Stuck in the Gutters is a comic anthology that has short stories and editorials about comic books in general. In that regard it’s one part comics, and one part “hey remember what used to be good about Wizard magazine?” Which is to say that the editorials vary, but can be pretty interesting if you’re keeping up with comics as a whole. To address the editorials, they are definitely not for a causal comic book reader. The causal comic book reader doesn’t wonder if comics are literature and so this topic is more in line with what people that are heavily invested into comics think about. People like the ones reading this review. A lot of the topics seemed geared towards a college reader because that’s when you rage about the medium the most and attempt to get everyone to acknowledge the art form. Later on in life you’re just happy to have good comics to read and could give two shits if anyone else reads comics.
One article in particular stood out and that was Jeremy Holt’s almost blog style of entry about his journey into the comic industry. If you’re looking to get some insight for yourself, this is a good article to read. I’m not saying you’ll walk away knowing how to “break in”, but it might provide some info you never thought of or considered.
The comics themselves range from meh to good. There were two about space that were both interesting, well written and had solid art. There were more than a few that only contained a chunk of a story which gives the impression that we’ll pick up with the tale in the next issue, very much like Dark Horse Comics Presents, which was completely fine. I do think that these particular stories did a poor job of working with the page count they had and gave little reason to return or be interested in them next time though. You still need to hook the reader and they didn’t. A few standalone stories had art that I couldn’t get into and the story was unfortunately the same.
Overall it’s an okay anthology. It really depends on what you’re looking to get out of it though. I prefer the comics to the articles because as I said they’re geared towards someone who’s recently become an adult comic reader. Nothing they write about is that unique or different, just plug “current popular writer or series” into the blank and give some intelligent thought and you have the very basic core of some of the articles. I just don’t personally want to read that much of one person’s opinion in an anthology and so for me, that wasn’t a selling point. I can see others enjoying it and some of the articles even sparking conversations and that is by no means a bad thing, just not my thing.
If you’re at that point in your comic readership that you really want to discuss the medium, discuss what can be great and terrible about it as it rages on in your headspace then you’ll likely dig Stuck in the Gutters, but for me… I just want to read comics and not give off a big “sigh” at the end.
Stuck in the Gutters – Vol. 2 Writers: Various Artists: Various Price: Pay What You Want Format: Anthology; Print/Digital Website