all happens in the gutters, really.
Whether it's the space between you and I, the distance that divides
writer from reader, or the inevitable physical gap between an artist's
canvas and the viewer, it's all about crossing those literal gutters
of flesh and understanding to affect some kind of change in a real
and effective manner. Sometimes it's subtle--perhaps a simple restoration
to the norm--but a real and true alteration of time, space, ideology
and destiny nonetheless does occur when that gutter disappears.
These words--my very thoughts--jump like micro-voltaic jolts from
my brain to the keyboard to the web to your screen to bash up against
the existing sparks pinballing across your synapses as you read
these words and...with some subtle magic...something inside you
has changed, perhaps irrevocably, however imperceptibly.
And that's the secret power of words...and of pictures...and of
words with pictures. That's how both words and pictures, apart,
as well as words with pictures, jump the gutters between themselves
and the reader, eliminating the chasm between creator and audience
to accrue some real meaning. If only for a moment, if only for fun.
So, in a very real and true sense, it all does happen in the gutters.
And it's all about bridging that gap--compacting that space between
you and I--as a critic, as a journalist and, ultimately, as a human.
That's how comics, like other literatures, work. It's all as amazingly
simple, yet sweetly complex, as all that.
new to this website lark. I am, from experience, a print journalist.
I still think you can't beat the feel and the smell of newspapers
and magazines in your grubby little paws (but that's between me
and my psychiatrist…) For a short while, we put a bastardised
version of TRIPWIRE on a comic retailer's website but we stopped
that when we launched our shortlived colour monthly edition. So
here you are at Blood in the Gutters, hosted by me and Bill Baker.
I first met Bill when I attended my very first San Diego Comic Con
back in 1999, scarily, when we were both younger and thinner and
I had more hair. Bill then went onto write some reviews and features
for TRIPWIRE and we would see each other at US shows throughout
Back in 2004,
after the dust had settled on the end of TRIPWIRE the magazine (I
may give you the full sordid story at some point about what happened
there but we'll see…), Bill and I started talking about the
idea of an online literary criticism magazine. Presently, there
are a number of comic news sites, like Comicbookresources, Pulse
and Silverbulletcomicbooks, who all serve a certain purpose but
their remit is narrow: interviews serve as extended press releases
and news items are usually just hastily redrafted PR from the companies
who feed them their content.
The aim of
BITG is to reflect myself and Bill's two very different approaches
to the material we review and examine and the subjects we interview:
ironically Bill tends to be more analytical and more literary whereas
I usually go for something a little more accessible and succinct
(so apologies for the rambling nature of this mission statement).
It is the fact that we compliment each other as writers that meant
that a website devoted to both of our work would be an intelligent
and hopefully interesting endeavour.
Look for us
to talk about comics, graphic novels, films, architecture, crime,
photography and whatever takes our fancy.
Step into the gutters
but watch yourself…