The Cultural Gutter

going through pop culture's trash since 2003

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

10 Comics I Liked In 2013

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It’s an amazing time in comics right now. There are too many good ones for me to even read them all. Comics are like a hydra, but without the decapitation or even really the fighting. (So maybe not all that much like a hydra except I find one comic and then there are 3-6 more […]

Timely Post: Frank Miller’s Hot Gates

In 2007, Comics Editor Carol wrote a piece about Frank Miller’s 300. As part of experimenting with ways to make timely content from our archives more available, we’re linking to “Frank Miller’s Hot Gates” here in the Notes. Like this:Like Loading…

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. Like this:Like Loading…

The 300 say Ouch!

David Brin takes a club to Frank Miller and 300, albeit a very rational and well-informed beating stick (for one thing, he actually seems to know some ancient Greek history!). Like this:Like Loading…

The Biography of Ebony White

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“People don’t realize how a man’s whole life can be changed by one book.” –Malcolm X / Malik El-Shabazz, The Autobiography of Malcolm X (As Told To Alex Haley) Like this:Like Loading…

“That Yellow-Shirted Such-and-Such”

Frank Miller’s Charlie Brown, Thumbsuckers. (With updated link) Like this:Like Loading…

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 […]

All Star Batman in nine goddamn panels

All-Star Batman in nine goddamn panels. Courtesy of the ironically-named I Love Rob Liefeld blog. Like this:Like Loading…

Making It In Hollywood

Fewdio member John Crye explains it all in his podcast, “You Will Not Make It In Hollywood.” He also talks about geekery, fan films and reminsces about a crappy movie. (And Carol warning: two segments are from “Godzilla vs. MechaRealism” and “Frank Miller’s Hot Gates”). Like this:Like Loading…

“If this is Gotham, get me a one-way ticket to Metropolis.”

Mel at Bluestocking Banter smells some Frank Miller in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight:  “Dark, sure. Violent, yes. But fascist? Maybe.” Like this:Like Loading…

Difendi!

Looks like Italian neo-Fascist political party Alleanza Nazionale like them some 300. The candidate, Andrea De Priamo, has taken it off his site. (thanks, Sparky!) Like this:Like Loading…

More Goddamn Batman (and Robin, Age 12)

Confined Space collects a chain of fan art from the “Goddamn Batman” meme.  My favorite: Law and Order: Goddamn Batman. Protoclown read All-Star Batman and Robin–the start of the damned and batty–so you wouldn’t have to. Like this:Like Loading…

Frank Miller’s Hot Gates

Only the hard. Only the strong.

A feeling’s been gnawing deep inside me for a while. A feeling that maybe Frank Miller’s hypermasculine antiheros and faceless, breast-thrusting women are exactly what they seem, not just sketchy parody. After reading 300, Miller’s 1998 account of the Spartans at Thermopylae, I don’t have any doubt: Miller means it. His aesthetic is fascist. Like […]

13 Ways of Looking at a Bat

All the Batmans holding hands!

“Among twenty empty warehouses, The only moving thing Was the eye of the Batman.” –sorta Wallace Stevens You should know right from the start that I’m a terrible geek—not extremely geeky, but bad at being a geek. Continuity in the sense of an overarching, epic and harmonized chronology just isn’t that important to me. What […]

Moving Pictures

Is this the face of a superman?

Summers in Toronto can be apocalyptic. If it isn’t the plague of aphids infesting our air supply, it’s the flood of crap at the multiplex. Like this:Like Loading…

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    At Comics Alliance, Chris Sims talk abouts the art of lettering in comics. “Comic book lettering is up there with inking and coloring in the holy trinity of underrated comic book skills, but it’s also one of those things that, once you start paying attention to it, you’ll never be able to not notice it again. I’m not exaggerating even a little bit when I say that it’s one of those things that can absolutely ruin a comic if it’s done wrong, even if everything else is perfect. But to be honest, of those three elements, lettering is still probably the most underrated. The thing is, when it’s good, it can be absolutely gorgeous in its own right. And fortunately for us, there are a lot of people who do it very, very well.”

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    Comics Alliance suggests seven Star Wars comics to read before Disney makes them disappear. (Including a comic by one of Comics Editor Carol’s favorite creative teams–Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman). “Starting in 2015, Disney’s handing the publishing of any and all new Star Wars comics over to Marvel Comics, with an all new, optimized-for-corporate-synergy canon that will spread across all their media platforms. Anything that’s not a movie (especially one of the Original Trilogy movies), or a Clone Wars cartoon, will be unceremoniously Order 66-ed out of existence, giving future filmmakers a clean-ish slate to make movies (and money) on. But what about all those Dark Horse comics? That’s where we come in with 7 Dark Horse Star Wars comics you should track down before they disappear.”

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    At the New York Observer, Ashley Steves writes about Craig Ferguson’s The Late, Late Show. “No one could ever prepare you for watching an episode of Ferguson’s Late Late Show. A friend could not sit you down and explain it (“Well, it’s really meta and deconstructive and there’s a horse”). There was really no good way to recommend it. It was something you discovered and became a part of. You had to stumble upon it on your own, perhaps restless or bored or simply curious while flipping through channels when your eye quickly caught some of the madness. And that’s the best part. It was an unexpected gift. At its worst, it could still send you to bed grinning and comforted. At its best, it was art. It was silly and fun and truly not like any other late night show.”

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    At Comics Alliance, Chris Sims interviews Ed Brubaker about his work on Batman, Gotham Central and Catwoman. “When I look back at [Catwoman], I’m so proud of the first 25 issues of that book, when I felt like everything was firing on all cylinders. I probably should’ve left when Cameron Stewart left instead of sticking around. That’s one of those things I look back at and think “Ah, I had a perfect run up until then!” (Incidentally, Comics Editor Carol’s first piece for the Gutter was about Brubaker’s first 25 issues of Catwoman).

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    At Sequential Art, Greg Carpenter writes a lovely piece about Charles Schulz’ Peanuts. “After only two installments, Schulz had solidified the rules for his comic strip.  Random acts of cruelty would punctuate this irrational world, and Schulz’s trapped little adults would be forced to act out simulations of human behavior, using hollow gestures to try to create meaning in a universe where no other meaning was evident.  If Shakespeare’s Macbeth had been a cartoonist, the results of his daily grind, “tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow,” might have looked somewhat similar—each character a “poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage” until he or she was heard from no more.”

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    The Smithsonian Magazine has a gallery of US spy satellite launches. “Just as NASA creates specially designed patches for each mission into space, [National Reconnaissance Office] follows that tradition for its spy satellite launches. But while NASA patches tend to feature space ships and American flags, NRO prefers wizards, Vikings, teddy bears and the all-seeing eye. With these outlandish designs, a civilian would be justified in wondering if NRO is trolling.”

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