The Cultural Gutter

beyond good and bad, there is awesome

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

The Cruelty of Idiocracy

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At Paleofuture, Matt Novak writes about Idiocracy‘s unpleasant implications: “Sure. As an over-the-top comedic dystopia, the movie is actually enjoyable. But the movie’s introduction makes it an unnerving reference to toss around as our go-to insult….Unlike other films that satirize the media and the soul-crushing consequences of sensationalized entertainment (my personal favorite being 1951’s Ace […]

“The World of Kamandi”

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Comic Book Cartography has Jack Kirby’s map of “The World of Kamandi.” (Thanks, Lt. Wilkes!) Like this:Like Loading…

“It’s A Bunch Of Years After The War”

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Mallory Ortberg writes some entertaining faux-young adult dystopian fiction at The Toast: “Now, society’s bad. There was only one way for society to survive. Society’s real bad. Our society was bad after the War because of bad things. Remember all the things about your society right now? Just make ‘em worse, that’s our society. Nothing’s […]

10 Comics I Liked In 2013

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It’s an amazing time in comics right now. There are too many good ones for me to even read them all. Comics are like a hydra, but without the decapitation or even really the fighting. (So maybe not all that much like a hydra except I find one comic and then there are 3-6 more […]

Strong Female Character

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A little while ago, a friend told me that I was a “strong woman.” It was a compliment and I took it as one. Part of me knows what he means, that I keep trying, that I pick myself up as best I can after things go to hell, that I try to keep moving. […]

Recapping The Jetsons: “Elroy’s TV Show”

At Paleofuture, Novak watches The Jetsons and the debates about television depicted in the episode, “Elroy’s Tv Show”: “The episode highlights the perennial debate over the role of TV programming in the American home. The latter half of the 20th century saw numerous fights over the regulation of TV programming and the battles were especially vicious […]

FantAsia Film Festival 2012

The FantAsia site is up and running with many, many trailers to get you ready for the festival. (Or at least, what films to keep an eye out for). Like this:Like Loading…

“Great Changes After The Liberation”

ChinaSmack has scans of of a 1950 propaganda comic predicting China’s future. “From the portrayal of working class hardship, to unaffordable housing, to foreigners behaving as they please in China, the problems of pre-liberation China seems to remain very much relevant even to this day.” (via @paleofuture) Like this:Like Loading…

Steven Kostanski Talks Astron-6, Winnipeg and Manborg!

Filmmaker Steven Kostanski answers some questions about mysterious subjects such as, Astron-6, Winnipeg and his latest film, Manborg, questions posited by the Gutter’s own Carol Borden. Like this:Like Loading…

Suda51’s Sdatcher

Based on the Konami game, Snatcher, Suda51’s radio drama, Sdatcher, is about a man tasked with destroying robots who have infiltrated human society. Sure, it’s very Blade Runner, but it’s fun and translated into English by Marc Laidlaw. (via Tim at The Hand Eye Society) Like this:Like Loading…

Terror of Monkeys vs. Robots

Manipulated by mad scientists, humiliated for humanity’s pleasure, will robots and apes tire of making our cars, vacuuming our floors, fighting our wars, washing our cats and smoking our cigarettes? Who will break first as humankind continually fails to distinguish androids from robots, apes from monkeys? We return again to the question that 2012 inevitably […]

It’s the Hummingbird-Whale that puts it over the top…

More “classic” cover art at Good Show Sir: “OK, I want a triad of spiritual guru, alien Venus, and bull-man, linked by a strip of computer punch tape (futuristic!).  Also, it must have a hummingbird-whale.  I insist.” Like this:Like Loading…

Red Skies: Soviet Science Fiction

A thorough and well-illustrated look at Soviet science fiction, from the 1920s through the 1980s. (via SF Signal) Like this:Like Loading…

The History and Art of the Title Sequence

A couple of looks at the art and history of film title sequences. Like this:Like Loading…

Kubrick’s Zero Gravity Toilet Instructions

Please read instructions before operating the Zero Gravity facilities:  “The toilet is of the standard zero-gravity type. Depending on requirements, System A and/or System B can be used, details of which are clearly marked in the toilet compartment.” Like this:Like Loading…

A Cinematic History of the Future

SFSignal has Handshake Magazine’s cinematic history of the future. The timecode in the upper right hand corner. Like this:Like Loading…

The Necessary Elements for UFO to be a Hit

Purple wigs, gull-wing doors and lack of affect–Todd from 4DK provides “a list of some elements from the [1960s British] TV series [UFO] that, if they were to be included in the movie, would lead me to forgive a multitude of sins.” Like this:Like Loading…

Presidential Futurism

Slate surveys African-American presidents in tv and film–with clips! Salon looks at “Black Presidents We Have Known,” looking at DW Griffith, the year 2228, Sammy Davis, Jr. and 24 along the way. Meanwhile, Io9 urges you to choose Nixon as your dystopian president. (updated!) Like this:Like Loading…

Past, Present and Retro-Future Collide–in 3-D!

A 1953 3-D comic online? My brain doesn’t have the power to contain the glory of past, present and retro-future colliding in Brain Power! Like this:Like Loading…

Hanging With Heroes

Cold Bob showed me around Paragon City.

When I was 11 or 12, at the variety store near my Grandma’s house, I made a life-changing purchase. It was probably Christmas and I was probably killing time until I had to go back to a room full of adults. When I did return to the festive nest, I went home with the New […]

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    At Comics Alliance, Chris Sims talk abouts the art of lettering in comics. “Comic book lettering is up there with inking and coloring in the holy trinity of underrated comic book skills, but it’s also one of those things that, once you start paying attention to it, you’ll never be able to not notice it again. I’m not exaggerating even a little bit when I say that it’s one of those things that can absolutely ruin a comic if it’s done wrong, even if everything else is perfect. But to be honest, of those three elements, lettering is still probably the most underrated. The thing is, when it’s good, it can be absolutely gorgeous in its own right. And fortunately for us, there are a lot of people who do it very, very well.”

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    Comics Alliance suggests seven Star Wars comics to read before Disney makes them disappear. (Including a comic by one of Comics Editor Carol’s favorite creative teams–Corinna Bechko and Gabriel Hardman). “Starting in 2015, Disney’s handing the publishing of any and all new Star Wars comics over to Marvel Comics, with an all new, optimized-for-corporate-synergy canon that will spread across all their media platforms. Anything that’s not a movie (especially one of the Original Trilogy movies), or a Clone Wars cartoon, will be unceremoniously Order 66-ed out of existence, giving future filmmakers a clean-ish slate to make movies (and money) on. But what about all those Dark Horse comics? That’s where we come in with 7 Dark Horse Star Wars comics you should track down before they disappear.”

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    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.”

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    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).

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    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.”

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    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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