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

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!

Kaiju Christmas 2010

It’s Kaiju Christmas over at wtfFILM. What the hell am I saying?  It’s Kaiju Christmas everywhere!

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!

Waiting for Gorgo?

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

Akira Ifukube Conducts

Akira Ifukube conducts the Osaka Symphony in a selection of his Godzilla works.

Another Interview with Ray Harryhausen

The BBC has a nice interview with Ray Harryhausen, Stop-Motion and SFX Overlord!

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.

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.”

Ultramen vs. Kaiju

Kaijutastic Ultraman poster art by Takayoshi Mizuki. (via The Japan Society)

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.

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).

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!)

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.

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).

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    We have been bereft since GWAR lost Oderus Ungerus. But lift up your heads and rejoice, fans of GWAR, there is a new member. She is Vulvatron! (via @saladinahmed)

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    Throne of the Crescent Moon author Saladin Ahmed has posted “a micro-mini Crescent Moon Kingdoms world guide that had previously only been available as part of a UK-exclusive ebook” for people to use in their roleplaying games. But even if you aren’t a gamemaster, it’s pretty sweet.

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    At We Are Respectable Negroes, Chauncey Devega interviews friend of the Gutter Mark D. White about the virtues of Captain America. “In this, the ninth episode, of the second season of WARN’s podcast series, we talk about what comic books and superheroes can tell us about philosophy and politics, work through what makes someone ‘heroic,’ the ways that the general public often misunderstands and misreads the Captain America character, as well as how American exceptionalism, race, and identity relate to superhero and other types of comic books and graphic novels.”

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    Alexander Chee writes about difficulty some have in evaluating comics or even in taking them seriously. “As a frequent juror on prizes, colonies and fellowships, I am, it could be said, so tired of this, that in fact, I will fight you for Roz Chast’s right to be on this list. I will fight you for the right for Bechdel to get that MacArthur. In a ring, covered in grease, MMA style. That is how sick of it I am.”

    And Dylan Meconis has some suggestions on how to improve writing about comics. “This leaves all the critics who are just beginning their journey into comics reading, or who have yet to be entirely won over to the medium but want to keep an open mind (perhaps due to peer pressure: I remember a literati cocktail party where somebody near me anxiously muttered ‘I guess we’re all supposed to read graphic novels now.’) These brave souls are willing to give it a try, but they tend to make a lot of mistakes when they first start out.” (Thanks, Gareth!)

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    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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