Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 326, “The Rocketeer / Pleasantville: Flying Colors”

Gobbledygeek episode 326, “The Rocketeer / Pleasantville: Flying Colors,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

That venerated institution, the Geek Challenge, takes to the bright blue sky with a pair of retro ‘90s flicks. First up, Paul challenges Arlo to Joe Johnston’s 1991 Billy Campbell-starring adventure The Rocketeer, a proto-First Avenger that mixes pulp fiction with ‘30s Hollywood. Then, Arlo challenges Paul to Gary Ross’ 1998 directorial debut Pleasantville, which finds Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon zapped inside the black-and-white world of a hunky dory ‘50s sitcom. These films look backward to say something about the present, and while one admittedly has a lot more on its mind than the other, the boys find both to be unsettlingly timely. From populist demagoguery to villains that no longer feel like an historical artifact, Paul and Arlo mine a lot from these goofy, decades-old movies. Plus, Arlo remembers that comics exist.

Next: after a week off, the boys return to discuss experimental arthouse feature Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, which will be of interest to only the most devout cineaste.

(Show notes for “Flying Colors.”)

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Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 325, “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 8: Kimono Dragons (feat. Chance Mazzia)”

Art from ‘Y: The Last Man – Vol. 8: Kimono Dragons’ by Pia Guerra, Jose Marzan Jr., Zylonol, and Clem Robins.

Gobbledygeek episode 325, “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 8: Kimono Dragons (feat. Chance Mazzia),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

This week, Paul and Arlo return to their Four-Color Flashback exploration of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s Y: The Last Man with Vol. 8: Kimono Dragons. Joining them for the first time in a while is once and future 90 700 Club host Chance Mazzia. Frustrated by some of the detours this Japanese misadventure takes, the gang gets around to asking the question that’s hung over this entire FCF series: nearly a decade removed from publication, is Y: The Last Man still as great as they thought it was? To find the answer, they discuss Vaughan’s writing style, how each volume reads compared to the whole, and what if anything Y contributed to the evolution of the comics medium. Plus, Justice League arrives in theaters (leading to a breakthrough in Paul and Arlo’s relationship), the Avengers assemble for the Infinity War trailer, and Arlo is delighted by The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

Next: the Geek Challenge rides again, with a retro kick. Paul will force Arlo to watch Joe Johnston’s 1991 superhero cult classic The Rocketeer, and Arlo will force Paul to watch Gary Ross’ colorful 1998 film Pleasantville.

(Show notes for “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 8: Kimono Dragons.”)

Listen to ‘The Avatar Returns’ Episode 47

Art from ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender – Vol. 5: North and South’ by Gurihiru.

The Avatar Returns episode 47 is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

We’re baaaaack. But there’s no cause for celebration as we’re forced to bid a sad farewell to our beloved comics creative team. One last time writer Gene Luen Yang and art duo Gurihiru spin a tale of Team Avatar for the official tie-in graphic novel series from Dark Horse Comics. Vol. 5: North and South sees Sokka and Katara return home to the Southern Water Tribe for the first time since setting off with Aang to end the Hundred Years War. But what they find may not be the quaint, egalitarian village they remember. As each volume before it, North and South explores issues of modernization, nationalism, societal and technological development. But for the first time our hosts don’t all necessarily agree on the quality of the story and/or art. One of them may or may not spend much of the podcast talking about loving the book while consistently nitpicking practically everything about it. Which one of them is being an Arlo? Press play and find out!

Also, there’s talk of “therapybending,” David Lynch’s inevitable contribution to the World of Avatar, spoilers for Lion King(?!?), and Tattoo Watch is officially over as someone earns their ink.

Next: there’s a change coming as the boys talk about how to continue the podcast in light of the glacial pace of new comics being released. There’s quite a bit of discussion at the end of the episode about what to do about that, but I’ll go ahead and spoil some of it for you now and let you know the next thing we’ll be discussing will be the first individual volume of the Legend of Korra graphic novel series Turf War. Date TBD.

(Show notes for The Avatar Returns episode 47.)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 324, “Thor: Ragnarok – Friends from Work”

Gobbledygeek episode 324, “Thor: Ragnarok – Friends from Work,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

For a return to our regularly scheduled pop culture chatter, Paul and Arlo ride their hammers to the faraway world of Asgard, which is in a spot of trouble. Avenger and heir to the throne Thor Odinson must defend his people from the villainous Hela; along the way, he gets imprisoned by an eccentric weirdo named the Grandmaster and is forced to do battle with the Hulk, his infamous “friend from work.” The boys discuss why Thor: Ragnarok is among the very best the Marvel Cinematic Universe has to offer, what perspective New Zealander Taika Waititi brings to the franchise, what the film says about immigrants (besides cueing up the perfect Robert Plant wail), and if we’ll ever see Bruce Banner again. Plus, they discuss the pop culture they enjoyed during the show’s hiatus.

Next: in two weeks’ time, Paul and Arlo pick up their Four-Color Flashback exploration of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s Y: The Last Man with Vol. 8: Kimono Dragons.

(Show notes for “Friends from Work.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 321, “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 7: Paper Dolls (feat. Ensley F. Guffey)”

Art from ‘Y: The Last Man – Vol. 7: Paper Dolls’ by Pia Guerra, Jose Marzan Jr., and Zylonol.

Gobbledygeek episode 321, “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 7: Paper Dolls (feat. Ensley F. Guffey),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Appropriately, this month’s Four-Color Flashback entry is riddled with flashbacks, as Y: The Last Man – Vol. 7: Paper Dolls takes a look at Agent 355 and Ampersand’s pasts to give us a taste of what must be going through their heads in the present. Ensley F. Guffey, co-author of Wanna Cook? The Complete, Unofficial Companion to Breaking Bad, joins Paul and Arlo to continue their exploration of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s acclaimed Vertigo series. The gang discusses how this volume shows society’s evolution post-gendercide, puzzles over Yorick’s motivations (what else is new?), and asks Ensley to be smart for them. Plus, Paul got his ass kicked by Atomic Blonde, and Ensley has a few choice words about Nazi Captain America.

Next: Greg Sahadachny of The Debatable Podcast returns to Gobbledygeek to discuss Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood ten years on.

(Show notes for “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 7: Paper Dolls.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 320, “Dunkirk: Beach Battle Bingo”

Gobbledygeek episode 320, “Dunkirk: Beach Battle Bingo,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Sun, spray, bullets, and blood: Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk recounts the worst beach trip in history, as 400,000 Allied troops were trapped by the Nazis in Dunkirk, France. The word Paul and Arlo keep coming back to as a descriptor is “relentless.” 107 minutes of third-act intensity, Dunkirk may be the purest expression of Nolan’s watchmaker-precise skill. The boys discuss the film’s three interweaving time strands, the lack of overt character development (except for that moment), Hans Zimmer’s ticking time bomb of a score, and why the movie never names or shows its Nazi enemies. Plus, Arlo is convinced the rest of the world is experiencing a mass delusion regarding Arrested Development season 4; and the boys take a look at the SDCC trailers for Ready Player One, Justice League, Thor: Ragnarok, Stranger Things, and The Defenders.

Next: it’s another Four-Color Flashback, as Ensley F. Guffey, co-author of Wanna Cook? The Complete Unauthorized Guide to Breaking Bad, joins Paul and Arlo to discuss Y: The Last Man – Vol. 7: Paper Dolls.

(Show notes for “Dunkirk: Beach Battle Bingo.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 319, “War for the Planet of the Apes: War for the Podcast of the Primates (feat. Kenn Edwards)”

Gobbledygeek episode 319, “War for the Planet of the Apes: War for the Podcast of the Primates (feat. Kenn Edwards),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

War for the Planet of the Apes! Huh! Who is it good for? The answer would be cinephiles searching for an intelligent, emotionally and politically resonant blockbuster. Welcome to Paradise’s Kenn Edwards joins Paul and Arlo to discuss Matt Reeves’ final installment in the so-called “Caesar Cycle,” which may be the bleakest monkey movie in history. (Also, they’re not monkeys. Just ask Arlo’s fiancée.) The gang delves into the genius of the film’s visual effects, Andy Serkis’ Oscar-worthy performance, the Apocalypse Now riffs, and how or if these films tie into the original Planet of the Apes series. Plus, Kenn finds a new way to watch Jaws, Paul comes down with The Big Sick, the Doctor is a lady, and the gang commemorates George Romero and Martin Landau.

Next: Christopher Nolan goes to war sans apes with Dunkirk.

(Show notes for “War for the Podcast of the Primates.”)