Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 294, “The D-List (feat. Donora Hillard)”

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Gobbledygeek episode 294, “The D-List (feat. Donora Hillard),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Live from Denny’s, it’s Donora Hillard! The Jeff Bridges poet returns to talk about…pretty much everything with Paul and Arlo. While enjoying late-night diner ambiance, the gang discusses driving and the anxiety it causes; dance, of the So You Think You Can variety (featuring, upon special request, a rendition of Paul’s classic Black Swan diatribe); tiny houses, one of which Donora owns; and what’s in everyone’s bags (Arlo’s answers will amaze you). Plus David Lynch, Bunheads, arrested development (neither the rap group nor the television series)…everything.

Next: the boys take their penultimate trip to the hellish world of Matt Wagner’s Grendel as this year’s Four-Color Flashback nears its close, with a look at “God and the Devil, Part 2,” collected in Grendel Omnibus: Vol. 3 – Orion’s Reign.

(Show notes for “The D-List.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 293, “Bone: Coda”

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Gobbledygeek episode 293, “Bone: Coda,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Are you in the mood to Bone? I hope so, because Paul and Arlo are returning to the world of Jeff Smith’s cartoonish epic, which they explored in last year’s Four-Color Flashback series, to discuss the newly released 25th anniversary book Bone: Coda. The new adventure included in the volume is described as a “completely superfluous” addition to the saga of the Bone cousins–Fone, Phoney, and Smiley–which proves that there is indeed truth in advertising. The story picks up right where Smith’s magnum opus left off in 2004, but it’s merely a cute little one-off. The boys debate the merits of such an inconsequential return while discussing the other two-thirds of the book, which consist of Smith’s memoir-esque piece “A Moveable Pizza Party” and Stephen Weiner’s A Bone Companion (what, they couldn’t get Hy Bender?). Plus, Paul spent his summer vacation reading 131 comic books and Arlo describes Akron’s diverse grilled cheese climate.

Next: Jeff Bridges poet Donora Hillard returns to the show to talk about whatever she damn well pleases.

(Show notes for “Bone: Coda.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 292, “The X-Files: Season 3 (feat. Wesley Mead)”

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Gobbledygeek episode 292, “The X-Files: Season 3 (feat. Wesley Mead),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

The truth is out there: season 3 of The X-Files is the show’s strongest season. That is, if you can trust Paul, Arlo, and the inimitable Wesley “Wezzo” Mead as they have another of their periodic discussions of Chris Carter’s ’90s masterwork. What makes season 3 work so well? It might have something to do with the series’ expanded tonal range–a tense thriller in “Pusher,” Satanic panic meets Heathers in “Syzygy”–and the confidence with which it tackles both the monster-of-the-week hours and the increasingly complex (or is that convoluted?) mytharc installments. Then there are the Darin Morgan episodes (“Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose,” “War of the Coprophages,” and “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space”), which are something else entirely. Plus, holy cow, UK politics have gotten super depressing since the last time Wezzo stopped by.

Next: Paul and Arlo return to Boneville, site of last year’s Four-Color Flashback, for a look at the newly published Bone: Coda.

(Show notes for “The X-Files: Season 3.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 291, “Grendel: Part 6 – God and the Devil, Part 1”

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Gobbledygeek episode 291, “Grendel: Part 6 – God and the Devil, Part 1,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Q: How many drugs was Matt Wagner ingesting during the creation of Grendel? A: All of them. Paul and Arlo arrive at this conclusion in another Four-Color Flashback installment discussing Wagner’s comics magnum opus, after reading chapters 1-6 of the “God and the Devil” storyline, collected in Grendel Omnibus: Vol. 3 – Orion’s Reign. After the four-part “Incubation Years” arc leapt through time in bold and bizarre fashion, “God and the Devil” finds our heroes (just kidding, there are no heroes) in the year 2530. The world has gone to shit, with the Catholic Church going back to its Inquisition roots under the reign of Pope Innocent XLII. Meanwhile, both corporate auditor Orion Assante and drugged-out street rat Eppy Thatcher fight to bring down the Church…only one of them wears the mask of Grendel, but will both be consumed by his/its force? Plus, Arlo’s sick again and the boys pay tribute to Gene Wilder and David Lavery.

Next: Wesley “Wezzo” Mead returns for another episode in our ongoing series discussing the seminal sci-fi show The X-Files. This time, we dig into season 3; yes, that’s the one with “Jose Chung’s.”

(Show notes for “Grendel: Part 6 – God and the Devil, Part 1.”)

Listen to ‘The Avatar Returns’ Episode 35

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The Avatar Returns episode 35 is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

The first two volumes of Dark Horse Comics’ Avatar: The Last Airbender graphic novel series both dealt with the difficulty of change, the cost and confusion that comes with transition. Volume 3: The Rift is no different as Aang continues to struggle with letting go of the past and learning to live in the present. The young Avatar slept through an entire lifetime while frozen in that iceberg, and in this time of peace following the end of the Hundred Years War he wants nothing more than to recapture the traditions of his culture now a century gone, but the world has moved on. And speaking of moving on, Toph must come face to face with her own past as she is unexpectedly reunited with her father, and both must come to terms with what, if anything, has changed between them. Writer Gene Luen Yang and art duo Gurihiru continue to impress with their masterful translation of these characters and themes from screen to page.

And is there anything more fun than podcasting with one third of the crew under the influence? (Rhetorical question. There are lots of things more fun.)

Next: The Avatar Returns takes another brief hiatus, this time to allow one of the hosts to go on a walkabout or something. (A booze-about is more likely.) But we’ll be back late-September to kick off our run through The Legend of Korra Book Three: Change.

(Show notes for The Avatar Returns episode 35.)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 290, “If You Must Blink, Do It Now”

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Gobbledygeek episode 290, “If You Must Blink, Do It Now,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Laika, the studio behind Coraline, ParaNorman, and The Boxtrolls, has gifted us with a new film: Kubo and the Two Strings, wherein a young one-eyed Japanese boy plays his magical shamisen and pals around with a Monkey and a Beetle while evading the evil grandfather looking to steal his other eye. As one does. Paul and Arlo get in tune with Kubo, digging into the film’s symbolism, its unusual (for a mainstream animated film) themes of grief and impermanence, and how it perfects the nearly dead artform that is stop-motion animation. Is it suitable for kids? What does its underwhelming box office performance say about what audiences expect from animated films? And what does that polarizing ending mean? All this and more, plus Arlo saw an actual Beatle.

Next: for another great story that deserves a wider audience, Paul and Arlo continue their year-long Four-Color Flashback exploration of Matt Wagner’s Grendel with “God and the Devil, Part 1,” collected in Grendel Omnibus: Vol. 3, pp. 115-270.

(Show notes for “If You Must Blink, Do It Now.”)

Listen to ‘The Avatar Returns’ Episode 34

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The Avatar Returns episode 34 is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

The Legend of Korra Book Two: Spirits finally meanders to it’s somewhat muddled but more-or-less satisfying status quo-shattering conclusion with the final three chapters; 212, “Harmonic Convergence,” 213, “Darkness Falls,” and 214, “Light in the Dark.” We discuss the season highlights (Tenzin, Nuktuk, Varrick) and lowlights (the Water Tribe civil war, the dumbing down of Lin Beifong), and which characters were best or underserved. How does Unalaq stack up against other villains? (Spoiler: he’s the boringest!) Azula evolves into her ultimate form as the Spirit Mushroom. Arlo gets Seed of Wondered by the Tree of Time. And the whole shebang wraps up with Korra’s Krazy Kosmic Kaiju battle!

Also, this episode is late and it’s Arlo’s fault, and we whine about our first world podcast problems.

Next: a break between books of Korra means another book of the Dark Horse Comics graphic novel continuation of Avatar: The Last Airbender. So next week we look at Gene Luen Yang and Gurihiru’s third installment, Volume 3: The Rift. So join us for that…we’ll leave the spirit portal open for ya.

(Show notes for The Avatar Returns episode 34.)