The Cultural Gutter

taking the dumb out of fandom

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

The Dark Crystal’s First Cut

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The AV Club shares a recreation of the original version of Jim Henson and Frank Oz’s The Dark Crystal. Like this:Like Loading…

RIP, Charles Durning

Actor Charles Durning has died. Durning was most famous for his supporting roles in on stage and screen including, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas, Dog Day Afternoon, The Sting, The Muppet Movie, The Hudsucker Proxy, O Brother Where Art Thou? and  Tootsie.  Durning also lived an incredible life […]

The Muppet Institute of Technology

Jim’s Red Book chronicles the relationship between Jim Henson and Douglas Adams, including a proposed television special about computers, “The Muppet Institute of Technology.”  There’s more about their collaboration in film and videogames as well as some design art. (via io9)   Like this:Like Loading…

I Was Raised by Muppets

Of all the people whose art and philosophy have shaped the man I grew up to be, I think it’s possible that I have been most influenced by Jim Henson. The way the Muppets interacted with one another and the values they lived by formed a foundation for an understanding of relationships that has continued […]

Tribute to Jim Henson

A little collection of Muppetry for Jim Henson’s birthday. The Skeksis speak their own language in The Dark Crystal. Kermit sings, “Once in a Lifetime.” Mating rituals on Koozbane. Vincent Price sings with Uncle Deadly. Alice Cooper sings “Welcome to My Nightmare.” Martians discover the earth.  Gonzo’s going to go back there someday. The Swedish […]

Remembering Jim Henson

The Muppets prove that silly songs, whoopie-cushions and tribute letters from fans are enough to remember Jim Henson on his birthday. Like this:Like Loading…

Elementary

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“We have in our police reports realism pushed to its extreme limits, and yet the result is, it must be confessed, neither fascinating nor artistic.”—Arthur Conan Doyle, “A Case of Identity.” When I wrote about Sherlock Holmes and Kolchak: The Night Stalker: Cry of Thunder, I wrote that I picked up that comic because of […]

BUY THIS SHOW!!!

The original pitch for The Muppet Show. In memoriam, Jim Henson. Like this:Like Loading…

23 Variations on the Vampire

From Sesame Street’s the Count to Swamp Thing‘s aquatic vampires to The Lost Boys, hopping vampires and Richard Matheson, the AV Club has 23 variations on the vampire. Like this:Like Loading…

Viral Muppets

It might be the best thing ever, muppets uploading video on YouTube:  Beaker as meepmeepmeepow, Sam the Eagle as patrioticeagle, the Swedish Chef as deumnborkborkbork, the Great Gonzo as weirdowhatever and Statler and Waldorf respond to videos as heckle247. Like this:Like Loading…

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    At Sequential Art, Ryan Carey deconstructs and reconstructs Jack Kirby’s OMAC . “In order to better understand OMAC, then, we’ll be taking things one piece at a time here — we’ll look at where the ideas came from, how they related to other views of the future popular at the time, where Kirby was, creatively and professionally, in 1974, and ultimately try to decipher precisely why all of this ended up in the shape it ultimately did.  After that, we’ll concern ourselves with the real nitty-gritty of examining each and every one of the series’ eight issues, before taking a look at how, and in what form, the legacy of both the character and the book continue, and evolve, to this day.”

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    Video of illustrator and character designer Katsuya Terada drawing and talking about his work. (via @aicnanime)

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    A 1,300-year-old Egyptian book of spells has been translated. “Among other things, the ‘Handbook of Ritual Power,’ as researchers call the book, tells readers how to cast love spells, exorcise evil spirits and treat “black jaundice,” a bacterial infection that is still around today and can be fatal.”

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    Zack and Steve go through and review Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Module S-1: The Tomb Of Horrors at WTF, D&D?!…so you don’t have to.

    “Steve: Most of the opening paragraph is a warning about difficulty. ‘You’ll never find the demi-lich’s secret chamber’ and the tomb is fraught with “terrible traps, poison gases, and magical protections.” It’s telling you not to play the adventure.

    Zack: Not just in that part. In the DM’s notes section at the start, Gygax explicitly warns Dungeon Masters that if your players enjoy killing monsters they will be unhappy with the adventure.

    Steve: ‘This module is only for parties that enjoy dying immediately and repeatedly.’ Oh, man, we’re not going to play though this thing are we?”

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    Dr. Nerdlove takes a brief break from helping the nerd get the girl to address something that’s been bugging him. “Pardon me while I go off on a bit of a media criticism/ rant here. So I’ve been enjoying the *hell* out of The Flash lately except for one thing: Iris Allen. Her character is screen death; every time she’s around, everything comes to a screeching halt.

    The problem is: it’s not her fault, it’s the writers. Rather like Laurel Lance in the first two seasons of Arrow, she has Lois Lane syndrome. Her (like Laurel and Lois) entire character arc is based around being ignorant of events that literally everyone else in her life is aware of.”

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    Get your own copy of the Satanic Temple’s The Satanic Children’s Big Book of Activities!

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