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.)
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.”)
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.)
Gobbledygeek episode 289, “Video Killed the Radio Star (feat. Joseph Lewis),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Ever gotten so low you’ve thought about building a machine that’ll transport your consciousness inside a tricaster? Yes? Well then, buddy, have we got the movie for you. (And if you’re asking yourself what a tricaster is, you also should watch this movie!) Joseph Lewis, original Gobbler and one-third of the Three Heathens, tells Paul and Arlo all about his feature film directorial debut A/V. The gang discusses production highs and lows, the challenges of fight choreography on a shoestring budget, what it’s like to hand a copy of your movie to Kevin Smith, and how Arlo plays the most crucial role in the film. This heathen’s made good.
Next: Paul and Arlo tune up for Kubo and the Two Strings.
(Show notes for “Video Killed the Radio Star.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 288, “Stay Evil, Dollface (feat. Scott Stamper),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Suicide is painless, so they say. But is Suicide Squad? That’s up to Paul and Arlo to decide, as they slather on clown makeup and hide their fuzzy pink unicorns to discuss the third film in the DC Extended Universe. Joining these Mostly Marvel Men is DC fan and opinionated tweeter Scott Stamper, known to the common folk as @DerfelMarek. Does the movie live up to its hype? Does it point to a bold new direction for the DCEU following the disappointments of Man of Steel and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice? As usual, there is disagreement. Whod’a thunk it. Plus, Paul and Scott dive into the 2015 animated film Justice League: Gods and Monsters while Arlo listens.
Next: original Gobbler and proud member of the Three Heathens, Joseph Lewis stops by to talk about his feature directorial debut A/V.
(Show notes for “Stay Evil, Dollface.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 287, “Time of the Preacher,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Willie Nelson, John Wayne, preachers, bloodsuckers, angels, and arsefaces. Welcome to the world of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s classic Vertigo comic book Preacher, which has now been adapted into a television series on AMC courtesy of Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and Breaking Bad‘s Sam Catlin. Paul and Arlo previously analyzed the comic book on the blog back in 2012 and now set their sights on the show’s recently wrapped first season. The show takes an interesting route in exploring this tale of a small-town preacher cursed with the Word of God; namely, the ten hours that aired this year feel like a prologue to the series proper. The boys discuss the effectiveness of that approach; the spot-on casting of Dominic Cooper, Joseph Gilgun, and Ruth Negga as the unholy triumvirate of Jesse, Cassidy, and Tulip; how the series stays true to the spirit of Ennis and Dillon’s work, even without being able to drop an F-bomb; and what they hope they’ll see in the second season. Plus, Paul travels No Man’s Sky and Arlo becomes a beach bum.
Next: film buff Scott Stamper makes a pact with Paul and Arlo to discuss Suicide Squad.
(Show notes for “Time of the Preacher.”)
The Avatar Returns episode 33 is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
This week on The Avatar Returns we read the immortal classic Through the Looking-Glass, and What Korra Found There, also known as The Avatar’s Adventures in Wonderland. In chapter 209, “The Guide” Korra and Tenzin are finally reunited, we meet Bum-Ju, and bid a fond(ish) farewell to animation Studio Pierrot. Then chapter 210 ushers in “A New Spiritual Age” as we follow the white dragonfly-bunny to Uncle Iroh’s spirit tea party, see some genuinely creepy crawly things, and endure the return of the Dick Owl. And lastly chapter 211, “Night of a Thousand Stars” proves to be one of our favorites episodes of the entire season as Bolin becomes the real life Nuktuk we always knew he could be. But what’s that? Unalaq really does have a doomsday device? Nuk-nooo!
Also we nominate the new Batman: The Killing Joke animated film for the Unsexiest Flash Animation Circa 2002 Award.
Next: say goodbye to Book Two as we close out the season with chapters 212-214, “Harmonic Convergence,” “Darkness Falls,” and “Light in the Dark.”
(Show notes for The Avatar Returns episode 33.)