The Cultural Gutter

going through pop culture's trash since 2003

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

“An Alternate History of Flappy Bird”

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At Radiator Design Blog, Robert Yang writes about the indie game Flappy Bird and the harassment of its designer, Dong Ngyuen. “I suspect that if Nguyen were a white American, this would’ve been the story of a scrappy indie who managed to best Zynga with his loving homage to Nintendo’s apparent patent on green pixel […]

Blast of Silence: Independent Filmmaking Then & Now”

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Allen Baron talks about making  his film, Blast of Silence, and the differences between making an independent film between then and now. “In the fall of 1959 I returned to NYC and decided to make my own movie. Making an independent feature film then was expensive, extraordinarily technical, and if the film was completed the […]

RIP, Spain

Comix artist Spain Rodriguez has died. The Comics Journal has tributes from his fellow artists including Trina Robbins, R. Crumb, Mario Hernandez, Mary Fleener, Bill Griffith and Art Spiegelman

Attention, Horror Fans!

Couchcutter asks horror fans not to cheat themselves out of the future: “I’m not asking you to buy less Hollywood. I’m telling you that we *need* to buy more Independent. At least, if there is any independent stuff that you love or have ever loved. If one of the two have to suffer out of […]

Ramsay International Horror

“The ‘Ramsay Brothers,’ as they are called, have in these films, and in India’s first horror show on television, featured ghosts, ghouls, monsters, zombies, witches, vampires and every conceivable version of things that go bump in the night. Mostly, they’ve been the first to do so.”  More on the Ramsay Brothers and Hindi film horror […]

Writers and Publishers

Anthony Horowitz dares ask whether publishers are necessary to writers anymore.  (via @IndoorsType)

A Decision to Self-Publish

Publishing powerhouse Jackie Collins explains her decision to self-publish and the business of books.

Ghosts With Sh*t Jobs Kickstarter and Premiere!

Gutter founder Jim Munroe’s new film, Ghosts With Shit Jobs, will be premiering in Toronto, Berlin and at the Sci Fi London Festival in the UK. Chip in to the Kickstarter campaign to bring the film to more cities.

Interview with Zale Dalen

Canuxploitation has an extensive interview with filmmaker Zale Dalen. They talk about filming in Vancouver, making educational shorts and Dalen’s Canuxploitation classic, Skip Tracer.

Steven Kostanski Talks Astron-6, Winnipeg and Manborg!

Filmmaker Steven Kostanski answers some questions about mysterious subjects such as, Astron-6, Winnipeg and his latest film, Manborg, questions posited by the Gutter’s own Carol Borden.

Ghosts With Shit Jobs Site

The website for Jim Munroe’s new lo-fi, sci-fi flick, Ghosts With Shit Jobs, is now up with video clips from the film. (Full disclosure: Jim was a co-founding editor and video games editor for the Cultural Gutter).

Interview with Lynda Barry

Comic artist and novelist Lynda Barry is interviewed by Jennifer Smith at The Isthmus.

“Merry Xmas from Chiron Beta Prime”

Jonathan Coulton’s “Merry Christmas from Chiron Beta Prime” rocks in ASL, as performed by Stephen Torrence.

Thinking about Video Games

Off Book goes in depth on video games with interesting discussions of interactivity, story telling, creativity, world-building and how video games help people understand and manipulate complex systems.

Lord Death Man is a Song

Xiu Xiu’s Sam Mickens sings about “Lord Death Man,” the chilling Batman villain from Bat-Manga! and Batman, Inc., at Comics Alliance.

“The Flaws of Kickstarter”

At the Beat, MK Reed writes about the flaws of Kickstarter, particularly for artists trying to make a start in the comics industry and has some suggestions for what the Womanthology project can do with its extra donations.

Pure, Unadulterated Munday

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Originally from the “New York and New Jersey area,” Evan Munday is a Toronto-based comic artist and illustrator with a day job as a book publicist. He’s a member of the illustration collective, SketchKrieg!, has written a young adult novel, The Dead Kid Detective Agency and illustrated magazines and books, most recently Jon Paul Fiorentino’s […]

Play Some Games!

Check out Crayon Physics. Then check out the rest of the games. Jim sez, “a third are pretty good, a third are real good, and a third are frickin brilliant.” (thanks, Jim!)

8 Bit Resignation

Farbs resigns in 8-bit style to pursue developing indie games. Watch it here.

Empire Market Strikes Back

Empire Market’s laser checkout system is fully operational in Chad Vader: Dayshift Manager season 2.

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    The Royal Court Theatre hosts a conversation among former Anonymous LulzSec members facilitated by anthropologist Gabriella Coleman.

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    “Japan’s estimated population at the time of their last census was 127 million, and people have been living on this small collection of islands since the Jomon period (~12,000 BCE.) In an increasingly crowded country with a strong traditional belief in ghosts and hauntings, the question of avoiding a marauding ghost becomes impossible to solve, without outside help.”Atlas Obscura has more (with neat illustrations).

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    At Mostly Film, Blake Backlash writes about films “mixing of Hollywood’s Grande Dames with Grand Guignol.”  “Such cinematic mixing of Grande Dames and Grand Guignol had its heyday in the second-half of the sixties, and such films are sometimes (more-or-less) affectionately known as psycho-biddy pictures. They tended to feature an actress over 50 in some sort of peril, a melodramatic plot and a title that ends in a question mark.  But there is another, related tradition that goes back further that I think we could place these films in.” (via Dr. Giallo)

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    “I want to tell you about when violent campaigns against harmless bloggers weren’t any halfway decent troll’s idea of a good time—even the then-malicious would’ve found it too easy to be fun. When the punches went up, not down. Before the best players quit or went criminal or were changed by too long a time being angry. When there was cruelty, yes, and palpable strains of sexism and racism and every kind of phobia, sure, but when these things had the character of adolescents pushing the boundaries of cheap shock, disagreeable like that but not criminal. Not because that time was defensible—it wasn’t, not really—but because it was calmer and the rage wasn’t there yet. Because trolling still meant getting a rise for a laugh, not making helpless people fear for their lives because they’re threatening some Redditor’s self-proclaimed monopoly on reason. I want to tell you about it because I want to make sense of how it is now and why it changed.” Emmett Rensin writes more at Vox.

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    At Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, Elyse has some things to say about reading Romance. “In the end, it doesn’t matter what I read. It doesn’t even matter that I do read, quite frankly. What matters is that we live in a world where fiction aimed directly at women is perceived as garbage. That doesn’t say anything at all about me, it says a lot about what needs to change.”

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    Brain Pickings looks at the life and work of Tove Jansson and the wisdom of her character, Too-ticky. “Too-ticky, the sage of Moominvalley who solves even the most existential of problems with equal parts practicality and wisdom, was inspired by the love of Jansson’s life — the great Finnish sculptor and graphic arts pioneer Tuulikki “Tooti” Pietilä, Jansson’s spouse. The two women met in art school during their twenties and remained together until Jansson’s death more than six decades later, collaborating on a lifetime of creative projects — all at a time when queer couples were straddling the impossible line between anguishing invisibility and dangerous visibility.” (via Kate Laity)

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