The Cultural Gutter

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

RIP, Louis Jourdan

Actor Louis Jourdan has died. Jourdan starred in both films and television including, Gigi (1958), Letter From An Unknown Woman (1948), Swamp Thing (1982), Octopussy (1983), Madame Bovary (1949), Julie (1956), Columbo (1978), Paris Precinct (1955) and Dracula (1977). The BBC, The Guardian and The New York Times have obituaries. Here’s a brief interview with […]

DC Variant Covers by Mike Allred

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A gallery of Mike Allred’s covers for twenty of DC’s titles. (via @profmdwhite)

The American Superhero Comics of Mark Millar

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At Sequart, friend of the Gutter Colin Smith is taking an exhaustive look at the American superhero comics of Mark Millar–and by exhaustive, we mean, “28 Part.”

Recognizing Colorists

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AV Club’s Big Issues focuses on giving comics’ colorists their due. And Jordie Bellaire is mad as hell and she’s not going to take it anymore.

Nancy A. Collins’ Swamp Thing

Author Nancy A. Collins talks about writing Swamp Thing at Hasslein Blog.  The Den of Geek writes a paean to Nancy Collins’ al-too-brief run. “As the run progressed, it became evermore enchanting, tense, witty and imaginative (not to mention the fact that it produced the first ever comic to be released under DC’s mature Vertigo […]

“33 Years of Great Comics”

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 […]

5 Questions for Nancy A. Collins

Women Writing the Weird editor Deb Hoag interviews writer Nancy A. Collins on Suvudu. “How could a young girl with a strong imagination stuck in a small rural town not end up fascinated with fantastic literature?”

Dreadful Thoughts

As an adult, my strongest impressions of horror have come from comics. My childhood ones are almost exclusively from tv—the trailer for Magic and a misguided viewing of the beginning of Andy Warhol’s Frankenstein. But as an adult, I remember picking up the first issue of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman (Vertigo) and being so freaked out […]

“It’s a new world, Arcane.”

Andrew O’Hehir tricks us all by writing about Alan Moore and Swamp Thing instead of movies at Salon: “[T]wo things are clear: Moore knows what comics readers want and intends to give it to them, and whether or not they want something more complicated, more tragic and more adult (I know it’s a loaded word), […]

23 Variations on the Vampire

From Sesame Street’s the Count to Swamp Thing‘s aquatic vampires to The Lost Boys, hopping vampires and Richard Matheson, the AV Club has 23 variations on the vampire.

Saga of the Swamp Things

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Alan Moore’s Saga of the Swamp Thing was my favorite comic in my younger, more gloomsome days. I probably liked it more than my other favorite comics at the time, Grant Morrison’s Doom Patrol and Neil Gaiman’s Sandman. But Swamp Thing wasn’t the only swamp monster in comics.

Superheros de los Muertos

Is there anything better than a superpowered dead girl?

It’s the time of year when a young woman’s thoughts naturally turn to skeletons and zombies, death and dying. I like bats, boneyards, snappy girls from beyond, hideous mockeries of humanity fermented in swamps, creepy happenings and bones, bones, bones.

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  • Of Note Elsewhere

    At Teleport City, the Gutter’s own Carol writes about 12 books that vary in reputability and their harrowing nature. They include books by Shirley Jackson, Raymond Chandler, Patricia Highsmith and Herman Melville.

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    Anne Billson has posted a 1985 interview she did with director George Miller (the Mad Max films). Miller talks about many things including Aunty Entity’s probable past as a hero and Max as, in Mel Gibson’s words, “a closet human being.” (Thanks, Matt!)

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    At New York Magazine, David Wallace-Wells writes about bees, colony collapse disorder and beekeeper Dave Hackenberg. “It’s been a long decade for bees. We’ve been panicking about them nonstop since 2006, when beekeeper Dave Hackenberg inspected 2,400 hives wintering in Florida and found 400 of them abandoned — totally empty. American beekeepers had experienced dramatic die-offs before, as recently as the previous winter in California and in regular bouts with a deadly bug called the varroa mite since the 1980s. But those die-offs would at least produce bodies pathologists could study. Here, the bees had just disappeared. In the U.K., they called it Mary Celeste syndrome, after the merchant ship discovered off the Azores in 1872 with not a single passenger aboard. The bees hadn’t even scrawled CROATOAN in honey on the door on their way out of the hive.”

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    Andrew Nette has a pair of interesting pieces on pulp you might be interested in. First, he writes about “the New Pulp” and a bit about Fifty Shades of Gray in “Fifty Shades of Pulp.” Then he writes about pulp and literacy and furthering social advancement in “Pulp and Circumstance.”  “Most people view pulp as either exploitative lowbrow culture or highly collectable retro artefact. Yet pulp has a secret history which Rabinowitz’s book uncovers. Her central thesis is that cheap, mass-produced pulp novels not only provided entertainment and cheap titillating thrills, but also brought modernism to the American people, democratising reading and, in the process, furthering culture and social enlightenment.”

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    The Projection Booth interviews actor Ed Asner.

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    Transcript from BAFTA’s tribute to director Johnnie To, “Johnnie To: A Life In Pictures.” It’s a great interview with To about his films and process. “Like when I made The Mission I didn’t have a script. It was 1999 and I didn’t have any money so we went to Taiwan and they gave us very little money to hurry up and make a film, so without any script we just started making it. And after 19 days we made the film.” (Thanks to the Heroic Sisterhood!)

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