The Cultural Gutter

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"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!)

“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).

“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)

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.

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)

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.”

Red Skies: Soviet Science Fiction

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

The History and Art of the Title Sequence

A couple of looks at the art and history of film title sequences.

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.”

A Cinematic History of the Future

SFSignal has Handshake Magazine’s cinematic history of the future. The timecode in the upper right hand corner.

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.”

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!)

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!

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

    Throne of the Crescent Moon author Saladin Ahmed has posted “a micro-mini Crescent Moon Kingdoms world guide that had previously only been available as part of a UK-exclusive ebook” for people to use in their roleplaying games. But even if you aren’t a gamemaster, it’s pretty sweet.

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    At We Are Respectable Negroes, Chauncey Devega interviews friend of the Gutter Mark D. White about the virtues of Captain America. “In this, the ninth episode, of the second season of WARN’s podcast series, we talk about what comic books and superheroes can tell us about philosophy and politics, work through what makes someone ‘heroic,’ the ways that the general public often misunderstands and misreads the Captain America character, as well as how American exceptionalism, race, and identity relate to superhero and other types of comic books and graphic novels.”

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    Alexander Chee writes about difficulty some have in evaluating comics or even in taking them seriously. “As a frequent juror on prizes, colonies and fellowships, I am, it could be said, so tired of this, that in fact, I will fight you for Roz Chast’s right to be on this list. I will fight you for the right for Bechdel to get that MacArthur. In a ring, covered in grease, MMA style. That is how sick of it I am.”

    And Dylan Meconis has some suggestions on how to improve writing about comics. “This leaves all the critics who are just beginning their journey into comics reading, or who have yet to be entirely won over to the medium but want to keep an open mind (perhaps due to peer pressure: I remember a literati cocktail party where somebody near me anxiously muttered ‘I guess we’re all supposed to read graphic novels now.’) These brave souls are willing to give it a try, but they tend to make a lot of mistakes when they first start out.” (Thanks, Gareth!)

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    At Black Girl Nerds, Jamie Broadnax writes a powerful piece about racism, cosplaying, police violence and the homicide of Darrien Hunt. “The first thing we need to do is NOT let this story scare us nor intimidate us into believing that we should be fearful of cosplaying.  We should still encourage others who may not yet have participated in cosplay to know that there are several communities for people of color to have safe spaces where they can be embrace and be their nerdy selves. If there is little to no news about this incident on other mainstream geek sites that feature cosplayers, then framing this around race is pertinent and they should be called out on their silence.  Even IF this is not an incident where Darrien Hunt was actively cosplaying, the tone has already been set and anyone who is a part of the cosplay community should address this matter.  Many Black cosplayers are concerned about this, and still wonder if they would be viewed as ‘suspicious’ walking down the street.”

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    Nerds of Color announces that their own David Walker will be writing Dynamite’s Shaft comic. Denys Cowan shares the cover for Shaft #1 drawn by Cowan and Bill Sienkiewicz. Sanford Greene shares some his cover work here and here. Black Comix posts Ulises Farinas’ cover.  Comics Wow has more and previews covers. (Via Black Comix and World of Hurt)

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    Actor Richard Kiel has died. Kiel worked in both film and television, including performances in The Twilight Zone episode, “To Serve Man”; Eegah (1962); The Barbary Coast with William Shatner; Happy Gilmore (1996); Pale Rider (1985); as Vlad in Tangled (201); and as Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) and Moonraker (1979).   The New York TimesThe Los Angeles Times and Variety have obituaries. Here he is interviewed with Britt Ekland. And David Letterman interviews Kiel here.

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