The Cultural Gutter

geek chic with mad technique

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

Bitch Planet Studies Exploitation With Exploitation”

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At Sequential Art, Ian Dawe writes about Kelly Sue Deconnick and Valentine de Landro’s comic, Bitch Planet. “The first thing to understand about this comic is that it’s a deep homage to 1970s science fiction, sports movies and exploitation pornography. Artist Valentine De Landro uses the visual language of films like 1974’s Caged Heat, but […]

Mucking Up The Respectable Comics Business

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I’ve been thinking about disreputable art more than usual lately, between the film adaptation of 50 Shades of Grey coming out and Jonathan Franzen franzenating about women mucking up the whole respectable novel business. I can’t help but think of the history of the novel in Europe and North America. A tawdry form that was […]

News and Covers for the Upcoming Shaft Comic

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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 […]

“Blaxploitation Horror Films: Backlash and Concerns”

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At Graveyardshift Sisters, Ashlee Blackwell writes about the complexity of Blaxploitation horror. “What is visceral, real to the fears of the oppressed, ignored, and patronized are often symbols of empowerment, showing true courage in the face of what’s on the screen and everyday circumstances to see a character figure who takes on the world. Whether […]

“Deadly Art of Survival”

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The Gutter’s own Keith writes about No Wave, Black cinema, ninjas, kung fu, cultural sharing, cultural appropriation, music and New York in a piece on The Deadly Art of Survival for Teleport City. “Its curious place in the history of cinema, for instance, [is] as this weird amalgamation of no wave, black cinema, and martial […]

Don-O-Mite, aka, “Blaxploitation Mad Men”

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“Doing a bit for a crime he didn’t commit, the man is giving Don one more shot.” Leroy and Clarkson present the trailer for Don-O-Mite, Mad Men Blaxploitation-style. (via @BlackGirlNerds)

“Electric Lady (Kiss) Land: Blade Runner and R&B”

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At Popshifter, Paul Casey looks at Blade Runner, Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,  Janelle Monáe’s The Electric Lady and The Weeknd’s Kiss Land. “Where The Electric Lady is uplifting and empowering, the story of a righteous dissident fighting for every wronged being in existence, Kiss Land is from the other side. […]

RIP, Jim Kelly

Actor, Karate Grandmaster and tennis player Jim Kelly has died. Kelly starred alongside Bruce Lee in Enter The Dragon and in action/Blaxploitation classics such as Black Belt Jones, Three The Hard Way and Black Samurai. Our friends at Daily Grindhouse have an obituary as does The Los Angeles Times.  Salon interviewed Kelly in 2010. Here’s […]

“Tarantino Unchained”

Jelani Cobb considers Django Unchained and history at The New Yorker.  “Tarantino’s attempt to craft a hero who stands apart from the other men—black and white—of his time is not a riff on history, it’s a riff on the mythology we’ve mistaken for history. Were the film aware of that distinction, Django would be far […]

An Interview with Gordon Parks

In an interview with the National Visionary Leadership Project, the late Gordon Parks talks Life Magazine, photography, racism, his hometown and offers advice to young Black people.

10 Comics I Liked in 2011

It’s the beginning of January, cold and dark where I am. The critics are all putting out their best of year lists, and maybe you’re looking for something to read. So here’s my entry into annual lists: 10 comics I liked in 2011 that I haven’t written about. Well 9 comics I haven’t written about […]

Movieline Interviews Pam Grier

Jen Yamato interviews Pam Grier on her experience working on Quentin Tarantino’s Jackie Brown and in 1970s action films doing her own stunts. (via Grindhouse Database)

The Periodic Table of Exploitation

One man laboring in obscurity in  has finally done what scientists working for vast think tanks  have struggled for decades to accomplish. Behold, the “Periodic Table of Exploitation!“

Top 5 Blaxploitation Soundtracks

At The Revivalist, Adrian Younge offers his, “Top 5 Blaxploitation Soundtracks.” (via @World_Of_Hurt)

Black Dynamite

Adult Swim has posted the pilot episode of Black Dynamite, its new animated series based on the Michael Jai White Blaxploitation parody/homage film. (Via It’s Komplicated and @World_Of_Hurt)

Podcasts! Podcasts! Podcasts!

Here at the Gutter we like our podcasts. We especially like Infernal Brains and The Projection Booth. At Infernal Brains, Todd and Tars discuss Thai pulp hero, Insee Daeng and Wisit Sasanatieng’s recent screen adaptation, Red Eagle.  Meanwhile, at The Projection Booth, Mike and Mondo Justin report on Robocop (including news on Detroit’s statue) and […]

Black Hollywood

The 1984 documentary, Black Hollywood: Blaxploitation and Advancing an Independent Black Cinema, is available, for free and in its entirety, online. Solid.  (via Jay Potts of World of Hurt)

Read Afrodisiac Online

The Eisner-nominated Afrodisiac is now online for your reading pleasure!

Soldier of Cinema

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It has always been my long held contention that cinema–while being a medium of mass entertainment–can also be a powerful art form that can illuminate, inspire and ultimately change the world we live in. One artist that worked in the mediums of photography and film making that truly exemplified my theory that film can be […]

Nicki Minaj and Sara Baartman, The Hottentot Venus

Janell Hobson connects Saturday Night Live‘s, “Bride of Blackenstein” to Sara Baartman, the Hottentot Venus, via Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    At Pornokitsch, The Gutter’s own dame with a shady past Carol writes about five films noir.  “Do you want to watch some film noir? I hope so, because I have five films to suggest. Films about dames gone wrong, poor doomed saps, murders, sex and modern knights errant.”

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    At The Alcohol Professor, The Gutter’s own Keith writes about Billie Holiday in a fantastic two-part piece. Part one traces “the history of Billie Holiday and NYC nightlife through the Harlem Renaissance to Café Society.” Part two covers “Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra and the jazz scene in New York City clubs of a bygone era.”

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    The New Yorker has a profile of author Gene Wolfe. “His narrators may be prophets, or liars, or merely crazy, but somewhere in their stories they help to reveal what Wolfe most wants his readers to know: that compassion can withstand the most brutal of futures and exist on the most distant planets, and it has been part of us since ages long past.”

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    Remezcla has a gallery of Lourdes Grobet’s portraits of luchadores with their families and a bit of an interview with her. (Yes, the luchadores are in their masks and often wearing suits or casual wear, which is the best thing). (Thanks, Matt!) “Father and warrior, the masked wrestler is the perfect metaphor for the duality that Grobet’s photography wants to depict. Her work is resonant because she doesn’t try to demolish the myths that envelop lucha libre – she simply nurtures and expands them in an offbeat way.”

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    At Autostraddle, Heather Hogan has “a Recap of Jem and the Holograms’ Truly Outrageous Lesbianism.” (Thanks, Sara Century!) “If you are a woman over the age of 30, I have some information that is going to send you cartwheeling back to 1987 to high five your young self and shout “We knew it! We knew it!” right in your own tiny gay face: Stormer and Kimber from Jem are truly, outrageously, canonically queer….This is good news. Great news. But it’s not really news news. Of course Stormer and Kimber are gay. They’ve been in love since 1987!”

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    “Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been binge-watching one of the most innovative series on television. Like many of the gems of the current TV renaissance, it features extended narratives with complex plots, intricate backstories, and layered characters. Its approach to storytelling is remarkably adventurous, shattering television, and even cinematic conventions.

     I’m speaking, of course, of General Hospital.” Noah Berlatsky writes about the influence of soap operas on “prestige television” at Quartz. (And make sure to click through to Akash Nikolas’ “Yes, Mad Men is a Soap Opera and that Shouldn’t be an Insult”).
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