The Cultural Gutter

taking trash seriously

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

George R.R. Martin on the Hugos


Game Of Thrones author George R. R. Martin has written a series of posts on the current state of the Hugo Awards and the nomination process.

Chad Stahelski and David Leitch on Stunts and Oscars


At Playboy, Marc Bernardin talks to stunt performers/stunt coordinators/directors Chad Stahelski and David Leitch about the Academy Awards unwillingess to create a category for stunts. “There is sort of also this sort of bravado stunt men have had since the beginning. We’re the guys behind the guys and we don’t need the glory. And it’s […]

“The Pain of the Watermelon Joke”


Author Jacqueline Woodson writes about her memoir Brown Girl Dreaming, growing up in South Carolina and Daniel Handler’s watermelon joke directed at her at the National Book Awards. “I would have written Brown Girl Dreaming if no one had ever wanted to buy it, if it went nowhere but inside a desk drawer that my […]

“We Need Diverse Books”


The Washington Post has a transcript of American Born Chinese and Boxers & Saints creator Gene Luen Yang’s speech at the 2014 National Book Festival Gala.  “We’re afraid of writing characters different from ourselves because we’re afraid of getting it wrong. We’re afraid of what the Internet might say. This fear can be a good […]

Interview with Alison Bechdel


NPR interviews cartoonist Alison Bechdel on the occasion of her MacArthur Genius Grant. “I guess I’m proudest of just really sticking with this odd thing I loved and was good at — drawing comics about marginal people (lesbians) in a marginal format (comics). I never thought much about whether that was responsible, or respectable, or […]

Critics and Comics


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 […]

RIP, Jesus Franco

Director, writer and actor Jésus “Jess” Franco has died. Franco directed just under two hundred films between 1957 and 2012. Chris Alexander writes a tribute to Franco at Fangoria. Here’s footage of Franco accepting his Goya Award. And here, Franco talks about horror movies and the production of Bloody Moon. Update: The Guardian has an […]

RIP, Bonnie Franklin

Actress Bonnie Franklin has died. Franklin was best known for her role as Ann Romano in the sitcom One Day At A Time, but performed on stage as well as on television. Here she is performing in the Tony Awards in the 1970s. The New York Times has an obituary.

The 2012 Kitschies Shortlist

Our friends at Pornokitsch have announced the shortlist for the 2012 Kitschies, and The Guardian reports on it! The Kitschies recognize “the year’s most progressive, intelligent and entertaining works that contain elements of the speculative or fantastic.”

“Visibility is Indivisible from Visibility”

Bound, Matrix and Cloud Atlas co-director, Lana Wachowski talks about growing up trans, suicide, and becoming a role model in her speech accepting the Visibility Award at the Human Rights Campaign’s annual gala dinner. The transcript is here.  

Pornokitsch Reviews!

Pornokitsch has a new entry in their ongoing reviews of David Gemmell Award finalists with Mark Lawrence’s Prince of Thorns.  Reading the book, Jared wonders “why? Why is it necessary to have a protagonist that’s so aggressively, angrily vile? Bret Easton Ellis did something similar with Patrick Bateman. American Psycho (1991) was the vivisection of the young, […]

“On a Tootsie Roll”

Riffing off Melissa McCarthy’s Best Supporting Actress nomination at the Academy Awards and off the film Tootsie, film critic Bobby Rivers writes: “Hollywood, please give us more witty comedies like Tootsie and make the casts racially diverse.  Give minority actors more opportunities.  Then start giving more love to actors of all colors who do good work […]

Nnedi Okorafor’s Howard

Nnedi Okorafor writes on her World Fantasy Award for Best Novel, more specifically the award’s statuette and the man it depicts, HP Lovecraft:  “This is something people of color, women, minorities must deal with more than most when striving to be the greatest that they can be in the arts: The fact that many of […]

10th Annual Rondo Hatton Awards

The ballot is now up for this year’s Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards. Voting in the many, many categories is open to everyone!

The 2011 Kitschies

Our good friends at Pornokitsch presented the 2011 Kitsches this weekend, click through for more and congratulations to the winners and to Pornokitsch for an amazing event!

The Kitschies’ Red Tentacle Finalists

Our good friends at Pornokitsch have released the shortlist of finalists for the Kitschies’ Red Tentacle award and have an in depth look at one of the Finalists, The Enterprise of Death by Jesse Bullington.  “The Red Tentacle is awarded annually to the novel containing speculative or fantastic elements that best fulfills the criteria of […]

The Kitschies!

The 2011 Kitschies are accepting submissions for their tentacular awards celebrating books that “best elevate the tone of genre literature.” Read submission criteria, guidelines and check out past winners of the coveted Red, Gold, Black and Inky Tentacle (for cover art) awards here!

On Awards

Adam Roberts lays down the law on awards from the Man Booker to the Hugo: “I’m saying that award judges, or voters, need to believe, or at least to suspend their disbelief, that it is meaningful to talk of the best book of the year–to think not that you are making purely subjective and arbitrary […]

Rethinking Brain Eating

If you had to deal with Stalkers, you

If he feels vindicated, he doesn’t show it. As Marc Laidlaw waits for his co-workers to finish a talk, we sit down at a table in San Francisco’s cavernous Moscone Center and talk about Half-Life 2 (Valve, 2004). Its 1998 predecessor is legendary for pushing the form both narratively (bringing atmosphere and intelligence to the […]

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    There’s a free audio book adaptation of Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’ Locke & Key at


    At Actionland, Heroic Sister Achillesgirl writes about subtitling the 1964 wuxia film, Buddha Palm. And she provides you with the subtitles and a link to the film!


    At Bleeding Cool, Cap Blackard writes about the contested homeworld of Howard the Duck. “If you’ve seen the much maligned Howard the Duck film or read any Howard the Duck stories published since 1979, you’re probably familiar with the concept of Duckworld. You know, an alternate Earth where everyone is ducks and everything is duck-themed: Ducktor Strange, Bloomingducks, etc, etc. Sounds like a recipe for a finite barrel of bad jokes, right? It is, and it’s also not Howard’s real point of origin. During his landmark initial run, Howard’s creator Steve Gerber had the down-and-out duck hailing from a world of talking animals, but all that changed when Gerber was kicked off the book and Disney flashed a lawsuit. Now, after decades of backstory fumbling, Mark Waid has reinstated Howard’s point of origin in a one-shot issue of S.H.I.E.L.D.” (Thanks, Mark!)


    At The Village Voice, Jackson Connor writes about the making of The Warriors. Amid the refurbished boardwalk and laughter of children, it’s easy to forget that Coney Island was once a place where tourists did not venture. For much of the latter half of the twentieth century, street gangs dominated this neighborhood. They ran rampant through the area’s neglected housing projects, tearing along Surf and Neptune avenues toward West 8th Street. Those gangs, or gangs like them, and that incarnation of Coney Island would form the backbone of author Sol Yurick’s 1965 debut novel, The Warriors, about the young members of a street gang. More than a decade after the novel’s publication it would be optioned and, eventually, turned into a major motion picture of the same name.” (via @pulpcurry)


    Edith Garrud taught Suffragettes jiu-jitsu and formed Emmeline Pankhurst’s Bodyguard. “The first connection between the suffragettes and jiu-jitsu was made at a WSPU meeting. Garrud and her husband William, who ran a martial arts school in London’s Golden Square together, had been booked to attend. But William was ill, so she went alone. ‘Edith normally did the demonstrating, while William did the speaking,’ says Tony Wolf, writer of Suffrajitsu, a trilogy of graphic novels about this aspect of the suffragette movement. ‘But the story goes that the WSPU’s leader, Emmeline Pankhurst, encouraged Edith to do the talking for once, which she did.'”


    At Playboy, Jake Rossen writes about the story behind the filming and the restoration of Manos: The Hands of Fate. “For a long time no one wanted to see it unless it was accompanied by MST3K’s taunts. Then, in 2011, a collector of film prints uncovered the original negative of Manos and embarked on an inexplicable project to restore the film with all the white-glove attention archivists give to Hollywood classics. His efforts would incur the wrath of a mysterious man with a fake New Zealand accent named Rupert, as well as Joe Warren, Hal Warren’s embittered son, who intends to preserve the Manos legacy at all costs.” (Thanks, Ed!)


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