The Cultural Gutter

unashamed geekery

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

10 Comics I Liked In 2013

PD ginny sewing thumbnail

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.

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.

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!).

The Biography of Ebony White

Ebony White 80.jpg

“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)

“That Yellow-Shirted Such-and-Such”

Frank Miller’s Charlie Brown, Thumbsuckers. (With updated link)

ROUND THE DECAY OF THAT COLOSSAL WRECK

Watchmen 80.jpg

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.

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”).

“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.”

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!)

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.

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.

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.

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    Friend of the Gutter, Will McKinley looks at “The 1979 Rockford Files Episode That Inspired The Sopranos.” “A gang from Newark’s South Side is hiding Vinnie Martine’s body in a restaurant freezer. Tony’s mad because Anthony Jr. got caught pranking another mobster. And a boss who’s trying to reform gets his mansion sprayed with bullets. Remember that episode of The Sopranos? If you do, your memory’s playing tricks on you, because all these things happened on a 1979 episode of The Rockford Files—written by Sopranos creator David Chase.”

    And McKinley defends classic television with, “In Praise of Vintage Television.”

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    Journalist Margot Adler has died. She is best known for her work as a journalist on NPR, but she also created the speculative fiction radio program, “The Hour Of The Wolf” and was the writer of Drawing Down The Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America Today (1979) and Vampires Are Us: Understanding Our Love Affair with the Immortal Dark Side (2014). The New York Times, NPR and  Suvudu have obituaries.  Here Adler discusses Vampires Are Us. And here is an excerpt from Adler’s memoir, Heretic’s Heart (1997).

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    The Toronto International Film Festival has announced its Midnight Madness and Vanguard programs for 2014. There’s lots of goodness in there and it’s worth taking a look even if you aren’t going to the festival, so you can you movie watching later this year or next. We’ll be posting the trailers from the films later.

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    Actor James Shigeta has died. Shigeta appeared in Die Hard (1988), The Crimson Kimono (1959) The Flower Drum Song (1961),  Bridge To The Sun (1961), Paradise, Hawaiian Style (1966), The Yakuza (1974) and many, many television shows.  The AV Club, Den Of Geek and Angry Asian Man have obituaries. Bridge to the Sun is discussed by Robert Osborne and Dr. Peter Feng on TCM.  At RogerEbert.com, Matt Zoller Seitz writes an appreciation of Shigeta’s life and work. “Shigeta, who died yesterday at 81, was a marvelous performer, and his work as Nakatomi Corporation President Joseph Takagi in the original 1988 Die Hard is one of my favorite examples of how an imaginative actor can sketch out a life in just a few scenes and lines.”

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    At RogerEbert.com, Alan Zilberman explores the history of the eye in cinema from Carl Theodor Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) to Mark Cahill’s I Origins (2014). (via Matt Zoller Seitz)

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    At Never Get Off The Bus, Debbie Moon writes about Captain America: First Avenger. “When adapting existing material, it’s easy to assume that in order to reach point F, you simply have to work through points A – E. To set up Steve Rogers in the modern world, simply romp briskly through everything that happened before he got there. But your character may not be undergoing a single united emotional journey during that period. “

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