The Cultural Gutter

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

A Short History of Hellmouths

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Living just outside the gates of hell is a very convenient plot device. It handily solves the narrative challenge of providing a plausibly endless supply of demons and evil beasties for a protagonist to fight, and it’s not like hell ever goes away. Maybe you get lucky and manage to close the gate near you, […]

“What Cersei Lannister’s Walk of Shame Tells Us About Our Culture”

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At Vice, Medievalist Kathleen E. Kennedy writes about the chastisement of Cersei Lannister in The Game Of Thrones and how it relates to Medieval European and contemporary shaming. (via @kalaity)

“The Myth of the Medieval Setting: Masculinity and Heroism in Modern Film”

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Friend of the Gutter, Kate Laity writes about medieval settings, ideas of heroism and masculinity, and “how people use history to veil the way they think about how things are now.”

Here Be Monsters!

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Hi Fructose magazine has images of Bailey Henderson’s sculptures of creatures from Medieval maps.

“44 Medieval Beasts That Cannot Even Handle It Right Now”

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A gallery of Medieval European beasts and creatures who can’t even.

“Prague Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments”

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At Teleport City, The Gutter’s Own Keith Allison has a gallery of photographs from Prague’s Museum Of Medieval Torture Instruments.

Monsters of the Fifteenth Century

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A gallery of colorful monsters from a Fifteenth Century book of hours.

“‘We Have Always Fought': Challenging the Women, Cattle and Slaves Narrative”

“It’s easier to tell the same stories everyone else does. There’s no particular shame in it. It’s just that it’s lazy, which is just about the worst possible thing a spec fic writer can be. Oh, and it’s not true.” Kameron Hurley writes about lazy writing, cannibal llamas, female soldiers, and women here. (Thanks, James!)

Boy Band Madrigal

Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay performs–as a boy band–the madrigal, “Come again sweet love”  written by John Dowland. (thanks, alex!)

10 Comics I Liked In 2012

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Tales of derring-do! Girl adventurers! Occult mystery! Infernal foes! Secrets revealed! Pirates! Love, loss & betrayal! Intricate art bound in lovely hardcovers! Indie going mainstream! Original creations! It’s been an incredible year for comics. So many good ones that I can’t even begin to claim to know what would be the best comics of 2012. […]

The Dangerous Dead in Notts

The discovery of a skeleton found with metal spikes through its shoulders, heart and ankles, dating from 550-700AD and buried in the ancient minster town of Southwell, Notts, is detailed in a new report.”More at The Telegraph. (via Disinformation)

Jack Kirby’s Collage

Imprint Magazine puts Jack Kirby’s collage in an art history context.

10 Comics I Liked in 2010

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Sometimes it’s easy to forget why I like comics and 2010 was a particularly tough year, in comics and otherwise. But here are 10 that reminded me why I do like them. There’s a lot of crime, anthropomorphic animals, gorgeous art, silly fun, people dealing with things the best they can, and plenty of Greg […]

Christopher Lee is the King of Metal

Christopher Lee conquers Symphonic Metal. Survey his Holy Metal Empire with two promos for Charlemagne, a message from Christopher Lee about the project and some track teasers.

Christopher Lee Is Metal.

Christopher Lee is Metal. “I have been metal for many years,” he says in a review of his new CD, Charlemagne:  By the Sword and the Cross.

Coming Home In The Dark Ages

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A soldier returns home to tend to affairs after the death of his father. Sound familiar? It did to me, too, but in Northlanders: Sven the Returned it’s a good thing.

Wolf In The Door

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I think the adage about not judging a book by its cover was probably invented by publishers’ marketing departments. They spend a surprising amount of time and effort on covers, and don’t want that time to be wasted, so you’re told to judge a book its prose.  I can get behind that. As a bookseller, […]

Wouldn’t It Be Nice

Oh, to live in the era of the Regency Romance or the epic medieval adventure! Oh, except that life would suck: “No painless dentistry, eccentric provision for sewage, no penicillin and no concept of asepsis, and the condition of most women was not one that I aspire to.”

It’s the End of the World as we Know It

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Remember Y2K? All those pre-New Year’s warnings about what might happen to the world’s computer systems?  People were pretty calm about it, but many thought, hey, better safe than sorry, and stocked up on toilet paper and non-perishables. But as it happened, the giant looming what if turned out to be nothing, and the world […]

Sanctuary

In Castle Waiting, every turret flies its freak flag high

It’s a dream every geek, freak, dork, spazz, nerdy girl, artsy fartsy dilettante, re-enactor, socially challenged misfit and misanthrope has had: Sanctuary. A place where you’re left alone. A place where embarrassing quirks, interests and personal oddities aren’t just tolerated, but embraced. And many have tried to build their own sanctuaries from pillow forts to […]

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    At Graveyard Shift Sisters, Ashlee Blackwell considers love in Ganja & Hess. ” It is up to the viewer to map a path that suits their understanding. What writer/director Bill Gunn (who plays Dr. Hess’ assistant) wanted was a disruption of mainstream fare. Gunn didn’t seem too interested in what Hollywood desired, and like many writers, wrote a screenplay that felt personal and needed to be written. It tackles so many themes, it’s almost difficult to begin. While most rely on it being vampiric and about addiction, it’s important to note the journey that Hess and Ganja embark on together. Their romantic entanglement may by one of the most fascinating aspects of the film that is commonly overlooked because it is challenging to simplify.”

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    Friend of the Gutter Less Lee Moore interviews friend of the Gutter Colin Geddes about his work on the new horror streaming service, Shudder.

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    The Bowery Boys Podcast dedicates an episode to New York City in the history of comic books. “In the 1890s a newspaper rivalry between William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer helped bring about the birth of the comic strip and, a few decades later, the comic book.  Today, comic book superheroes are bigger than ever — in blockbuster summer movies and television shows — and most of them still have an inseparable bond with New York City.”

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    Pornokitsch’s One Comic Podcast looks at Red Sonja #10: “To everyone’s surprise, despite some of the covers and the character’s reputation, this isn’t the exploitative boobs’n’swordplay production it could have been. How did it achieve that? Listen and find out.”

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    Los Angeles Magazine has a gallery of self-portraits of Bunny Yeager and a bit about the career of a model and photographer most famous for her pin-up photographs of Bettie Page. “Having dedicated her life to photography and modeling, not to mention publishing 30 books on the subject (one of which shares a name with the Gavlak exhibition), Yeager had an influence on a generation of artist-photographers including Diane Arbus and Cindy Sherman. Arbus even went as far to call her ‘The world’s greatest pin-up photographer.'” (Thanks, Stephanie!)

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    Arch Daily has a gallery of images of remarkable sandcastles built by Calvin Seibert. Smithsonian Magazine has more, including a 2012 interview with Seibert about his work. (via @lordwoolamaloo)

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