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.

From Arthur To Orin

LBFA Presents: The History of Aquaman Explained!

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.

Giant Golem vs. Nazi Robot Dinosaur

Giant Golem vs. Giant Nazi Robot Dinosaur. There are scans…

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)

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.

Many Golden Age Comics In One Place

Golden Age Comics Downloads might overwhelm your hard drive, but it’s probably worth it. 

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.

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!” 

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.

The Vizigraph

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

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.

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.

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)

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 Black Girl Nerds, Jamie Broadnax writes a powerful piece about racism, cosplaying, police violence and the homicide of Darrien Hunt. “The first thing we need to do is NOT let this story scare us nor intimidate us into believing that we should be fearful of cosplaying.  We should still encourage others who may not yet have participated in cosplay to know that there are several communities for people of color to have safe spaces where they can be embrace and be their nerdy selves. If there is little to no news about this incident on other mainstream geek sites that feature cosplayers, then framing this around race is pertinent and they should be called out on their silence.  Even IF this is not an incident where Darrien Hunt was actively cosplaying, the tone has already been set and anyone who is a part of the cosplay community should address this matter.  Many Black cosplayers are concerned about this, and still wonder if they would be viewed as ‘suspicious’ walking down the street.”

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    Nerds of Color announces that their own David Walker will be writing Dynamite’s Shaft comic. Denys Cowan shares the cover for Shaft #1 drawn by Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz. Sanford Greene shares some his cover work here and here. Black Comix posts Ulises Farinas’ cover.  Comics Wow has more and previews covers. (Via Black Comix and World of Hurt)

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    Actor Richard Kiel has died. Kiel worked in both film and television, including performances in The Twilight Zone episode, “To Serve Man”; Eegah (1962); The Barbary Coast with William Shatner; Happy Gilmore (1996); Pale Rider (1985); as Vlad in Tangled (201); and as Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979).   The New York TimesThe Los Angeles Times and Variety have obituaries. Here he is interviewed with Britt Ekland. And David Letterman interviews Kiel here.

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    Open Culture has a round-up of eight free and complete films by Dziga Vertov, including Man With A Movie Camera (1929) and the first Soviet animated feature, Soviet Toys (1924). (Thanks, Earl!)

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    Matt Zoller Seitz has written a lovely meditation on Robin Williams at RogerEbert.com: “Williams wore the invisible garments of depression. He carried that burden. A lot of the time we didn’t see it, because he was a bright and enthusiastic comic performer and a great actor. But the weight was always there.

    Somehow he lived 63 years.

    What a warrior he was.”

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    At Kaiju Shakedown, Hiroshi Fukazawa interviews director Ringo Lam. “Not as flashy as John Woo, never as hyperkinetic as Tsui Hark, Ringo Lam is one of Hong Kong’s most underappreciated directors. He made his name with sophisticated, downbeat crime dramas that came to define a certain style of urban Hong Kong cinema in the Eighties and early Nineties. After getting his start in television at CTV and TVB, he directed five features before finding his stride with 1987’s City on Fire, the movie that provided the blueprint for Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs.”

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