Listen to ‘The Avatar Returns’ Episode 8

avatar8

The Avatar Returns episode 8 is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

Man, rednecks ruin everything! This week, Avatar: The Last Airbender goes all Deliverance on us, and at least two of our hosts ain’t down for that. Chapter 204 takes us to “The Swamp,” and introduces us to the Duck Dynasty of the Avatar world. Then we drain the muck our of our boots and celebrate “Avatar Day” with Sokka Holmes and some really friendly townsfolk in chapter 205. And finally, the episode Paul has been waiting for since the beginning is here at last as chapter 206 brings the Boulder-breaking debut of “The Blind Bandit.” There’s some talk about whether the show and/or the characters are treading a bit of water at the moment (complete with all the terrible puns you’d expect from that). And we close it all out talking about which bending style we each imagine ourselves practicing.

Also, we continue to let AJ believe he coined the phrase “the Aang Gang.” (Shhh…nobody tell him.)

Next: chapters 207-209, “Zuko Alone,” “The Chase,” and “Bitter Work” bring us to the mid-point of the series.

(Show notes for The Avatar Returns episode 8.)

Four-Color Flashback: ‘Preacher: Vol. 6 – War in the Sun’

Welcome to week 6 of 9 in our analysis of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s Preacher. For more, read weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.

AJ: A lot happens in this volume, and there’s a lot to talk about, but I’m going to start off with perhaps the least important storyline because I don’t want to forget to bring it up…what the fuck happened to Arseface at the end?! His “furruh uhzmuhyuh,” the arsefaced paradise, his Dad appearing to him and apologizing–was that like the most surreal depiction of suicide ever, or…?

Paul: Unfortunately(?), you’re not gonna get any more on that. The Arseface story is…a little hard to put my finger on. To be honest, though it does have a conclusion, I’m not 100% sure I could tell you what it all ultimately means. Which is why I keep saying, for all intents and purposes you could really just ignore it and hope it goes away.

But to answer your question, I’m pretty sure Ennis wrote that bit while on peyote.

Continue reading

Four-Color Flashback: ‘Preacher: Vol. 4 – Ancient History’

Welcome to week 4 of 9 in our analysis of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s Preacher. Read the past installments here, here, and here.

AJ: After three volumes of mayhem, destruction, bloodshed, blasphemy, and a heapin’ helpin’ of profanity, the Preacher TPBs take a breather with…well, “breather” might be the wrong word. “Diversion” is more like it. Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy are out of the picture this time as Garth Ennis and a couple guest artists flesh out the backstories of the Saint of Killers, Arseface, and Jody ‘n T.C. Last week, you called this collection “inessential.” Having re-read it, do you still feel the same?

Paul: I’m afraid I actually feel it even more strongly than I remembered. This won’t happen very often at all over the course of these discussions, but I’m going to say that the stories this time around are just not very good. I mean, getting the backstory of the Saint of Killers (or more accurately, a version of his backstory) is cool and interesting. But it also takes the exaggeration and clichés of the main story and really turns them up to 11. And while both Steve Pugh and Carlos Ezquerra have done pretty great stuff elsewhere over the years, here I think they really suffer from being “fill-in” artists for Steve Dillon.

The Arseface and Jody & T.C. stories are straight up pointless.

Continue reading