The Story So Far...Based in Ypsilanti, Toronto, and Brooklyn, The Cultural Gutter was founded in May, 2003 with the intention of providing thoughtful and provocative writing on disreputable art. Since then, we've had ten editors in two countries and five cities write on comics, romance, genre movies, tv, science fiction, fantasy, video games, and porn films. And in all that time we paid our writers, both regulars and guest stars. Then we lost our operations funding. In 2013, a small, rag-tag band of donors joined forces to keep the Gutter online and helped us keep our commitment to paying writers for their work. Our survival for the next year depends on Gutterthon. We hope you'll consider donating.
What We Need & What You Get
Our $3100 goal breaks down to: $400/year/writer (or about $33/article); $400/year for the Evil Overlord for publishing, promoting, finding new writers, day-to-day content management and making sure all the perks are shipped out; $382/year for our fine Webhost at No Media Kings; and about $600 for printing and shipping perks, promotional materials, paying any guest writers and paying Indiegogo and Paypal fees. These fees take up a significant chunk. For example, if we hit our goal of $3100, Indiegogo will take $277 in fees, leaving us $2883 before Paypal's fees. If we don't hit our goal, Indiegogo will receive 9% of whatever we make.
In return, along with thoughtful and provocative articles on subjects like Duran Duran & William S. Burroughs; Jackass & masculinity; Frozen & Jane Austen; Godzilla & Realism; The Mummy (1999) as love story; Planet of the Apes & relatability, you will have your choice of some fine perks.
The British Fantasy Society Award-nominated Fox Spirit Books have donated digital copies of their anthologies, Noir Carnival and Guardians. Noir Carnival is a genre-bending collection, "The carnies bring you stories, a heady mix of shadows and candy floss,
dreams gone sour and nights that go on too long. Let them lure you into
the tent." It includes, "The Mermaid Illusion," a story by the Gutter's own Carol. Guardians is an anthology based on the question, "What if the thing you were afraid of was what stood between you and a bloody death?" Copies are available in both Mobi and ePub formats.
Our sister site Pornokitsch donated books from their Jurassic London imprint, including a signed copy of limited edition printing of Kim Curran's Glaze, "a combination of astute technological insight, uneasy social commentary and brilliant adventure." They've also donated digital copies of The Book of the Dead. "The Book of the Dead addresses the most fascinating of all the
undead: the mummy. The mummy can be a figure of imperial dignity or one
of shambling terror, at home in pulp adventure, contemporary drama, or
apocalyptic horror," featuring stories by Gail Carriger and Paul Cornell; British Fantasy Award Finalist A Town Called Pandemonium, "the wildest, weirdest West you'll ever visit: a shared world anthology
created by some of the best new writers in horror and fantasy"; Unearthed, "eleven classic tales of the mummy, selected by John J. Johnston (Egypt Exploration Society) and Jared Shurin"; The Brick Moon (1869), "a lost classic of Victorian SF--the first tale to imagine the launch of an artificial satellite"; and Lost Souls, "Two dozen carefully restored tales of damnation and redemption."
They've also kindly donated digital copies of Speculative Fiction 2013, "which collects over fifty pieces from all corners of speculative fiction fandom--from book criticism to incisive commentary on important issues like sexual harassment at conventions; from feminist themes in summer blockbusters to life-changing video games; from the merits of grittiness to the downfalls of grimdark." The essays selected by The Book Smugglers' Ann Grilo and Thea James include Monster Island Resort Podcast's Miguel Rodriguez'"The Good Outnumber You: A Look At Heroism In Storytelling," first published on the Gutter.
The Gutterthon Library, including digital editions of Noir Carnival; Guardians; The Book of the Dead; A Town Called Pandemonium; Unearthed; The Brick Moon; Lost Souls; and Speculative Fiction, 2013.
ETC Press has donated print copies of The Cultural Gutter (2011), a collection of pieces published on the Gutter from Jim Munroe, James Schellenberg, Carol Borden, Chris Szego and Ian Driscoll. This print version also has fantastic infographic illustrations by artist EJ Lee.
An Abominable Dr. Phibes assemblage created by artist and jewelry-maker Edie of EJPCreations
A Gutterthon-themed necklace made by EJPCreations. 3 pendants featuring Jane Austen, Godzilla and one of the taglines of the Gutter itself: "Beyond Good And Bad There Is Awesome." The whole necklace is antiqued brass with a gunmetal chain and extension/counterbalance.
A digital email subscription to the next 10 mini-comics publisher by Silber Media. Silber publishes mini-comics about a robot fighting his programming; a saxophone-playing walrus in a post-apocalyptic wasteland and a speculative biography of Conan-creator, Robert E. Howard.
The Gutter's own Carol Borden will be donating handmade homunculi as well as more papier mache skulls with facial hair painted on them and a variety of hand embellished notebooks:
An orange, 8 x 6" Fabriano Ecoqua Notebook with hot lava monsters and volcanic eruption on the cover drawn by the Gutter's own Carol.
Light Blue Cthulhu handprinted on a dark blue pocket Moleskine.
Gray pocket Moleskine with the Snake Venom mask from Five Deadly Venoms handprinted on it
NEW PERK: The Gutter's own Carol will bake you cookies and ship them to you (Sorry, International friends shipping cookies is US ONLY, but if you do select this perk, Carol will send you a chocolate chip or Earl Grey cookie recipe).
And a CG Super Pack, with a signed copy of The Cultural Gutter; a papier mache skull with facial hair painted on it by the Gutter's own Carol Borden; a surprise Moleskine decorated by Carol; a Gutterthon poster and a CG Membership package.
But even $1 gets our Undying Thanks.
If we don't reach our goal, we'll use the funds to print and ship your perks, pay our webhost and see how much we can pay each editor. Exceeding our goal would give us breathing room with regards to being able to hire guest writers and create promotional materials to leave at comic and bookstores, cafes and theaters.
We like to think that the Gutter offers something that is unusual online: Clear-eyed, thoughtful and thought-provoking writing on disreputable art and media. If you donate or support the campaign by sharing, you will help keep the Gutter online and running; support our particular take on disreputable art; and help support paying writers for their work.
We ran a successful fundraiser last summer, we sent out all our perks, and, thanks to everyone's help, we kept going. With your help, we can do it again. The Cultural Gutter's survival does depend on Gutterthon.
Other Ways You Can HelpWe know that times are hard for a lot of people and any little bit helps, even a retweet or sharing our campaign on Facebook. Indiegogo has tools that make it easy.