage of Moominvalley who solves even the most existential of problems with equal parts practicality and wisdom, was inspired by the love of Jansson’s life — the great Finnish sculptor and graphic arts pioneer Tuulikki “Tooti” Pietilä, Jansson’s spouse. The two women met in art school during their twenties and remained together until Jansson’s death more than six decades later, collaborating on a lifetime of creative projects — all at a time when queer couples were straddling the impossible line between anguishing invisibility and dangerous visibility.” (via Kate Laity)

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    Photographer Kevin Weir uses vintage photographs to create haunting animation in “The Flux Machine.” The Guardian has an interview with Weir and more on his work.

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    At the New Yorker, Jill Lepore considers the intertwining histories of women’s suffrage, feminism, Amazons and Wonder Woman. “It isn’t only that Wonder Woman’s backstory is taken from feminist utopian fiction. It’s that, in creating Wonder Woman, William Moulton Marston was profoundly influenced by early-twentieth-century suffragists, feminists, and birth-control advocates and that, shockingly, Wonder Woman was inspired by Margaret Sanger, who, hidden from the world, was a member of Marston’s family.”

     

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    Tim Reis shares ten things he learned from producing his first independent feature The Demon’s Rook. “Making an independent feature film is hard. Making an independent feature film with no money is especially hard. Making an independent feature film with no money, no actors, and a first-time director and crew is almost impossible. It is also the greatest, most liberating thing and you can and should totally do it.” (Thanks, Colin!)

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