“And cast ye the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” So says Matthew 25:30, and in John Layman and Afu Chan’s Outer Darkness, there is plenty of weeping–and so, so much gnashing of teeth. For their last Four-Color Flashback of the year, Paul and Arlo discuss Layman and Chan’s 2018-19 Image/Skybound series, which imagines a far-flung future where spaceships need exorcists onboard and the dead can be resurrected so long as you cast a net wide enough to catch their souls. The boys discuss the book’s ingenious mash-up of space opera and supernatural horror, how Layman & Chan expertly juggle a number of timelines, why the visceral splorches of Chan’s art are so satisfying, and the depressing realities behind the series’ cancellation.
NEXT: what if…we did another MCUTV episode with Hollywood’s own Michael Holland? We’ll be discussing, you guessed it, the animated Marvel series What If…?
00:00:57 – Intro
00:04:39 – Outer Darkness
01:37:00 – Outro / Next
“Spirit in the Sky” by Bauhaus, Singles (2013)
“Furries!” by Pony Death Ride, Not a Foal, Not Yet a Horse (2012)
For their latest Four-Color Flashback, Paul and Arlo are exploring the world of Si Spurrier and Jeff Stokely’s 2015 mini-series The Spire. Our location is a massive, tiered city surrounded by a desolate wasteland; our cast of characters include privileged aristocrats and the undesired “Sculpted,” hybridized from human and animal DNA; and our story is one of noir sleuthing, extreme violence, racial intolerance, and classism. The boys discuss Spurrier and Stokely’s deceptively simple storytelling; the “soft edges” around their world-building; Stokely’s manga-influenced art; and just how in-spire-ing it all is. Plus, a number of previous FCF selections are hitting the small screen, including Y: The Last Man, The Sandman, and most unbelievably of all, Grendel.
NEXT: what’s that? It’s October? Time for Gobbledyween 2021. Our annual horror-fest kicks off with a discussion of Ti West’s 2009 indie phenom The House of the Devil, featuring our old pal Greg Sahadachny.
You can’t go home again. But you can return to the creator-owned post-apocalyptic fantasy saga that captivated comics readers for 40 twisted, beautiful issues. That’s exactly what Jeff Lemire did last year with Sweet Tooth: The Return, a sequel miniseries that takes place three whole centuries after the original Vertigo series’ ending. Considering that ending was perfect, does The Return need to exist? Paul and Arlo aren’t so sure. They discuss what The Return adds (or subtracts) from the greaternarrative, the book’s alleged Twin Peaks influence, the story’s many “It’s like poetry, it rhymes” moments, and why you shouldn’t fuck around with elephants. Plus, they start things off by chatting about why Netflix’s Sweet Tooth is a great adaptation.
NEXT: Eric…Sipple? Does anyone know who this is? Why is he talking to us? Oh god.
00:00:50 – Intro
00:03:24 – Netflix Sweet Tooth adaptation
00:15:50 – Sweet Tooth: The Return
01:17:13 – Outro / Next
“Living Underground” by Nico Vega, Nico Vega (2009)
“The Elephant” by Pete Seeger, Birds, Beasts, Bugs & Fishes (Little & Big) (1998)
Gobbledygeek episode 443, “FCF: Sweet Tooth: Deluxe Edition – Books Two and Three,” is available for listening or download right here, on Spotify, and on Apple Podcasts.
Nature is healing. For this month’s Four-Color Flashback, Paul and Arlo conclude the post-apocalyptic journeys of The Boy and the Big Man with Jeff Lemire’s Sweet Tooth: Deluxe Edition – Books Two and Three. The remnants of humanity fight tooth and nail for survival against the paws and claws of the human/animal hybrid children, who only seem to be increasing in number. Which begs the question, Whose apocalypse is this, exactly? The boys discuss the obvious influence of Lost on the book, whether or not Lemire should have thrown back a certain Fish, the series’ beautiful finale, and how horses are just really tough to draw.
NEXT: could be Loki, could be low-key.
Paul and Arlo rave about Jeff Lemire’s use of watercolors throughout Sweet Tooth. That praise should actually be reserved for brilliant colorist José Villarrubia. Sorry, José!
Imagine a world where a global pandemic killed millions and changed society forever. Spooky stuff, huh? Well, take a break from reality with this month’s Four-Color Flashback: Sweet Tooth: The Deluxe Edition – Book One, comprising the first 12 issues of Jeff Lemire’s offbeat breakthrough about a little deer boy and the post-apocalyptic hell that awaits him in the wilds of Nebraska. Along the way, he meets a Frank Miller-style tough guy named Jepperd, who seems to be the grizzled protector to Gus’ naive innocent. It’s a little more complicated than that, of course. Paul and Arlo discuss Lemire’s weird, idiosyncratic artwork; the way he uses the faces and especially the eyes of his laconic characters to convey so much; and how the new Netflix adaptation is radically different.
NEXT: dust off that mail robot, it’s time for The Americans season 2 with British secret agent Wesley “Wezzo” Mead.
00:00:47 – Intro / Banter
00:19:38 – Sweet Tooth: The Deluxe Edition – Book One
The Four-Color Flashback, that most venerated non-Gobbledyween tradition, has been around in some form for nearly all of this podcast’s 11 years. And yet–we’ve never discussed manga, the world’s most popular comics format. Paul and Arlo have decided to rectify that with the first volume of Inio Asano’s Goodnight Punpun, the surreal exploration of one young boy’s troubled adolescence. Punpun Punyama has a crush on the new girl at school, stays with his hipster uncle because of his abusive dad, hears the voice of God, and is beginning to familiarize himself with the art of self-pleasure. Oh, he and his whole family are also rendered as simple little cartoon bird and/or ghost people, while the world around them is drawn in gorgeous detail by Asano. The boys share their limited experience with manga, Arlo enjoys weird vagina monsters, and Paul has an epiphany.
We’re all about lending a hand here at Gobbledygeek, so for this month’s Four-Color Flashback, we’re slicing and dicing our way through Daniel Warren Johnson’s Extremity. The ultra-violent 12-issue series follows Thea, an artist who lost a core piece of her identity when a rival clan chopped off her drawing hand. As her father leads their clan on a bloodthirsty quest for revenge, she and her brother Rollo must question whether they will perpetuate this endless cycle of violence. Paul and Arlo discuss the series’ surprising commitment to pacifism, Johnson’s insanely detailed artwork, why the book’s violence isn’t at odds with its intent, and some quirky sound effects.
NEXT: tune in to find out.
00:00:28 – Intro
00:01:46 – Extremity
01:29:55 – Outro / Next
“I Want to Hold Your Hand” by The Beatles (1963)
“The Winner Takes It All” by ABBA, Super Trouper (1980)
What’s more American than ruthless bastards sucking dry the poor, hardworking souls that make this country what it is–all in the name of progress? We’re not just talking about capitalism here, we’re also talking about the bloodthirsty monsters at the heart of Scott Snyder and Rafael Albuquerque’s American Vampire. For this month’s Four-Color Flashback, Paul and Arlo sink their fangs into the first two volumes of Snyder and Albuquerque’s (with an assist from Stephen King) decades-spanning Vertigo series. The boys discuss how Snyder charts the path of American history through three distinct time periods; the seriously cool vampire taxonomy; Albuquerque’s ghastly, gorgeous art; the way King cusses; and, yes, what the book says about capitalist conquest. Plus, Paul chills with three very different Netflix projects: Moxie, Ginny & Georgia, and Behind Her Eyes.
NEXT: Michael Holland, post-production supervisor on American Horror Story and ABC’s For Life, joins us to discuss Disney+’s first MCU series, WandaVision.
00:00:50 – Intro
00:07:14 – American Vampire
01:34:36 – Outro / Next
“American Girl” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (1977)
“Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina and the Waves, Walking on Sunshine (1985)
Two hosts, unalike in dignity, in fair Gobbledygeek, where we set our podcast. For this month’s Four-Color Flashback, Paul and Arlo pull out a boombox blasting Romeo and Juliet side B. In Prince of Cats, Ronald Wimberly passes the mic to Juliet’s cousin Tybalt, a sideways entry point into the events that lead to and inform the soapy classic. Oh, and did we mention this version stars a Black cast living in an ‘80s NYC where everybody participates in an underground samurai swordfighting ring? The boys discuss Wimberly’s ingenious distortion of Shakespearean language; his manga-influenced art; how the book enriches (perhaps even improves upon?) the play; and what it means to tell this story from a race-conscious perspective.
NEXT: oh hey, it’s that Christopher Plummer Geek Challenge we promised. Mike Nichols’ Wolf and Michael Mann’s The Insider go head-to-head.
00:00:48 – Intro / Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet
00:23:00 – Prince of Cats
01:03:45 – (Interlude: Paul reads NSFW Shakespearean dialogue from Prince of Cats)
Gobbledygeek episode 422, “Sandman Mystery Theatre – Book One (feat. Vickie Willis Navarra)”, is available for listening or download right here and on Apple Podcasts here.
For the penultimate Gobbledygeek of the year, Paul and Arlo return to an institution they dropped like a bad habit at the start of the pandemic: the Four-Color Flashback! Vickie Willis Navarra, board member of the Comics and Popular Arts Conference at DragonCon, joins the boys to discuss Sandman Mystery Theatre: Book One. Matt Wagner’s resurrection of DC’s Golden Age hero Wesley Dodds, with art by Guy Davis, John Watkiss, R.G. Taylor, and David Hornung, explores the dark dreams of 1938 New York. The gang discusses the art’s sketchy, shadowy noir qualities; Vickie interrupts her praise of Dian Belmont long enough to wonder if Dian falls into the “exceptional female” trope; Paul and Arlo ponder the series’ connection to Neil Gaiman’s Sandman; and more.
NEXT: season 11 comes to a close with a Geek Challenge featuring Thunderheart and Dead Man.