The Cultural Gutter

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Minoru Kawasaki: Look Back in Fun Fur

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Every April at the Gutter, the editors write about something outside their usual domains.  This month Comics Editor Carol Borden writes about movies. This is not even close to a full retrospective, because while Minoru Kawasaki doesn’t have a huge number of films, many of them are not available with English subtitles and I don’t […]

Ultraman + Ukelele

Ultraman consoles a sad kaiju he finds on the moon. Ukelele! Surfing! Hawai’ian vacation for everyone! Like this:Like Loading…

Kaiju Christmas 2010

It’s Kaiju Christmas over at wtfFILM. What the hell am I saying?  It’s Kaiju Christmas everywhere! Like this:Like Loading…

Taiwanese Giant Monsters, Discussed!

Die, Danger, Die, Die, Kill! and TarsTarkas.net join forces to discuss Taiwanese giant monster films and you can listen in! Like this:Like Loading…

Waiting for Gorgo?

Do you remember Gorgo? The giant monster that raced up from the oceanic depths and devastated London? The DMOA do. Like this:Like Loading…

Akira Ifukube Conducts

Akira Ifukube conducts the Osaka Symphony in a selection of his Godzilla works. Like this:Like Loading…

Another Interview with Ray Harryhausen

The BBC has a nice interview with Ray Harryhausen, Stop-Motion and SFX Overlord! Like this:Like Loading…

NYAFF 2010

The New York Asian Film Festival is coming up and actors Sammo Hung and Simon Yam will be in attending their films Kung Fu Chefs, Bodyguards and Assassins, Echoes of the Rainbow and Eastern Condors. But even if you can’t make it, it’s worth checking out the films and trailers for the Hong Kong/China and […]

Yokai, Dissected.

In the interest of Science: gallery of anatomical drawings of yokai, Japanese folk monsters. Hopefully, no actual yokai were harmed in making these drawings. Like this:Like Loading…

More Utagawa Kuniyoshi

A Doppelganger. A Giant Carp. A Tengu. The Curated Object has more images from “Graphic Heroes, Magic Monsters: Japanese Prints by Utagawa Kuniyoshi.” Like this:Like Loading…

Ultramen vs. Kaiju

Kaijutastic Ultraman poster art by Takayoshi Mizuki. (via The Japan Society) Like this:Like Loading…

There’s a cephalopod with a naginata.

The Japan City in New York City has posted a gallery of images from their current exhibition, “Graphic Heroes, Magic Monsters:  prints by Utagawa Kuniyoshi.”  There’s a cephalopod with what looks like a naginata.  There are samurai and a giant skeleton. If you can’t make it to the exhibit, see some of it here.  (via […]

Kaiju vs Ultramen

Sometimes it seems like the world is an empty, awesomeless place. And then there is another clip from a Japanese variety/game show.  This one involves kaiju and Ultramen. Like this:Like Loading…

NYAFF 2009 and Hypnotic Escapism

The New York Asian Film Festival wants to help you escape joblessness, global pandemics and despair. Why don’t you let it? (Info here). Like this:Like Loading…

RIP, Ho Meng-Hua

It’s a sad time for fan of martial arts and Shaw Bros. Filmmaker Ho Meng-Hua has died. Ho started in the 1950s at Cathay studios, but his wuxia and kaiju work at Shaw Bros. Studios is probably more familiar to most fans. He directed Cheng Pei-Pei and Lo Lieh in The Lady Hermit and Danny […]

Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus

Giant animals square off in Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus. You might think Minoru Kawasaki is behind it. But you’d be wrong–Deborah “Debbie” Gibson’s behind it all. (Thanks, Steven!) Like this:Like Loading…

Let There Be Monsters

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An underground monster that can’t see, but senses your steps via vibrations. A giant ape that falls in love with a woman and fights lots of dinosaurs. And a hellish creature that fights on the side of humanity against mechanical armies and wayward elves. What do these have in common? I interrupt this critical essay […]

Where Does the Art Start?

It’s hard to know where the art starts and ends in this story about the in-fighting in the wrestling cabaret stylings of Seattle Semi-Pro Wrestling. “It’s a bunch of grown men and women in costumes pretending to be professional wrestlers. It is to wrestling as ‘West Side Story’ is to actual gang relations.” Who knows […]

Kaiju Shakedown Goes Down Again

Like King Ghidorah, Kaiju Shakedown has succumbed to market forces. Again. Hopefully like King Ghidorah, Kaiju Shakedown will rise again.  Kaiju Shakedown’s writer, Grady Hendrix, is taking some time to figure out how. Like this:Like Loading…

Yatterman!

Takashi Miike follows up his smart and fancy family films Great Yokai War and Zebraman with Yatterman. Looks promising–there’s a giant dog robot and a lot of leather. (What the hell, trailers for GYW and Zebraman, too). Like this:Like Loading…

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    At Comics Alliance, Chris Sims talk abouts the art of lettering in comics. “Comic book lettering is up there with inking and coloring in the holy trinity of underrated comic book skills, but it’s also one of those things that, once you start paying attention to it, you’ll never be able to not notice it again. I’m not exaggerating even a little bit when I say that it’s one of those things that can absolutely ruin a comic if it’s done wrong, even if everything else is perfect. But to be honest, of those three elements, lettering is still probably the most underrated. The thing is, when it’s good, it can be absolutely gorgeous in its own right. And fortunately for us, there are a lot of people who do it very, very well.”

    ~

    Comics Alliance suggests seven Star Wars comics to read before Disney makes them disappear. (Including a comic by one of Comics Editor Carol’s favorite creative teams–Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman). “Starting in 2015, Disney’s handing the publishing of any and all new Star Wars comics over to Marvel Comics, with an all new, optimized-for-corporate-synergy canon that will spread across all their media platforms. Anything that’s not a movie (especially one of the Original Trilogy movies), or a Clone Wars cartoon, will be unceremoniously Order 66-ed out of existence, giving future filmmakers a clean-ish slate to make movies (and money) on. But what about all those Dark Horse comics? That’s where we come in with 7 Dark Horse Star Wars comics you should track down before they disappear.”

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    At the New York Observer, Ashley Steves writes about Craig Ferguson’s The Late, Late Show. “No one could ever prepare you for watching an episode of Ferguson’s Late Late Show. A friend could not sit you down and explain it (“Well, it’s really meta and deconstructive and there’s a horse”). There was really no good way to recommend it. It was something you discovered and became a part of. You had to stumble upon it on your own, perhaps restless or bored or simply curious while flipping through channels when your eye quickly caught some of the madness. And that’s the best part. It was an unexpected gift. At its worst, it could still send you to bed grinning and comforted. At its best, it was art. It was silly and fun and truly not like any other late night show.”

    ~

    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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