The Cultural Gutter

building a better robot builder

"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 Graveyard Shift Sisters, Carolyn looks at Lizzie Borden’s Born In Flames (1983) and the character, Adelaide Norris. “Born in Flames was revolutionary for its time, and I think it is still relevant today. This film has many layers, with both a speculative as well as a science fictional representation of a parallel universe that denies oppression. One of the main characters, Adelaide Norris played by Jean Satterfield, came to the forefront for me because of her race and role in the story. Adelaide is one of the key characters who pulls the female troops together. With the help of her mentor Zella, played by civil rights lawyer Flo Kennedy, this young Black and gay woman tirelessly researches, advises, and recruits women to fight the good fight for equality.”

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    A video tribute to interactive VCR games including: Nightmare (1991), The Fisherman VCR Bible Game (1989), Rich Little’s Charades (1985), Wayne’s World VCR Game (1992), Star Trek: The Next Generation VCR Game (1995) and Skull and Crossbones (1988). (Thanks, Beth!)

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    At The Los Angeles Review Of Books, Suzannah Showler writes about the complexity of the reality tv show The Bachelor and her complicated love for it. “I love The Bachelor the way I love most things, which is to say: complicatedly. On the one hand, I think it’s a fascinating cultural product, one I find great delight in close-reading. But I also love it, frankly, because I just like watching it. I think it’s top-notch entertainment, and I will straight up hip-check my politics out of the way, and give up many hours of my life, in the name of being entertained.” (Via @idontlikemunday)

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    At Comics Alliance, Chris Sims recounts that time the Punisher battled Dr. Doom. “It starts off with Dr. Doom kicking it in an extradimensional conference room set up by Loki to coordinate mass villainy, where he is just ripping into the Kingpin for being unable to kill the Punisher….Thus, in a sterling example of the ‘well then why don’t you do it’ school of super-villain cameraderie, Dr. Doom, a man who built a time machine in his basement, heads off to try his luck at fighting the Punisher, a man who has a gun. He does this, as you might expect, by luring him to a quarry and — after a brief exchange between a Doombot and a minigun — attempting to blow up his van with a tank.”

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    The Swiss Literary Archives have made their Patricia Highsmith collection available online here. (Thanks, Kate!)

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    Andy Kaufman has breakfast with Classie Freddie Blassie in My Breakfast With Blassie (1983) (via @GCDB)

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