Listen to Episode 202, “The Sandman: Vol. VIII – Worlds’ End (feat. Ensley F. Guffey)”

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Art from ‘The Sandman’ #54 by Michael Allred and Daniel Vozzo.

Gobbledygeek episode 202, “The Sandman: Vol. VIII – Worlds’ End (feat. Ensley F. Guffey),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

After scaling the high point of The Sandman last week with Brief Lives, Paul and AJ fall a little closer to earth with a discussion of Vol. VIII – Worlds’ End. Joining them is Wanna Cook? author Ensley F. Guffey…and they all agree it’s likely the series’ weakest collection. But weak Sandman is still better than most comics, so there’s plenty to say about Neil Gaiman’s final attempt at telling short stories in the Endless’ domain. There’s the return of Hob Gadling, a look at the mythic side of American politics, and a funeral procession passing by the inn at the end of all worlds. Plus, the gang grouses about Gotham and discusses Marvel’s settlement with the Jack Kirby estate.

Next: Gobbledyween 2014 gets off to a slashing start with Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic Psycho. The boys will be joined by Mike Brooks.

(Show notes for “The Sandman: Vol. VIII – Worlds’ End.”)

Listen to ‘The Deli Podcast of Justice’ Interview with Eric Sipple

The Deli Podcast of Justice interview with Eric Sipple is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

For their first interview with authors from The Deli Counter of Justice, Paul and AJ talk to the other man who makes up the Deli braintrust: Eric Sipple. Eric discusses his start writing SeaQuest fan fiction, his introduction to the world of superheroes via Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman film, how he created Carl Cook’s daughter Tabitha for his story “Pixelated” (who may wind up becoming the anthology’s Wolverine), and much more.

Next: Paul and AJ sit down with Rahne Ehtar, the author of “Without Masks.”

(Show notes for The Deli Podcast of Justice #3.)

Listen to Episode 189, “The Sandman: Vol IV – Season of Mists (feat. K. Dale Koontz & Ensley F. Guffey)”

Art from 'The Sandman' #21 by Mike Dringenberg and Malcolm Jones III.

Art from ‘The Sandman’ #21 by Mike Dringenberg and Malcolm Jones III.

Gobbledygeek episode 189, “The Sandman: Vol IV – Season of Mists (feat. K. Dale Koontz & Ensley F. Guffey),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

Just taking a guess here, but you probably don’t want to go to Hell. Probably don’t want to rule it, either. And neither does Lucifer, the original fallen angel himself, which sets in motion the events of The Sandman: Vol IV – Season of Mists. Pop culture academics (and Wanna Cook? authors) K. Dale Koontz and Ensley F. Guffey join Paul and AJ for another installment of their Four-Color Flashback series exploring Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman. The gang finds much to discuss, whether it be the assortment of mythological envoys sent to The Dreaming, Dream’s reunion with one-time lover Nada, or even, uh, the Merkin. Plus, Dale and Ensley went to Slayage, which was the opposite of Hell. Though the squirrels might beg to differ.

Next: we’ll be chatting about independent film and local business with Kurtiss Hare of Akron, Ohio’s brand new Nightlight Cinema.

(Show notes for “The Sandman: Vol IV – Season of Mists.”)

Listen to Episode 188, “The Sandman: Vol. III – Dream Country (feat. Greg Sahadachny)”

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Art from The Sandman #19 by Charles Vess.

Gobbledygeek episode 188, “The Sandman: Vol. III – Dream Country (feat. Greg Sahadachny),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

A dream is a wish your heart makes, or so the song goes. What happens when that wish is fulfilled? Neil Gaiman has a few answers in The Sandman: Vol III – Dream Country, wherein a writer finds his muse, cats rule the world, Shakespeare puts on a play, and an immortal prays for death. Paul and AJ get back on track with their year-long Four Color Flashback exploration of Gaiman’s masterpiece, this time joined by The Debatable Podcast host Greg Sahadachny. Plus, Joss Whedon turns 50, Tim Burton’s Batman turns 25, and How to Train Your Dragon 2 has something to say about strong women.

Next: doubling down on our Four-Color Flashback with another trip to The Dreaming, as Eric Sipple joins us for a discussion of The Sandman: Vol. IV – Season of Mists.

(Show notes for “The Sandman: Vol. III – Dream Country.”)

Listen to Episode 184, “Of Meth and Men (feat. K. Dale Koontz & Ensley F. Guffey)”

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Gobbledygeek episode 184, “Of Meth and Men (feat. K. Dale Koontz & Ensley F. Guffey),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

Friend of the show and long-ago guest K. Dale Koontz makes her triumphant return to Gobbledygeek, and this time, she’s brought along her lovely husband Ensley F. Guffey. Together, they’ve written Wanna Cook? The Complete, Unofficial Companion to Breaking Bad, which is pretty much what the title says. Dale and Ensley geek out about Breaking Bad, discuss Michael Slovis’ stunning visuals, and talk about what goes into writing a book with your spouse. They do not, however, tell you how to cook 99.9% pure crystal blue meth. Disappointing, I know. Plus, the gang bemoans Zack Snyder’s grip on DC’s movie world and raves about indie comics.

Next: our year-long Four-Color Flashback exploration of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman continues, as Greg Sahadachny joins us to discuss Vol. III: Dream Country.

(Show notes for “Of Meth and Men.”)

Listen to Episode 177, “The Sandman: Vol. I – Preludes & Nocturnes (feat. Eric Sipple)”

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Art from ‘The Sandman’ #8 by Mike Dringenberg and Malcolm Jones III.

Gobbledygeek episode 177, “The Sandman: Vol. I – Preludes & Nocturnes (feat. Eric Sipple),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

You ever have that dream where Paul and AJ are discussing the greatest comic book of all time in ten spoiler-free monthly installments? Yeah, us too: beginning with this episode, the boys bring the Four-Color Flashback feature to the show, dissecting Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman through the rest of the year. Friend of the show (at this point, he’s more of a lover) Eric Sipple joins us for a discussion of The Sandman: Vol. I – Preludes & Nocturnes. The great tale of Morpheus, lord of dreams, gets its start in a fashion that’s not always representative of what it would become (DC superheroes), but the gang is on hand to point out all the ways in which it is uniquely Sandman (a horror story about stories). Plus, Amazon’s a little icky and Marvel has a prime opportunity for diversity with Iron Fist.

Next: despite the words that come tumbling out of AJ’s idiot mouth, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is not next week’s episode. We’ll force him to come up with something.

(Show notes for “The Sandman: Vol. I – Preludes & Nocturnes.”)

Paul & AJ’s Top 10 Comics of 2012

We’ve already listed our favorite TV shows and movies of last year, and we’ve got a couple more lists just before the new season begins. Here are our favorite comic books of 2012; check back tomorrow for our favorite albums (though, considering our extensively detailed history of not knowing how to talk about music, with YouTube clips instead of commentary).

PAUL: 10. THOR: GOD OF THUNDER (Marvel)

Thor in 'Thor: God of Thunder' #1. Art by Esad Ribic.

There was a period of time when Thor was my favorite character in comics. The golden Walt Simonson era was for me the height of otherworldly sword and sorcery super heroics. And while its been quite some time since the character has achieved anything close to that level of wonder, in recent years he’s enjoyed something of a renaissance. From his “death,” to his literal return to Earth under the guidance of J. Michael Straczynski, to his big screen debut, the petulant son of Asgard is kind of back in a big way.

Thor: God of Thunder is the newest incarnation of the title, with the unlikely writer Jason Aaron giving us a triptych of thunder gods, a tale of an alien butcher seeking to torture and destroy all deities told across three different periods of Thor’s life. We see young, arrogant Thor (pre-Mjolnir) and his first meeting with Gorr the God Butcher; modern-day Avenger Thor going full CSI trying to solve the mystery of who or what Gorr is; and far-future Thor, old and broken, sitting on the throne of an empty Asgard, the last surviving god, waiting for Gorr to finish him. It’s a brutal, bloody, and fascinating premise, though I do wish Gorr was slightly more imposing-looking rather than just being a Voldemort rip-off. Aaron creates a genuine mystery and sense of danger with real stakes for our hero, and the painterly art of Esad Ribic suits the romantic epic nature of the story. It’s not quite Simonson-level Mighty Thor (there’s thus far no Beta Ray Bill here), but Thor: God of Thunder is the best the character has been in a long time.

AJ: 10. ANGEL & FAITH (Dark Horse)

Angel, Willow, Connor, and Faith in 'Angel & Faith' #14. Art by Rebekah Isaacs.

I know Whedon fandom is crazy, but I might just be the biggest Buffy fan on the planet. That’s a huge claim, and while I haven’t tattooed James Marsters’ face on my ass or anything (yet), it really is difficult to describe how much Joss Whedon’s world means to me. Without Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I wouldn’t be here today. You wouldn’t be reading these words and I would have even less of an idea of what I want to do with my life. So it pains me greatly to say that the canonical Season 8 and Season 9 comics, though they have certainly had their moments, are largely disposable and occasionally worse. But then there’s Angel & Faith, which has done the impossible, making a monthly comic book series feel like the weekly television shows we fell in love with all those years ago. Christos Gage knows these characters inside and out, both their voices and their motivations. It’s never a question of if the comic will tie back into the shows’ stated mythology, but when and how spine-tingling those connections will be. These are the characters I have loved for a good deal of my life in a story that’s being brilliantly told by Gage and brought to life with wonderful clarity by artist Rebekah Isaacs. If you’re skeptical about Buffyverse comics, you have every right to be, but this one should be a priority.

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