The Cultural Gutter

we've seen things you people wouldn't believe

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

A Warning to the faint of heart
And eight year olds

When I was in grade two, my school thought it’d be a great Halloween activity to have a movie screening of old horror films. They showed us the 1931 adaptations of Dracula and Frankenstein, the original 1932 The Mummy, and the 1954 3-D classic, The Creature from the Black Lagoon. At age eight I had […]

Tim Gunn vs. The Green Lantern Corps!

Crazy Sexy Geeks team-up once again with Tim Gunn to critique superhero fashion.   This time it’s Green Lanterns Alan Scott, Hal Jordan and Guy Gardner. Like this:Like Loading…

From Arthur To Orin

LBFA Presents: The History of Aquaman Explained! Like this:Like Loading…

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Science Fiction Again

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It’s been years since I’ve read any straight-up science-fiction. You know, the classic stuff by authors like Arthur C. Clarke or Robert Heinlein or Isaac Asimov. But I got back into it recently through A.E. Van Vogt, having picked-up a used copy of Empire of the Atom. Like this:Like Loading…

Giant Golem vs. Nazi Robot Dinosaur

Giant Golem vs. Giant Nazi Robot Dinosaur. There are scans… Like this:Like Loading…

Even More Project: Rooftop Projects

Just as Project Runway has Models of the Runway, so too Project: Rooftop has spin-offs. Now there’s features like: “All Ages All-Stars,” redesigning superheroes for all ages (for example, Martian Manhunter); “How It’s Done,”  spotlighting official superhero redesigns (like the Iron Man briefcase armor); and “Retrofix,” giving Golden and Silver age comic characters a new […]

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…

Super Wizard Stardust and Fantomah, On the Air!

Just can’t get enough of disturbing Golden Age comics auteur Fletcher Hanks? Stardust the Super Wizard and Fantomah go on the air on WFMU. Or at least Paul Karasik discusses Hanks, which is a much better situation. Like this:Like Loading…

Many Golden Age Comics In One Place

Golden Age Comics Downloads might overwhelm your hard drive, but it’s probably worth it.  Like this:Like Loading…

Edd Cartier, RIP

The Shadow wouldn’t have been The Shadow and pulp wouldn’t have been pulp without Edd Cartier, who died at 94 on Christmas Day. People at Penciljack have posted art and links to his art. Like this:Like Loading…

Killer Panda!

Worse than killer bees or killer jellyfish are pandas! Deadly, bitey pandas that must by shot by white men on safari!  Behold and shudder: scans of “Facing Death in a Panda’s Mouth!”  Like this:Like Loading…

Yellow Peril

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I’ve learned something reading Terry and the Pirates:  There’s no way around the yellow peril in the Golden Age. Good comics sometimes have racist renderings in them. Like this:Like Loading…

The Vizigraph

It’s a reprinted letters page from the Golden Age magazine, Planet Comics.(And more Futura scans).  Like this:Like Loading…

Aliens need earth ladies–earth ladies fight back!

Sleestak has an overview of Planet Comics, which published some Fletcher Hanks stories. Even better, he has scans of Futura, an Alex Raymond-influenced space opera about a secretary kidnapped because aliens need earth ladies!  “Over the course of her story Futura quickly becomes less of a victim and her journey from frightened breeding stock to […]

Saga of the Swamp Things

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Alan Moore’s Saga of the Swamp Thing was my favorite comic in my younger, more gloomsome days. I probably liked it more than my other favorite comics at the time, Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol and Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. But Swamp Thing wasn’t the only swamp monster in comics. Like this:Like Loading…

10 Comics I Liked in 2007

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The “best of” list is a tricky seasonal form and I’m no master.  I might not know what’s best, but I do know what I like.  So here’s ten good comics I read in 2007. Like this:Like Loading…

Stardust Returns

“Almost like a crazy person is holding the pencil.”  My God, Mike Allred has created a comic featuring Fletcher Hanks’ disturbing and punitive hero Stardust. (Thanks to Again With The Comics) Like this:Like Loading…

Superheros on a Slant

Justice pared down to punishment

I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets! brings back fond memories of the passionate works of maniacal genius I’ve occasionally scored at book fairs and zine shows—tracts with titles like “Thousands of Degrees Hot!” and minicomics like “Linda Saves Detroit” or “The Brain Parasites.” Fletcher Hanks’ comics are crazier, more inspired and more disturbing than […]

Hopped Up on Speedrunning

Keeping up with the Joneses in the fast lane

Shortly after 2 pm on the afternoon of May 18th, 2005, Brandon Erickson stepped back from the Star Wars arcade cabinet he’d been playing continuously, with no deaths, extra credits, or nap breaks, for the past 54 hours, having failed to break the Twin Galaxies record of three hundred million points in 49 hours established […]

Tired of Saving You

Worn down and fighting the good fight

There’s a panel in Secret Agent X-9 that fascinates me. In it, X-9 tells a woman and her father, “I’m tired of saving your lives.” The panel appears in the second half of Dashiell Hammett’s first Secret Agent X-9 storyline, “You’re the Top!” That’s right—Dashiell Hammett scripted a daily comic. Alex Raymond, whose Flash Gordon […]

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    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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    At The Guardian, Keith Stuart and Steve Boxer look at the history of PlayStation.“Having been part of the late 80s rave and underground-clubbing scene, I recognised how it was influencing the youth market. In the early 90s, club culture started to become more mass market, but the impetus was still coming from the underground, from key individuals and tribes. What it showed me was that you had to identify and build relationships with those opinion-formers – the DJs, the music industry, the fashion industry, the underground media.” (via @timmaughan)

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    Neill Cameron has re-imagined the characters of Parks & Recreation as members of Starfleet. (Via @neillcameron)

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    Christopher Lee has released a promotional video for his latest album, Darkest Carols, Faithful Sing.  You should probably watch everything at Charlemagne Productions.

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