When it comes to raising a child who can use words and interact with other humans, so far I seem to be succeeding, but I have to admit that my track record prior to this was not exactly promising. Aside from managing to keep an egg safe for a week in middle school, my first attempt at virtual parenthood was a joint effort with comics editor Carol Borden in the initial release of the game Creatures
The Thrilling Adventure Hour is a beacon in a grittily realistic, grimdark pop culture landscape, one guiding lost souls to fun, charm and adventure. And I’m glad to see The Thrilling Adventure Hour adapted from podcast radio play into graphic novel because I like what it portends for fun stories in the future and because charm is something I can use more of in my entertainment and my life.
A few years back I started getting really interested in video games–playing them, making them, talking about them. And I noticed that there were marked similarities in people’s cultural perception of video games and science fiction.
I would talk with my friends about my experiences with video games in the same way that I’d talk about a movie or another piece of art: “In most games, you smash open a crate, you get either weapons or supplies that you can pick up, or it’ll be empty. But in Half-Life, even the empty crates have something–you get this randomized pile of computer parts motherboards or whatever, it’s a great touch.”
My appreciation for a game’s detailing, tone, and visceral engagement would usually get a laugh despite my sincerity. The disparity between applying high art analysis to low art, or even talking sincerely about something so frivolous, was a clear violation of mainstream cultural norms.
Todd from Die, Danger, Die, Die, Kill! takes over Monster Island Resort to explain the philosophy behind Die, Danger, Die, Die, Kill! as part of the Mysterious Order of the Skeleton Suit’s Swap-A-Thon: “The result is a free form ramble in which I somewhat preposterously touch upon everything from Thunderbirdsto the Situationist movement to prestigious, Academy Award nominated documentaries.…
At Jim C. Hines’ blog, writer Micha Trota writes about what it means when she says, “I don’t see race.”“It means that because I learned to see no difference between ‘white’ and ‘color,’ I have white-washed my own sense of self. It means that I know more about what it is to be a white person than what it is to be Asian, and I am a stranger among both. It means that I built my identity on a warped…
The Cultural Gutter turned ten in May, 2013 and we didn’t make much of a fuss about it. But ten years ago this week, Jim Munroe posted the manifesto that’s guided The Cultural Gutter, even as each subsequent editor has joined the Gutter and added their take on our mission. We thought this would be a good time to celebrate our mission and republish it. (And congratulations to our friends at the…
“[T]hink about all those roles that women selfishly hog up (e.g., passive victims requiring rescue, femmes fatales, joyless nags) that are off-limits to even the most talented male actors. It’s time to stop this woman-centric hand-wringing on how to make female characters better and focus on helping the real victims of Hollywood sexism by asking: How can we make male characters worse?
When it comes to fairy tales, I’m no purist. I love re-tellings, revisions, old favourites made new and strange. That, I think, is what I liked best about Frozen: it took the bare idea of the Snow Queen and told a completely different story, albeit one in which we can vaguely recognize the original. And that reminded me of some of my favourite fairy tale retellings… and how so many of them are love stories.
Luke and I were looking at Hieronymus Bosch’s painting The Garden of Earthly Delights and discovered, much to our amusement, music written upon the posterior of one of the many tortured denizens of the rightmost panel of the painting which is intended to represent Hell. I decided to transcribe it into modern notation, assuming the second line of the staff is C, as is common for chants of this era.
so yes this is LITERALLY the 600-years-old butt song from hell
EDIT: I still can’t believe this took off like it did this is crazy??? Just wanted to let people know that there are indeed errors in the transcription and this is indeed not a very good recording (I threw this together in like 30 minutes at 1 in the morning,) but I’m working with the music department at my college to get the transcription more accurate!
Whenever I find myself edging towards misery or self-pity, I start humming the ending theme from The 1970′s tv version of The Incredible Hulk. I think to myself, “David Banner will never have a normal life.” It’s a technique I owe to Carol Borden, who has a lot of interesting things to say about The Hulk.
Having inevitably hulked out wherever he’s just been, David Banner is forced to move on down the road at the end of each episode with nothing but a duffle bag and his own radioactive blood for company. When I imagine that the outcome of whatever predicament I’m in will be that I will never have a normal life, the sheer melodrama helps put it in perspective. Also, I find it almost impossible to take my problems too seriously with the “Lonely Man” theme as the soundtrack.
At The Gutter: Frozen: Jane Austen Meets The Snow Queen
What happens when a woman who dislikes Disney watches Frozen? So much Jane Austen. And also some Cornel West.
My mom raised me with three things: Feminism; “You don’t have to like your sister, but you can’t hit her”; and a dislike of Disney. Writing them down now, I realize that all three are more applicable to Frozen, than I thought when I decided I should state my bias. I respect Disney’s progress in representation, so every five years or so, I watch a Disney animated feature. I’d heard good things about Frozen from women on the internet, so last holiday season I became Holiday Season Carol and went to see Frozen with some friends, just like people do. But instead of really focusing on feminism and Disney, now all I really want to talk about is sisters and Jane Austen.
image: Joey Chou’s art for the Anna’s Act of Love/ Elsa’s Icy Magic picture book.
I’m really tired of this general trend I’ve been seeing over the past few months, where people are behaving as though it’s something shameful and terrible to have started reading Marvel comics because they saw the movies.
Every now and again, like I said, those of us who grew up with cyberpunk wonder if there might be something new, something that isn’t just a “hackers versus a shady conspiracy” adventure novel. Usually, the books that are suggested to me as examples of “new cyberpunk” don’t really fit what I want from the genre. Plenty of them were good, but few of them grappled with the same big ideas that made me fall in love with Gibson’s “Sprawl” and “Bridge” trilogies, or Bruce Sterling’s Islands in the Net (still my favorite of all the books to emerge from the cyberpunk movement, and one of my favorite books of all time).
And then I found David Louis Edelman’s “Jump 225″ trilogy.
We move through out lives making connections at work, at home, at play. Not all of those relationships are the kind to see you head off a cliff together rather than be parted, but they’re real nonetheless. I’m pretty sure Richard Florida has written at least one book about this. But we don’t need statistics to know it’s true. Lifetime or situational; professional or personal: we live in an ever-changing network of ties ranging from adamantine to momentary.
In short, we have friends.
(cover from Kimi Ni Todoke #8, which Chris discusses in her piece.)
The NYPL* sent out a letter yesterday to their ginormous mailing list, and it’s a diabolical PR-firm-engineered feat of ASTROTURFING to get the public to support their unpopular fiasco of a plan to sell off branch buildings to real estate developers and let the collection fade away in a warehouse…
To my mind, those empty boat supports became a metaphor for the things you know in your heart of hearts you’re never going to do but you just can’t quite let go. Instead you bend and twist to fit around them so you don’t have to admit to yourself that you’re actually just not that guy. Sometimes you could never be that guy, and sometimes you can’t be without giving something else up so you have to choose. And sometimes that choice really sucks.
But how do you differentiate between an achievable dream and an unrealistic fantasy? It’s one of the central dilemmas in The Fantastic Mr. Fox, which I have seen many, many times (minus the scary scenes with the villains, Boggis, Bunce and Bean).
t’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 I become interested in).
Here are ten comics I haven’t written about. They include the following things: Weird Westerns, the undead, women who bring death, a dog who loves pizza, bros, the Nineties, Jordie Bellaire, Kieron Gillen, queer representation, non-human apes, Sparta, legendary heroes, robots, barbarians, swords, spears, dancing aliens, and many, many ladies.