Against my better judgement, the lights in my apartment are connected to a wireless network controlled via an app. There are physical buttons, but they are located near the plugs, at ground level and often behind obstructions. When I leave, turning off the light requires digging my phone out of my pocket, typing in the unlock code, opening the app, waiting for it to detect the network, then tapping a button to turn off the light. I do all of this while standing an inch or so away from the old wall switch, the use of which would achieve the same result in a fraction of the time. As a result of this modernity, every time I leave the apartment, I feel the uncontrollable urge to make sure I’m listening to the title theme from French director Jacques Tati’s 1958 masterpiece Mon Oncle. I am, at that moment, Monsieur Hulot. Continue reading…
This site is updated Thursday afternoon with a new article about an artistic pursuit generally considered to be beneath consideration. Carol Borden draws out the best in comics, Chris Szego dallies with romance, alex MacFadyen stares deeply into the screen and Keith Allison probes science fiction.
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Impatience is a trait that can be irritating, both in other people and oneself, and often results in disaster. In one of my previous articles, Don’t Be That Guy, I used the term “incapacitatingly impatient” to describe all the crazy things people do because they can’t bring themselves to wait long enough to make a choice that’s reasonable or considerate. One of the commenters aptly called it out as “the disease of our age.” Comics editor Carol Borden’s theory about teleportation is that if we were able to teleport places in 10 seconds but it took 20 seconds instead, we’d be tapping our feet impatiently wondering why it was taking so long.
In healthy doses, though, impatience helps get things done. It’s also damn appealing in a historical heroine. Continue reading…
This month’s Guest Star is the excellent Kaitlin Tremblay. Content Warning: self-harm, emotional abuse
My roommate and I are obnoxious in the way that only best friends who live together can be. We have more inside jokes than books we’ve read (and as two girls who work in publishing and with five degrees in subjects focused on books between us, that says a lot). I like to think it’s endearing. We have a house rule for our apartment: we are delightful. (And we are, I promise.)
One of our most enduring inside jokes, though, is Laughing Hour. Laughing Hour came from Star Trek: The Next Generation, when Alexander, Worf’s son, takes lessons on how to laugh. The episode is riddled with bursts of “HA!” from Alexander at the most importune times, and in true 90s comedy fashion, to the utmost annoyance of his very serious and very noble father. It is delightful. Continue reading…
Category: Guest Star
I’ve been thinking about disreputable art more than usual lately, between the film adaptation of 50 Shades of Grey coming out and Jonathan Franzen franzenating about women mucking up the whole respectable novel business. I can’t help but think of the history of the novel in Europe and North America. A tawdry form that was consumed by women, often written pseudonynmously by women and wholly damaging to one’s character, virtue and imagination. Art that makes us unsafe and disreputable has been around for a long time. Plato had concerns about the Mixolydian Mode’s effect on impressionable youths. And it’s made me think about my own reading that might be considered disreputable in the comics’ world. Sometimes it’s good to get back to our roots here at the Gutter. Continue reading…
Grumpy Old Fan remembers Karen Berger’s tenure at Vertigo and DC comics. “In more than 30 years, first as a DC Comics editor and then as head of Vertigo, Berger helped to transform the comics industry by shepherding some of the most acclaimed and beloved series in recent memory. Swamp Thing, Hellblazer, The Sandman and […]
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Of Note Elsewhere
The Paris Review shares some of cartoonist Roz Chast’s intriguingly painted Easter eggs. See more at her website.
At Boing Boing, Gita Jackson writes about gaming, art, minority voices, colonialism and Benedict Anderson’s “imagined communities”: “When marginalized voices come to take their seat at the table, there will always be an outcry that they are invaders, colonists, inferior versions of their straight, white male counterparts. But rather than killing artforms, the addition of marginalized voices often helps ensure that they stay alive.”
Every Frame A Painting returns to analysis of Akira Kurosawa’s work.
At The Nib, Ronald Wimberley tells a story and elucidates the implications of being asked to lighten a character’s skin tone for a Wolverine And the X-Men jam comic.
“Commercial cinema has predictably chosen not to bite the hand that feeds it, so it’s simultaneously inspiring and also kind of embarrassing to see a movie like Seijun Suzuki’s Story of Sorrow and Sadness. Rarely has a mainstream commercial release been as rabid in its attack, and as thoughtful in its critique, of our dystopian mediascape. And it should embarrass current commercial filmmakers that one of the few movies to have something intelligent to say about today’s mediascape was made almost 40 years ago. By a 54 year old director. About golf.” More at Kaiju Shakedown.