Posts tagged: Cultural Gutter
SF/F Editor Keith writes about the sartorial and other splendors of his favorite Doctor, Jon Pertwee’s Third Doctor.
Hartnell had been the adult, the stern grandfather of early 1960s England. Troughton’s tramp with his mop top hair signified a shift in society toward the more free-wheeling and open society of London in the swingin’ sixties. And then along rumbles the Third Doctor in his jalopy Bessie, resplendent in Chelsea boots, velvet jackets, ruffled shirts — the very picture of the sartorial excess of the late 60s/early 1970s. And what’s more, he brought more than one outfit. When the Third Doctor encountered the First, the First Doctor irritably dismissed his later incarnation as “a dandy.” The Second Doctor called him “Fancy Pants.”
Romance Editor Chris thinks about story and memory at the Gutter this week.
Recently I moderated a panel discussion on CanLit and the SF/F genre and it got me to thinking. Specifically, it got me thinking about memory. And that’s because if there’s one thing modern Canadian literature is full of, it’s memory. Years ago (a decade, mebbbe?) an industry journal published a chart detailing the subjects of that season’s big-bet books. It was a tongue-in-cheek piece, but it turned out that some ridiculously high percentage of the ‘must read’ novels were all about memory. Ha, it’s funny ’cause it’s true! Next to identity, memory is one of the themes that helps define a distinct Canadian Literature.
Here’s the thing, though: that’s not just true for CanLit. All stories are about memory.
Painting: “Memory or the Heart,” Frida Kahlo (1937)
This week at The Gutter: Editor alex thinks about “Naked Woman (Steep Hill)”
One night, when I was poking around on the internet for something mindless to play, I stumbled across a game called Naked Woman (Steep Hill). The description: “Control the fate of a naked woman riding down a steep hill. 20 options decide her doom. Feel free to suggest any other fates she can face!” My response was something akin to watching a horror movie between your fingers – I had a feeling that I’d wish I hadn’t seen it but I couldn’t quite bring myself to look away.
At The Gutter: Comics Editor Carol pits Princess Bubblegum vs. Victor Frankenstein in a Mad Science Throwdown!
Prepare yourselves once more to venture a little further into Adventure Time‘s Candy Kingdom and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. If Lemongrab is Frankenstein the creature, how does Princess Bubblegum compare to Frankenstein the creator. Well, beyond the question, “Who would win in a fight, Victor Frankenstein or Bonibel Bubblegum?” We all know that Princess Bubblegum would win.
SF/F Editor Keith Allison explores Jewish folklore and horror cinema.
To enumerate the number of horror films that draw from Christian folklore and mysticism would result in a list long enough to qualify as a tome. To do similarly with Buddhist and Taoist folklore would result in much the same, only with a lot more Lam Ching-ying doing backflips. But if you turn the horrific cinema lens on the rich ocean of Jewish folklore, you come up with almost nothing. Oh sure, every now and then a rabbi totters on-screen to help out a priest with some esoteric passage in the Old Testament, but that is Judaism in the service of Christianity, rather than Judaism on its own tackling its own assortment of ghosts and monsters and legends.
Romance Editor Chris explores the charms of winter:
This week, I thought I saw the first snow of the season. Turns out it was actually sleet, which is kind of like snow’s annoying idiot cousin. But I got excited anyway, because the thing is…
I love winter.
Don’t get me wrong: that doesn’t mean I don’t love fall and spring too. Bright green things unfurling; leaves flaming against a crackling sky – both are wonderful. Spring and fall are energizing and beautiful. Summer… eh, not so much. The heat’s nice, but the humidity can go back to hell at its earliest convenience. I like to do things in the summer, but the season itself is on the bottom of my list.
Winter’s on the top.
SF/F Editor Emeritus James Schellenberg returns to The Gutter this week as a Guest Star and continues his exploration of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series:
You can easily glance off the top of any book by Stephen King–get a few frights and move on. But there’s a hidden world beneath almost all of his books, and not only is it frightening, it’s incredibly intricate (see this flow chart). I revisited King’s Dark Tower series and some of the related books, and while I’m not entirely sure it was worth it, here are a few things that struck me.
(Illustration from The Wind Through The Keyhole by Jae Lee)
Comics Editor Carol dares face the terror that is Adventure Time's Earl of Lemongrab:
Made from lemons—or possibly lemon candy—the Earl of Lemongrab is one of Princess Bubblegum’s creations in the animated television series, Adventure Time. (I’ve also written about Adventure Time, here). As Princess Bubblegum tells Finn (hero of Adventure Time), “He was the first one of my experiments gone wrong” (“Too Young”) and Lemongrab has gone very wrong since he was brought to life late one night. He is one of the most disturbing Frankensteins* I’ve ever seen. In fact, Lemongrab is the first creature who has instilled in me the sense of utter wrongness that characters in Frankenstein feel upon encountering Victor Frankenstein’s stitched-together son. I so often identify with the monster, that it is fascinating to sympathize with those he freaks the hell out.
SF/F Editor Keith writes about Planet of Vampires and Mario Bava’s mix of horror and science fiction:
Although Planet of the Vampires is as much horror as it is science fiction (just as Haunted World was equal parts mythology and horror), he weaves the two genres together seamlessly to create a film that contains the wonder of science fiction with the creeping paranoia of horror.
Romance Editor Chris takes a look at the bad boys of romance—“I’m talking about the seriously bad. The criminal.”
That’s a tough character choice. The writer has to make someone who already has already demonstrated that he has no respect for the law and by extension, public welfare, into the hero. That’s hard going. Thing is, when it works, it works really REALLY well.
Image via Existential Ennui