Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 213, “Frog Lies and Rock Facts”

overthegardenwall

Gobbledygeek episode 213, “Frog Lies and Rock Facts,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

Two boys, lost in the woods. A fearsome beast roaming the forest. A frog with many names. Potatoes…and molasses. What do these things all have in common? They’re in Over the Garden Wall, the first-ever animated mini-series on Cartoon Network (and perhaps all of American television). The show, broken up in ten 11-minute installments, is a thing of weird and wild beauty. Paul and AJ discuss the many different references it draws from–Miyazaki, Adventure Time, Betty Boop–and how they all cohere to form one of the best cartoons in recent memory. So why don’t you join them, over the garden wall? Plus, Paul has become an Avatar: The Last Airbender obsessive and AJ watched a whole bunch of movies during the Gobbledysleep.

Next: Wesley “Wezzo” Mead makes his annual hop, skip, and a jump over the pond.

(Show notes for “Frog Lies and Rock Facts.”)

Listen to the ‘Gobbledygeek’ Season 6 Premiere / ‘The Deli Counter of Justice’ Reading

delireading

Gobbledygeek episode 212, “Justice Will Be Read,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

To kick off Gobbledygeek season 6, we have for you what we promised at the end of last season: a (nearly) full audio recording of The Deli Counter of Justice reading at Rickert & Beagle Books in Pittsburgh, PA on December 13, 2014. Paul, AJ, and Eric Sipple round out the Deli brain trust, with contributors Thomas Dorton and Alyssa Herron also on hand to read from their stories. In addition, there a few Qs & As before the audio cuts out. We hope you enjoy listening as much as we did reading. Plus, Paul and AJ tease some highlights from the forthcoming season of the show.

Next: the boys discuss the odd, brilliant Cartoon Network mini-series Over the Garden Wall.

(Show notes for “Justice Will Be Read.”)

Paul’s Top 10 Comics of 2014 (and AJ’s Lament)

'Saga' art by Fiona Staples.

‘Saga’ art by Fiona Staples.

Last week, we brought you our top 10 films of the year. It was different from past years in that while I still wrote words and words and words, Paul presented his list without comment. He continues that trend with his top 10 comics of 2014. Meanwhile, I’m getting into some unusual territory by admitting that I don’t have a list. Sure, I could have scraped something together, but it wouldn’t have felt right.

I adore comic books–look no further than the year-long Four-Color Flashback series on Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman we just wrapped in December–but this was the year they unfortunately fell by the wayside of my pop culture habits. There are a few reasons: comics are expensive, often going for $2.99, $3.99, or even more for a bundle of 20-25 sheets of paper; reading is a solitary, time-consuming activity which requires laser focus, unlike a lot of movies and TV (I’ll probably get in trouble for that), and this year I chose to devote much more of my reading time to prose; and lately, I’ve grown to prefer sitting down with one-and-done graphic novels or trade paperback collections to only getting a single hit of a story each month.

Then there’s the fact that 2014 was the year I (and Paul, and frenemy of the show Eric Sipple) published a book. I’ve always considered myself a creative person, but actually putting blood, sweat, and tears into finishing a real product available for purchase left me with a lot less free time. Video games were the first casualty–I played the very comics-oriented LEGO Marvel Superheroes for a few days, but that was about it–and then, completely by chance, I noticed comics becoming the second. Which is ironic, considering how heavily indebted The Deli Counter of Justice is to superhero comics.

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Paul & AJ’s Top 10 Films of 2014

The new year is less than two days old, so once again, it’s time to look back to our favorites of last year. As always, lists are imperfect, incomplete, and totally subject to change upon reflection and the passage of time.

We’ll start with Paul; he remains skeptical of this whole top 10 business, so this year, his contributions to our lists (including comics, albums, and TV shows) will be presented without comment.

(Mine, of course, will probably say too much.)

~ AJ

PAUL’S FAVORITE (NOT BEST) FILMS OF 2014
10. Boyhood (dir. Richard Linklater)
9. Interstellar (dir. Christopher Nolan)
8. Maleficent (dir. Robert Stromberg)
7. Only Lovers Left Alive (dir. Jim Jarmusch)
6. The LEGO Movie (dirs. Phil Lord & Christopher Miller)
5. Guardians of the Galaxy (dir. James Gunn)
4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (dirs. Joe & Anthony Russo)
3. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (dir. Matt Reeves)
2. Big Hero 6 (dirs. Don Hall & Chris Williams)
1. How to Train Your Dragon 2 (dir. Dean DeBlois)

HONORABLE MENTIONS
Snowpiercer (dir. Bong Joon-ho)
Edge of Tomorrow (dir. Doug Liman)
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (dir. Francis Lawrence)
X-Men: Days of Future Past (dir. Bryan Singer)
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (dir. Marc Webb)

DIDN’T SEE
Birdman (dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu)
Force Majeure (dir. Ruben Ostlund)
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (dir. Peter Jackson)

AJ’S TOP 10 FILMS OF 2014

10. BIRDMAN (dir. Alejandro González Iñárritu)

Film Review Birdman

“A thing is a thing, not what is said of that thing,” reads the quote (sometimes attributed to Susan Sontag) stuck to Riggan Thomson’s mirror. One imagines the former superhero actor, played by a back-and-swinging-for-the-fences Michael Keaton, clings to that mantra as he negotiates a shot at artistic integrity with his paranoid need to be loved. It also serves as a warning to anyone trying to dissect the film or Iñárritu’s intentions. After making a career out of overwhelmingly somber dramas, Iñárritu has made a frenzied comedy propelled by a furious drum score from Antonio Sanchez. He also peppers the film with flights of insanity, in which Riggan has telekinetic powers or takes to the skies just like his old alter ego. How much of this is real? What does the film’s beautiful final shot mean? There’s a lot to be said, but you can also take Birdman for the absurd, chaotic, hilarious thing it is.

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Listen to Episode 211, “The Sandman: Vol. X – The Wake (feat. Eric Sipple, Greg Sahadachny, K. Dale Koontz & Ensley F. Guffey)”

Art from 'The Sandman' #72 by Michael Zulli and Daniel Vozzo.

Art from ‘The Sandman’ #72 by Michael Zulli and Daniel Vozzo.

Gobbledygeek episode 211, “The Sandman: Vol. X – The Wake (feat. Eric Sipple, Greg Sahadachny, K. Dale Koontz & Ensley F. Guffey),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to mark the end of our year-long Four-Color Flashback discussion of Neil Gaiman’s epic fantasy series The Sandman. On hand to discuss Vol. X: The Wake with Paul and AJ are all of their past Sandman guests: Broken Magic author/The Deli Counter of Justice cohort Eric Sipple; The Debatable Podcast host Greg Sahadachny; and Wanna Cook? authors K. Dale Koontz and Ensley F. Guffey. The six of them discuss Morpheus’ wake, its many attendees, Daniel’s ascendance as the Dream King, and the series’ three epilogues. This episode? Well, it’s the stuff dreams are made of.

Next: for the final episode of 2014, you’ll get to hear Paul, AJ, Eric, Thomas Dorton, and Alyssa Herron doing a Deli Counter of Justice reading at Rickert & Beagle Books in Pittsburgh, PA.

(Show notes for “The Sandman: Vol. X – The Wake.”)

Listen to Episode 210, “I’m Having the Weirdest Day”

scrooged

Gobbledygeek episode 210, “I’m Having the Weirdest Day,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

This Christmas season, put a little love in your heart with Paul and AJ as they revisit Richard Donner’s 1988 reworking of A Christmas Carol, Scrooged. This year’s Twisted Christmas entry stars none other than AJ favorite Bill Murray as soulless TV exec Frank Cross, who is visited by a number of very annoying spirits who try and pummel him into living life to its fullest. The boys discuss Murray’s manic-to-dry range, what we’re supposed to make of Frank’s (and even Scrooge’s) character arc, and the interesting decision to cast Carol Kane as the sound of nails on a chalkboard given form. They also invent the mental breakdown Donner surely had on set. This is a weird one. Plus, there’s talk of those Star Wars and Jurassic World trailers, if you’re into that sort of thing.

Next: an all-star jam band of our Sandman compatriots takes place, as the gang turns to the final volume of Neil Gaiman’s epic, Vol X: The Wake.

(Show notes for “I’m Having the Weirdest Day.”)

Listen to Episode 209, “The Sandman: Vol IX – The Kindly Ones”

Art from 'The Sandman' #68 by Marc Hempel, Richard Case, and Daniel Vozzo.

Art from ‘The Sandman’ #68 by Marc Hempel, Richard Case, and Daniel Vozzo.

Gobbledygeek episode 209, “The Sandman: Vol IX – The Kindly Ones,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

All good things got to finish some time. Paul and AJ have reached the climax of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, in its penultimate installment, Vol IX: The Kindly Ones. As Morpheus’ strict adherence to rules proves to be a cage of his own making, the Furies come down upon his head, wreaking havoc in the Dreaming and tying together many of this epic series’ loose ends. Meanwhile, Lucifer plays piano, Rose meets Jack (non-Titanic edition), Matthew lacks pennies, and Lyta’s hair drinks most of the water. It’s been a hell of a ride.

Next: the boys get in the twisted Christmas spirit with a look back at Scrooged.

(Show notes for “The Sandman: Vol IX – The Kindly Ones.”)