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 182, “The Sandman: Vol. II – The Doll’s House (feat. Eric Sipple)”

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Art from ‘The Sandman’ #11 by Mike Dringenberg and Malcolm Jones III.

Gobbledygeek episode 182, “The Sandman: Vol. II – The Doll’s House (feat. Eric Sipple),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

Close your eyes. Lull yourself to sleep. It’s time for another trip to the Dreaming, as Paul, AJ, and special guest/third Gobbler Eric Sipple continue their Four-Color Flashback exploration of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman. In Vol. II, The Doll’s House, we discover humans might be playthings of the gods; that hearts are very important; that for a man named “Fun Land,” he’s not very fun; and which of the Endless has the most bitchin’ stereo system. Plus, the gang talks about their appearance at this year’s Alabama Phoenix Festival.

Next: spins a web any size, catches thieves just like flies, look out! Here comes The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

(Show notes for “The Sandman: Vol. II – The Doll’s House.”)

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.”)

Listen to the Super Delayed Episode 144, “Two Robin Hoods and a Van Alden (feat. Eric Sipple)”

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Note: This episode has been available on iTunes since Friday, and should have been up on the blog sooner. However, one of your friendly neighborhood geeks–the one whose byline is directly above this–is a lazy good-for-nothin’ (who was also in a wedding this weekend). So, with that out of our way…

Gobbledygeek episode 144, “Two Robin Hoods and a Van Alden (feat. Eric Sipple),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

A rocket hurtles from the doomed planet Krypton, crashing to Earth and delivering the child that would one day save us all. But first, he has to break stuff. Lots of stuff. And our fearless co-hosts, and returning champion guest Eric Sipple, talk smack about him behind his back as they review the explosive Zack Snyder film Man of Steel. Also, kind words are exchanged about the new series Orphan Black, and Neil Gaiman has written another book. Is it good? If you don’t know the answer to that, you’ve probably been living in the Phantom Zone.

Next: another “we don’t have a plan so we’re just going to improvise and mug for the mics” episode. Good times.

(Show notes for “Two Robin Hoods and a Van Alden.”)

Listen to Episode 103, “Does Whatever a Reboot Can”

Gobbledygeek episode 103, “Does Whatever a Reboot Can,” is available for listening or download right here.

The year’s second big superhero movie, following The Avengers–which you may remember we discussed and AJ even wrote a review of–is The Amazing Spider-Man, rebooting the franchise that sputtered to an end but five years ago. Paul and AJ, both opinionated Spider-Man fans, are at odds over Marc Webb’s new film; Paul considers it the best big screen Spidey yet, AJ not so much. Is Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker a faithful representation of the one in the comics? Do Spider-Man’s jokes work? Is the Lizard a good starter villain for this new wall-crawler? Is Emma Stone completely adorable? (Spoiler: they agree on that last one, at least.) Plus, the boys geek out over the announcement of more Sandman and share their experiences of seeing Singin’ in the Rain on the big screen.

Next: We’re back, back in the Gotham groove. Paul and AJ rise up to discuss Christopher Nolan’s Bat swan song, The Dark Knight Rises.

(Show notes for “Does Whatever a Reboot Can.”)

Four-Color Flashback: ‘Preacher: Vol. 1 – Gone to Texas’

Last summer, I started a column entitled Four-Color Flashback, wherein I went through and discussed/analyzed a legendary run of comic books I’d never read. In that case, it was Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s Uncanny X-Men (read the first part here). It was a fun experience, and toward the end of the column, I stated the desire to return to the concept “some time in the next century.” That time is now!

Unlike last year, which was just me rambling on endlessly by myself, this summer, I’m joined by Paul to discuss Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s notorious Preacher. Paul is a huge fan, and I’ve never read a single issue, so we’re both bringing different perspectives to the table. The series lasted for 66 issues from 1995 to 2000, and has subsequently been collected in nine trade paperbacks. We’ll be going through them one at a time, starting this week with Preacher: Vol. 1 – Gone to Texas, collecting the series’ first seven issues.

So pull up a chair, do your best John Wayne impression, and enjoy.

(That was me commanding you with the Word.)

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So You Think You Can Gobble: 8.06, “Week One: Top 20 Performance”

And with that, Season 8 of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE is out of the gate! There’s a lot of ground to cover in Week One, so let’s get to it.

First thing’s first, we have our first guest judge: Megan Mullally. I’m not going to lie to you, I was extremely skeptical of what I thought was “stunt casting” here, and I expected it to devolve into some kind of comedy schtick. But as it turns out she was fantastic. For one thing, she actually has a background in dance, so she knows what she’s talking about, more or less. But beyond that she was just really focused on giving sincere critiques. She paid attention to the dancers, took notes, commented on the routines in an intelligible way. I’ve gone from being skeptical to actually willing to see her back on the judges panel again at some point.

Next, Cat Deeley (with some spectacularly hot “sex hair”) breaks the bad news to us that we already have an injury. Contemporary dancer Mitchell Kelly strained his elbow during rehearsals and on doctor’s orders must sit out this round of the competition. He’s in the audience, visibly upset. I’m having uncomfortable flashbacks to last season and the tragic loss of Alex. Here’s hoping Mitchell makes a speedy recovery and gets a chance to prove himself next week.

And finally it’s time to introduce the couples. The Top 20 are now paired up into ten couples who will perform together for the first few weeks of the competition. Each week viewers will vote for their favorite couples, and the three that get the fewest votes will then give solo performances, from which the judges will decide one guy and one girl to send home. If the guy and girl eliminated are from different couples, the remaining halves of those couples will be paired together and the show will go on.

Make sense? Good.

Ladies and gentlemen, he first couple for Season 8 is…

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Download Episode 40, “Etewaf”

Gobbledygeek episode 40, “Etewaf,” is available for download right here. This week, we discuss how certain creators gain or break our trust as audience members, and how far we’d be willing to follow them into the abyss. Those discussed include Richard Kelly, Neil Gaiman, Joss Whedon, Bob Dylan, and Robert Plant, among others. Following that, we take a look at upcoming DVD releases, I share my thoughts on Megamind, and Paul talks about re-reading Watership Down for the first time in years as well as reading the acclaimed graphic novel Return of the Dapper Men for the first time.

Next week: Saturday morning cartoons!

(Show notes for “Etewaf.”)

Top 100 Characters in Modern Pop Culture: #10-1

Last night, Paul and I reached the conclusion of our countdown of the Top 100 Characters in Modern Pop Culture. Here are choice excerpts from our top 10’s, but be sure to listen to the whole show to hear everything we said:

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PAUL: Calvin & Hobbes (Calvin & Hobbes)

The series was not only the funniest comic strip of all time (and on this point I will brook no dispute), but it was almost the most philosophical, satirical, and thought-provoking.

AJ: Death (The Sandman)

With the usual concepts and presentations of Death’s visage from Western culture so ingrained in my mind, just the idea that Death didn’t have to be gloomy or terrifying, and instead could be a radiant beacon of hope, felt stunningly fresh and bold to me.

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