Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 338, “Ready Player One: Break a Few Easter Eggs”

Gobbledygeek episode 338, “Ready Player One: Break a Few Easter Eggs,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Nostalgia, some say, means pain from an old wound. This week, Paul is nursing pain from a fresh wound: his immense disappointment at the way Steven Spielberg’s adaptation of Ernest Cline’s Ready Player One has turned out. Spielberg’s big-screen reworking of the tale of a young boy immersed in a virtual reality game called the OASIS, using pop culture as currency to find freedom, is loud and overwhelming. For someone like Paul, that doesn’t sit well; Arlo, on the other hand, finds himself in the unusual position of defending one of these big dumb movies. The boys discuss crucial changes the film makes that change the story’s intention; whether or not Spielberg’s CG rendering of the OASIS is impressive; the ethical and metatextual implications of certain scenes; and why the book is unfairly derided. Plus, Arlo continues his journey through Disney animation.

Next: it’s that time again. Wesley “Wezzo” Mead stops by to once again discuss Chris Carter’s seminal sci-fi series The X-Files. This time, the gang will discuss season 8, the last pre-revival season to feature David Duchovny as a (semi-)regular.

(Show notes for “Break a Few Easter Eggs.”)

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Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 337, “A Wrinkle in Time: The Gift of Your Faults”

Gobbledygeek episode 337, “A Wrinkle in Time: The Gift of Your Faults,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Time, she has been wrinkled. Tesser on over as Paul and Arlo discuss Ava DuVernay’s big screen adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s beloved science-fantasy classic A Wrinkle in Time. The boys discuss how the film differs from the novel, for both better and worse; what a strong find Storm Reid is in the lead role; how the film is admirable for willing to be absolutely ridiculous; why it’s so important DuVernay is in the director’s chair; and whether or not the film actually manages to be as inspiring as it wants to be. Plus, the boys pay tribute to Stephen Hawking and discuss the current state of Stan Lee; Paul reads comics; and Arlo continues his Disney journey.

Next: it’s that time again. Wesley “Wezzo” Mead stops by to once again discuss Chris Carter’s seminal sci-fi series The X-Files. This time, the gang will discuss season 8, the last pre-revival season to feature David Duchovny as a (semi-)regular.

(Show notes for “The Gift of Your Faults.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 333, “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 10: Whys and Wherefores (feat. Kenn Edwards)”

Art from ‘Y: The Last Man – Vol. 10: Whys and Wherefores” by Pia Guerra, José Marzan Jr., and Zylonol.

Gobbledygeek episode 333, “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 10: Whys and Wherefores (feat. Kenn Edwards),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Alas, poor Yorick! We knew him, a fellow of infinite wisecracks, of most ridiculous immaturity. We hath borne Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s Y: The Last Man on our podcast ten times, and now, how abhorred (and a little relieved) in our imagination it is! Our mics rise at it. Here laid those narrative devices about which we kvetched we know not how oft. Where be Guerra’s glorious artwork now? Vaughan’s pithy dialogue? Their penchant for emotional devastation? Their flashes of genius (let’s be honest–they were more than flashes) that here culminate in a tremendous feat of sequential art? We are not ones now to complain after all they’ve accomplished. Quite the opposite. Now get you to iTunes and listen, let us ramble for hours, to this conclusion we must come. Hopefully we will make you laugh, at that. Prithee, Kenn Edwards, let us get to the point.

Next: less Shakespearean speech, more Shakespearean drama. We travel to Wakanda for Black Panther.

(Show notes for “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 10: Whys and Wherefores.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 328, “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 9: Motherland”

Art from ‘Y: The Last Man – Vol. 9: Motherland’ by Pia Guerra, José Marzán, Jr., and Zylonol.

Gobbledygeek episode 328, “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 9: Motherland,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Yorick’s gang (there’s gotta be a snappier name, right?) inch closer to destiny in Y: The Last Man – Vol. 9: Motherland, as Paul and Arlo near the end of their Four-Color Flashback discussion of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s beloved comics series. The boys once again rehash their frustrations with putting this series under the occasional monthly microscope, leading Arlo to posit that maybe different books are different kinds of great. Then Paul hashes out the most plausible explanations Vaughan has presented for the manpocalypse, and whether any of them catch the boys’ fancy. Plus, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is more fun than it has any right to be, and it looks like Red Sparrow may be the Black Widow movie Marvel has denied us.

Next: the boys go through the looking glass with season 4 of Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror, joined by first-time guest Sarah Kosheff.

(Show notes for “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 9: Motherland.”)

Listen to ‘The Avatar Returns’ Episode 48

Art from ‘The Legend of Korra: Turf Wars, Part One’ by Irene Koh and Vivian Ng.

The Avatar Returns episode 48 is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

We’re back for a brand new year with a brand new comics series! Following on the successful heels of their Avatar: The Last Airbender graphic novels Dark Horse Comics introduces the official Legend of Korra continuation series. The first story arc is called “Turf Wars” and it’s written by original series co-creator Michael Dante DiMartino with art by Irene Koh. To go along with all the new we here at The Avatar Returns are trying a slightly new format in that we’ll be reviewing these books as they are initially released rather than waiting for the hardcover Library Edition collections. So in this episode we tackle Part One (of Three), and I confess that we struggle just a little bit. Picking up immediately where the animated series left off we follow Korra and Asami on their getaway into the spirit world, and while it’s wonderful to see these characters again the return isn’t quite as smooth as we may have hoped. Paul and Arlo are worried about a seeming return to Book One hotheaded impetuous Korra; Koh’s art is a significant change from Gurihiru in the ATLA books; there’s talk of the Dumbledoring of Kya; and Eric will not condone a course of action that will lead us to Turf War. (That’s a joke, he actually loves this book.)

(Show notes for The Avatar Returns episode 48.)

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.)