The Cultural Gutter

beyond good and bad, there is awesome

"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 […]

Nancy Collins interviews Devon Grayson and Gail Simone

Nancy Collins interviews Devon Grayson and Gail Simone about Red Sonja, fantasy, gaming and Dynamite’s upcoming, Legends of Red Sonja. Like this:Like Loading…

“Wondering About Wonder Woman”

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On her Tumblr page, Gail Simone wonders, “if we have reached a generational shift and we aren’t really aware of it because the people doing all the talking are baby boomers with a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT FRAME OF REFERENCE for Wonder Woman….There will be a time very shortly when the average person will have no baby-boomer […]

Strong Female Character

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A little while ago, a friend told me that I was a “strong woman.” It was a compliment and I took it as one. Part of me knows what he means, that I keep trying, that I pick myself up as best I can after things go to hell, that I try to keep moving. […]

“The Best of 2012 for DC Women”

DC Women Kicking Ass counts down the Best of 2012 for DC Women! Movies! Comics! Animation! Marketing! Batman! Like this:Like Loading…

Thinking about Gail Simone’s Batgirl

Adam Bateham wrote a response to Gail Simone’s dismissal from Batgirl and his feelings about the character: “[Simone] ‘got it.’ She didn’t use Batgirl’s inability to walk as a cheap plot point. Simone wrote a character that struggled to move forward because she was weighed down from years of hurt, unfairness, and frustration. A character determined […]

Batman and the Heroes of Aurora

Gail Simone has written a very personal, moving piece on the Aurora shooting and the power of heroes. “I write stories about morals all day…stories about fictional heroes and fictional villains. And I want to believe they have influenced my life, that they have taught me to stand up when called upon, to try to […]

“On Secret Six The Talking House

Colin Smith meditates on the final trade paperback of Gail Simone’s Secret Six.   “In Secret Six, the reader was perpetually compelled to feel compassion for the book’s fundamentally dysfunctional and irrevocably dangerous cast. No matter how much harm they were shown inflicting upon the world around them, we were still encouraged to note the […]

Womanthology

Womanthology will a massive book showcasing the talent of female comics creators, published by IDW, which means it’s going to be pretty. It’s being funded through Kickstarter and you can still contribute and get some pretty wicked rewards–beyond satisfaction, that is. Like this:Like Loading…

Born in Blood

"Brow up, Blake."

I’ve been watching Dexter, and thinking about Thomas Blake, Catman in Gail Simone’s comic, Secret Six (DC, 2008-2011). With his tousled blond hair and predatory grin, Michael C. Hall would make an excellent candidate for any portrayal of Catman.  But there are deeper resonances beyond physical resemblance. Like this:Like Loading…

Good Advice for Writers

Fantasy and Science Fiction writer Kate Elliott offers advice on revising your writing. Comics writer Gail Simone advises newly successful writers: “[H]ow do you select that perfectly awful photo for your book jacket, that one with you pretending to smoke a pipe and pretending (even less convincingly) to gaze thoughtfully at some fascinating concept just […]

10 Comics I Liked in 2010

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Sometimes it’s easy to forget why I like comics and 2010 was a particularly tough year, in comics and otherwise. But here are 10 that reminded me why I do like them. There’s a lot of crime, anthropomorphic animals, gorgeous art, silly fun, people dealing with things the best they can, and plenty of Greg […]

Designing the Secret Six

Dale Eaglesham sketches out the “Anatomy of a Design Brainstorm” with sketches of the Secret Six. Like this:Like Loading…

Women Read Comics in Public

Here are some pictures of the ladies reading comics for Read Comics in Public Day. As Gail Simone writes, “Take note everybody in comics!”  (For the record, Carol read Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service 5 on a sidewalk bench, but there’s no photo). Like this:Like Loading…

Too Busy Reading About The Secret Six.

Too Busy Thinking About My Comics has some excellent analysis of The Secret Six. In fact, the blog has plenty of excellent analysis of plenty of comics. And, as the mission statement reads, “It’s not the reading of comic books that can threaten friendships and derail marriages. It’s the unintended, casual babbling about comic books […]

A Matter of Evolution: Monkeys vs. Robots

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They’ve been brought together before in James Kolchalka’s Monkey vs. Robot books, by Mecha Kong in King Kong Escapes and Mojo Jojo’s mech-suited machinations in The Powerpuff Girls. Primates and robots each imitate and mock humanity in their own way. When the postapocalyptic future finally overtakes us, will we be replaced by the robots we […]

Gail Simone Interviews John Ostrander

“When I first wrote Villains United, I was eager to have my chance to write one of the coolest characters in the DCU, Deadshot.   I knew full well, like a lot of writers before me, that John [Ostrander] was THE Deadshot writer, and I knew if I had the chance, I would do whatever I […]

Bad Fan

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I’ve never been a good fan. I am grumpy, contrary and deeply perverse. So Gail Simone kind of sneaked up on me and, before I knew it, became my new trusted brand. I don’t think I really noticed till I was excited because she was writing Wonder Woman Like this:Like Loading…

Interview with Gail Simone

“I’m not interested in perfection, and I don’t think the readers are, either.” Gail Simone talks Wonder Woman, Hollywood, feminism and LGBT characters with After Ellen. Like this:Like Loading…

10 Comics I Liked in 2008

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Here they are, ten comics I liked in 2008 that I haven’t written about yet. All ready? Alright. 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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