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.”)

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Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 228, “The ‘Man Was Not Meant to Meddle’ Medley”

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Gobbledygeek episode 228, “The ‘Man Was Not Meant to Meddle’ Medley,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

Killer robots. Mind-controlling witches. Suits of armor from space. Dudes with frosted tips. All of this and so! much! more! is contained within Avengers: Age of Ultron, the highly anticipated sequel to Joss Whedon’s 2012 extravaganza. The reception has been decidedly less rapturous than that which accompanied the first film, so Paul and AJ dig into what works about the movie, what doesn’t, whether or not Whedon goofed up Black Widow, and just how much creative control a filmmaker can have over one of these things. Plus, AJ makes a case for a much smaller film, Seymour: An Introduction.

Next: Paul got AJ a present. Ominous!

(Show notes for “The ‘Man Was Not Meant to Meddle’ Medley.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 220, “Bone: Vol. I – Out from Boneville”

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Art from ‘Bone’ by Jeff Smith.

Gobbledygeek episode 220, “Bone: Vol. I – Out from Boneville,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

After spending 2014 weaving their way through the many different stories of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, Paul and AJ have settled on something which appears much simpler for this year’s Four-Color Flashback: Jeff Smith’s Bone. Appearances can be deceiving, though. The boys have heard tell that Smith’s cartoony magnum opus, taking obvious inspiration from Walt Kelly and Carl Barks’ comic strips, grows into a complex, sprawling epic. And even in Vol. I: Out from Boneville, wherein Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone find themselves in a strange new land, there are inklings of the high fantasy to come. Plus, the boys discuss friend of the show Kenn Edwards’ short film The Joke, attempt to break down Tina Fey and Robert Carlock’s new Netflix show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and prepare to enter the Age of Ultron with a new trailer.

Next: Eric Sipple stops by to chat. This won’t end well.

(Show notes for “Bone: Vol. I – Out from Boneville.”)

Listen to Episode 205, “I Have Obligations to My Employer! (feat. Kenn Edwards & Joseph Lewis)”

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Gobbledygeek episode 205, “I Have Obligations to My Employer! (feat. Kenn Edwards & Joseph Lewis),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

Smoke Gets in Your Ears: A Mad Men Podcast co-hosts Kenn Edwards and Joseph Lewis check in to Gobbledyween 2014 to talk The Shining with Paul and AJ. A large part of the conversation revolves around a question you may not have asked about Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 Stephen King adaptation: is it supposed to be funny? AJ’s not sure and has mixed feelings on the overbearing synth score and lack of subtlety, while Joe argues it’s really a darkly hilarious domestic comedy. Other points of discussion include how supernatural the film is or isn’t, how to read the ending, and the insane fan theory documentary Room 237. Plus, the gang offers thoughts on The Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer and raves about the podcast Serial.

Next: Gobbledyween comes to a close for another year as Greg Sahadachny of The Debatable Podcast stops by to discuss Killer Klowns from Outer Space.

(Show notes for “I Have Obligations to My Employer!”)

Listen to Episode 192, “G-O-B-B-L-E Power (feat. Joseph Lewis)”

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Gobbledygeek episode 192, “G-O-B-B-L-E Power (feat. Joseph Lewis),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

Wise man say: forgiveness is divine, but only listening to Paul, AJ, and Nowheresville director/Smoke Gets in Your Ears co-host Joseph Lewis discuss the original 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film will get you past those pearly gates. Or something, a little birdie told us. But not, like, a mutant bird. Anyway. The gang has wildly varying experiences with the Turtles and the movie: Paul is old enough to have read some of the Eastman and Laird stuff when it was new, and saw the movie in theaters; AJ, being a wee little bairn, claims this is the first movie he ever saw and has loved the Turtles ever since; and Joe, well…Joe’s right in the Turtle-loving demographic, but he never got into them as a kid, and that pattern holds 20-some-odd years later. How does the film hold up? Is it slathered in enough mozzarella to deserve bargain bin status? Or does it remain crisp, like the finest pepperoni? To put a merciful end to all pizza-related puns, I’m ending this description right here, so you know, go listen. Plus, the gang gets weird with Mandatory Fun and talks about Marvel’s Avengers NOW! initiative.

Next: despite what we say on the show (we lie!), Wanna Cook? authors K. Dale Koontz and Ensley F. Guffey will be joining us for the next Four-Color Flashback exploration of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, wherein we’ll be discussing Vol. V – A Game of You.

(Show notes for “G-O-B-B-L-E Power.”)

Paul & AJ’s Top 10 Comics of 2012

We’ve already listed our favorite TV shows and movies of last year, and we’ve got a couple more lists just before the new season begins. Here are our favorite comic books of 2012; check back tomorrow for our favorite albums (though, considering our extensively detailed history of not knowing how to talk about music, with YouTube clips instead of commentary).

PAUL: 10. THOR: GOD OF THUNDER (Marvel)

Thor in 'Thor: God of Thunder' #1. Art by Esad Ribic.

There was a period of time when Thor was my favorite character in comics. The golden Walt Simonson era was for me the height of otherworldly sword and sorcery super heroics. And while its been quite some time since the character has achieved anything close to that level of wonder, in recent years he’s enjoyed something of a renaissance. From his “death,” to his literal return to Earth under the guidance of J. Michael Straczynski, to his big screen debut, the petulant son of Asgard is kind of back in a big way.

Thor: God of Thunder is the newest incarnation of the title, with the unlikely writer Jason Aaron giving us a triptych of thunder gods, a tale of an alien butcher seeking to torture and destroy all deities told across three different periods of Thor’s life. We see young, arrogant Thor (pre-Mjolnir) and his first meeting with Gorr the God Butcher; modern-day Avenger Thor going full CSI trying to solve the mystery of who or what Gorr is; and far-future Thor, old and broken, sitting on the throne of an empty Asgard, the last surviving god, waiting for Gorr to finish him. It’s a brutal, bloody, and fascinating premise, though I do wish Gorr was slightly more imposing-looking rather than just being a Voldemort rip-off. Aaron creates a genuine mystery and sense of danger with real stakes for our hero, and the painterly art of Esad Ribic suits the romantic epic nature of the story. It’s not quite Simonson-level Mighty Thor (there’s thus far no Beta Ray Bill here), but Thor: God of Thunder is the best the character has been in a long time.

AJ: 10. ANGEL & FAITH (Dark Horse)

Angel, Willow, Connor, and Faith in 'Angel & Faith' #14. Art by Rebekah Isaacs.

I know Whedon fandom is crazy, but I might just be the biggest Buffy fan on the planet. That’s a huge claim, and while I haven’t tattooed James Marsters’ face on my ass or anything (yet), it really is difficult to describe how much Joss Whedon’s world means to me. Without Buffy the Vampire Slayer, I wouldn’t be here today. You wouldn’t be reading these words and I would have even less of an idea of what I want to do with my life. So it pains me greatly to say that the canonical Season 8 and Season 9 comics, though they have certainly had their moments, are largely disposable and occasionally worse. But then there’s Angel & Faith, which has done the impossible, making a monthly comic book series feel like the weekly television shows we fell in love with all those years ago. Christos Gage knows these characters inside and out, both their voices and their motivations. It’s never a question of if the comic will tie back into the shows’ stated mythology, but when and how spine-tingling those connections will be. These are the characters I have loved for a good deal of my life in a story that’s being brilliantly told by Gage and brought to life with wonderful clarity by artist Rebekah Isaacs. If you’re skeptical about Buffyverse comics, you have every right to be, but this one should be a priority.

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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.”)