The Cultural Gutter

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

Punching Cthulhu in the Face

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Although his prose and his politics can be problematic for some readers, the influence of weird fiction writer HP Lovecraft is substantial and reaches out from beyond the grave like one of his indescribable elder gods. Although not particularly successful financially — which is really just another way of calling him a writer — Lovecraft […]

Chester Himes on the BBC

Listen to BBC Radio 4’s production of Chester Himes’ crime classic, Cotton Comes to Harlem. Only available for a short time. (Thanks, Andrew Nette) Like this:Like Loading…

Interview with Australian Pulp Fiction Historian Toni Johnson Woods

“The first book I read was Carter Brown’s The Unorthodox Corpse. The Fryer Library (at University of Queensland) had a battered copy and I loved it.” Pulp Curry talks with Toni Johnson Woods about Australian pulp fiction. Like this:Like Loading…

Pulp, Comics and Games in TO!

This weekend’s the Toronto Comic Arts Fair plus the  Pulp Show and Sale at  Lillian H. Smith.  Visit both and our friends from The Hand Eye Society at TCAF’s  TIFF Nexus Comics vs. Games (trailer here).  Hooray for the Toronto Public Library!   Like this:Like Loading…

John vs. Patrick vs. Carol

John Perkins interviews the Gutter’s Comics Editor and Evil Overlord, Carol on the John vs. Patrick Podcast. There’s some talk of Gutter history and a warning that you don’t want to mess with Romance Editor Chris, she will cut you. Like this:Like Loading…

Michael Chabon of Barsoom

Wired and io9 interview Michael Chabon on his screenplay for John Carter, his love of Edgar Rice Burroughs and writing genre fiction. Like this:Like Loading…

The Last Canadian

Grady Hendrix reads London Free Press editor William C. Heine’s The Last Canadian, a plague-driven, apocalyptic pulp set in Montreal. Unfortunately, the protagonist’s citizenship papers haven’t come through before the plague hits.  For Canadian pulp fiction featuring full Canadian citizens, check out Tales from the Vault, curated by own own Screen Editor Emeritus, Ian Driscoll. […]

The Blade Runner Sketchbook

100 pages of Blade Runner glory, out of print, but online and free. (Thanks, @matt_kay) (Fixed link!) Like this:Like Loading…

TinTin and the Lessons of Pulp Racism

In adapting Tintin, Noah Berlatsky writes, “Spielberg provides spectacular ship-to-ship battles, requisite car chases, and improbable fights between construction cranes. But he left out the thing that made the Indiana Jones films most like the Hergé books. That is, racism.” Like this:Like Loading…

Pulp Fiction, Chronologically

Pulp Fiction remixed in chronological order. Watch it soon if chronological narrative is your thing. Like this:Like Loading…

Summer Fun Time Reading ’11

It’s summer time and instead of beer bottles exploding out of coolers in a shower of refreshing ice, bikini-clad hotties and fireworks as we know it should be, everything is wilting and perhaps even melting. As far as I can tell there are only two possible explanations—Hot Lava Monsters have readjusted the earth’s thermostat to […]

Yoshihiro Tatsumi’s “Black Rainbow”

Ryan Holmberg reads Tatsumi Yoshihiro’s Black Blizzard closely with Tatsumi’s memoir, A Drifting Life, and discovers Black Blizzard is an adaptation of pulp mystery writer Shimada Kazuo’s story, “Black Rainbow,” then puts Tatsumi’s work in the context of other mass entertainment of its time.  The piece itself is worth it for the discussion of Shimada […]

Podcasts! Podcasts! Podcasts!

Here at the Gutter we like our podcasts. We especially like Infernal Brains and The Projection Booth. At Infernal Brains, Todd and Tars discuss Thai pulp hero, Insee Daeng and Wisit Sasanatieng’s recent screen adaptation, Red Eagle.  Meanwhile, at The Projection Booth, Mike and Mondo Justin report on Robocop (including news on Detroit’s statue) and […]

Soulless Gialli

“What have they done to gialli?” wonders Allison Nastasi about new giallo films and then offers up 5 examples of the genre at its best. Like this:Like Loading…

Thailand’s Pulp Hero

As part of a look at Thailand’s pulp hero, Red Eagle / Insee Daeng in film, Tars Tarkas has written an excellent piece on pulp fiction and pulp heroes in Thailand.  Make sure to check out the articles on the Insee Daeng film series, including the recent Wisit Sasanatieng version. Like this:Like Loading…

Conquer the Galaxy and/or the Mysterious Mind

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An iconic character in the earliest pulp novels and the latest multiplex blockbusters: the heroic space explorer, striding manfully forward, saving the natives, grabbing the treasure and the babes, and so on. What’s going on inside his head? Like this:Like Loading…

Badass Women of the Pulp Era

14 Badass Women of the Pulp Era from around the world.  Like this:Like Loading…

“Tomorrow Never Say Never” Starring George Lazenby

The Random James Bond Movie generator gives you a title, a plot and a particular Bond. (Also provides book titles). Like this:Like Loading…

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 […]

What Do Zombies Mean to Americans?

Meanwhile, Annalee Newitz presents, “A Brief History of Zombies in America.” Like this:Like Loading…

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    Dr. Nerdlove takes a brief break from helping the nerd get the girl to address something that’s been bugging him. “Pardon me while I go off on a bit of a media criticism/ rant here. So I’ve been enjoying the *hell* out of The Flash lately except for one thing: Iris Allen. Her character is screen death; every time she’s around, everything comes to a screeching halt.

    The problem is: it’s not her fault, it’s the writers. Rather like Laurel Lance in the first two seasons of Arrow, she has Lois Lane syndrome. Her (like Laurel and Lois) entire character arc is based around being ignorant of events that literally everyone else in her life is aware of.”

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    Get your own copy of the Satanic Temple’s The Satanic Children’s Big Book of Activities!

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    At The Atlantic, Ta-Nehisi Coates writes about Dr. Doom: “Comics are so often seen as the province of white geeky nerds. But, more broadly, comics are  the literature of outcasts, of pariahs, of Jews, of gays, of blacks. It’s really no mistake that we saw ourselves in Doom, Magneto or Rogue.”

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    Actor Ken Takakura has died. Takakura starred in films such as Brutal Tales of Chivalry (1965); Red Peony Gambler (1968); Miyamoto Musashi: Duel at Ichijoji (1955) and Miyamoto Musashi: Duel at Ganryu Island (1956); as well as in co-productions like The Yakuza (1974); The Bullet Train (1975); Black Rain (1989) and Riding Alone For Thousands Of Miles (2005).  The Japan Times, The South China Morning Post and The AV Club have obituaries. Japan Subculture has an interview with Takakura. Here Takakura sings the theme to Abhashiri Prison (1965)

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    Producer, writer and director Glen A. Larson has died. Larson was responsible for creating tv series such as Battlestar Galactica, Magnum P.I, Knight Rider, The Fall Guy, Quincy M.E., The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries and Buck Rogers In The 25Th Century, about which the Gutter’s own Keith wrote here. The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter and The AV Club have obituaries. Watch Larson’s interview from 2010 at “Battlestar Galactica: The Exhibition”.

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    At Re/Action, Maddy Myers writes about how important the Metroid franchise, in both game and manga form, and its protagonist, Samus Aran, were to her. “Samus still represents a breakthrough. She first took off her armor to reveal a woman’s form back in 1986, the year that I was born. Samus and I grew up separately, kindred spirits who did not find one another until 2007. A best friend, a fraternal twin sister, a clone separated at birth. Or so I felt, as I let myself slip behind that visor. I wasn’t Samus myself – not yet. I stood behind her, hanging back. Did I dare? Did I dare pretend, role-play, allow myself to act as Samus? Could I be that cool?”

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