The Cultural Gutter

dangerous because it has a philosophy

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

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)

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.

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!  

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.

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.

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!)

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.”

Pulp Fiction, Chronologically

Pulp Fiction remixed in chronological order. Watch it soon if chronological narrative is your thing.

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.

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.

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?

Badass Women of the Pulp Era

14 Badass Women of the Pulp Era from around the world. 

“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).

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.”

Heros de las Artes Marciales

Laurie’s Wild West brings you pulps from Franco’s Spain.

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    At Salon, Matt Ashby and Brendan Carroll write about irony and cynicism, sincerity and honesty in art: “At one time, irony served to challenge the establishment; now it is the establishment. The art of irony has turned into ironic art. Irony for irony’s sake. A smart aleck making bomb noises in front of a city in ruins. But irony without a purpose enables cynicism. It stops at disavowal and destruction, fearing strong conviction is a mark of simplicity and delusion.

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    Eastern Kicks has an interview–and a gallery of photos of–director Park Joon-hung.

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    Get ready for a new season of Mad Men with this collection of Absurdist Mad Men promotions, which the Cultural Gutter participates in and even encourages. Duck Phillips rules an undersea advertizing empire and “Pete feels slighted.”

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    Some interesting thoughts on South Korean cinema with “A Dish Best Served Bloody: Revenge In South Korean Cinema” and this Cannes program piece on Arirang (1926) and the history of Korean film.

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    Al-Jazeera America profiles John Pirozzi’s Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten, a documentary about Cambodian rock’n'roll and musicians who survived the Khmer Rouge. “Until 1975, music thrived in Phnom Penh, with clubs full night after night, crowds gathering in the streets around transistor radios to hear the latest releases, and the biggest stars being feted by the king. Enter the Khmer Rouge, communism and the war on intellectuals. Between 1975 and 1979, about 2 million Cambodians, roughly a third of the population, were rounded up and either were killed or died of starvation. Artists were particularly disliked by the Khmer Rouge, which saw creativity as decadence: Almost all of the biggest names perished during that era.”

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    Architecture Daily has an excerpt from City of Darkness detailing the development of Hong Kong’s Kowloon Walled City. “By the 1970s, the City had filled out to its maximised form, with buildings of up to 14 storeys in height, and virtually no ground level daylight penetration save at its centre. Its density was estimated to have reached a mere 7 square feet per person. The yamen area had somehow remained an exception to the vertical development, leased to a missionary society in 1949 for use as an almshouse and old people’s home. Eventually, it defined the sole substantial void within the Walled City, with visible sky above it.”

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