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

Jenkins’ List

Henry Jenkins writes up a handy list of some comics he’s enjoyed recently, divvied into stories of everyday life, superheroes, science fiction/fantasy/horror, and some unclassifiable items. Like this:Like Loading…

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 […]

Alan Moore Knows The Score

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“It’s nice to hear all the old songs, isn’t it?”–the Devil, The Black Rider I was surprised to hear the old songs in Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Century: 1910 (Top Shelf, 2009). I probably shouldn’t have been. The chapter title, “What Keeps Mankind Alive” distracted me, but I kept […]

Interview with Gail Simone

“I’m not interested in perfection, and I don’t think the readers are, either.” Gail Simone talks Wonder Woman, Hollywood, feminism and LGBT characters with After Ellen. Like this:Like Loading…

Just Under 9 Minutes of Wong Fei-Hung

Wong Fei-Hung’s been on my mind lately. Luckily, Kung Fu Cinema has a nice video (scroll down) of Wong Fei-Hung in the movies from Kwan Tak-Hing to Gordon Liu, Jet Li as well as Jackie Chan and actress Angie Tsang Tze-Man’s portrayals of young Wong Fei-Hung. There’s also a detailed companion article tracing the historical […]

Tales from Ursula

Did you know Ursula Le Guin worked on an Earthsea screenplay with Peeping Tom and Black Narcissus‘ Michael Powell? I didn’t. There’s more in her Vice Magazine interview. (via Kaiju Shakedown) Like this:Like Loading…

ONE TRILLION AND ONE LEANING TOWERS

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1. Overture IslandOn December 4, 2008, the future ended. The event that marked its end was the death of a 92-year old man from the not uncommon cause of heart failure. It would not have been an epoch-ending event save for one detail: the man’s name was Forest J Ackerman. Like this:Like Loading…

Gothtober 2008

Explore the mysterious mission de las calaveras in Gothtober’s 2008 Halloween advent calendar. Like this:Like Loading…

Tammy Faye Bakker’s Puppet Songs

You knew evangelist and Queer icon Tammy Faye Bakker used to have a puppet show, right? And her puppets weren’t muppets, they were scary, shellac-headed hand puppets. Way Out Junk has Oops! There Comes a Smile, a collection of Tammy Faye’s puppet songs and stories. Like this:Like Loading…

Afrofuturism

Preserved from usenet, Mark Dery’s 1994 essay on Afrofuturism: “Hack this: Why do so few African-Americans write science fiction, a genre whose close encounters with the Other—the stranger in a strange land—would seem uniquely suited to the concerns of African-American novelists? …. This is especially perplexing in light of the fact that African-Americans are, in […]

Visible Pantylines

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If there’s anything I learned from 1970s underwear commercials, it’s that nothing ruins a woman’s day like visible pantylines.  Back then I didn’t know exactly what visible pantylines were or why they were so embarrassing, but after reading Terra Obscura, I do and they’ve ruined my day. Like this:Like Loading…

Ten To Read

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I always enjoy the ‘Best Of’ lists that come out this time of year.  Seems to me that kind of potted commentary, however limited, offers a great starting place.  So in the spirit of year-end helpfulness, here’s a list of ten romances worth reading.  Historical and modern; sexy and mild:  they run the gamut.  I’m […]

Gothtober

Gothtober is a sort of online Halloween advent calendar. Click on the S.S. Gothtober and see a new short everyday. Like this:Like Loading…

Catwoman: Silicon-Injected

Who are Catwoman

In 2001, Catwoman was everything I ever wanted in a comic. I admit I was a sucker for her new look. A woman’s stompy black boots are her pride and Catwoman’s boots were stompy, black and flat after years of thigh high Pretty Woman stilettos. Not to mention that zippers with rings, black leather, kitty […]

Long Jeanne Silver

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A short list of the some of the most bizarre, more outlandish XXX fare of the 1970s wouldn’t be complete without mentioning an eye-opening 1977 Alex De Renzy feature film titled LONG JEANNE SILVER. In fact, of all the porn films in my collection, I’ve gone though the most trouble to get this particular one, […]

From the Mouths of Babes

Lessons learned from lesbian pulp.

Almost as if Mitch knew what would follow, she held the top of the sheet back while Leda moved down and lightly kissed Mitch’s breasts. A soft sigh broke free from Mitch’s throat and evolved into a plaintive cry. Leda pulled herself up and her lips found Mitch’s and crushed them, burning and moist. “Mitch.” […]

3 times the sleaze, 3 times the fun!

Sexploitation cinema provides a saucy slab of sleaze

Sexploitation, for those of you uninitiated, is a sub genre of adult film that for the most part predated the first hardcore sex films of the early to mid ’70s. These low budget pictures were nudity packed with full figured women, kooky dialog, and drive-in and grindhouse theater advertising campains that promised the world in […]

Just Try and Stop the Music, I Dare You

Mmmm-hmmm...The Village People need love too

While the success of the average movie is certainly based upon inspiring in the viewer a suspension of disbelief, great works from the camp genre succeed in their suspension of other qualities. Namely, good taste (what ever the hell THAT is) and the rule that most films are nothing but ball-less scrotums that give you […]

Kamikaze Hearts of Gutter Punk Lesbians

Make-believe, addiction, despair, two-bit sleaze and two-bit dreams.

During the “Sharon Mitchell film festival” held at the Coolidge Corner Theater in Boston on June 6th 2000, the legendary porn queen showed clips from her XXX films spanning her 3 decades long career and provided a running commentary for the audience. Sharon held the crowd in rapt attention while she revealed the title from […]

Sideways Storytelling

Seeing the whole plan in your mind.

If you’re the kind of reader who wants to know what happens next, then China Mountain Zhang by Maureen F. McHugh might not be the book for you. This debut novel from 1992 has intriguing characters and a few strands of plot, but overall it operates a little more abstractly than most novels. The main […]

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    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).

    ~

    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.”

    ~

    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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    At The Guardian, Keith Stuart and Steve Boxer look at the history of PlayStation.“Having been part of the late 80s rave and underground-clubbing scene, I recognised how it was influencing the youth market. In the early 90s, club culture started to become more mass market, but the impetus was still coming from the underground, from key individuals and tribes. What it showed me was that you had to identify and build relationships with those opinion-formers – the DJs, the music industry, the fashion industry, the underground media.” (via @timmaughan)

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    Neill Cameron has re-imagined the characters of Parks & Recreation as members of Starfleet. (Via @neillcameron)

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