Art by Dave Gibbons from ‘Watchmen’ (1986-87).
Gobbledygeek episode 395, “Four-Color Flashback: Watchmen (feat. Greg Sahadachny).” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
After a year of pointedly discussing no superhero stories, Paul and Arlo revive Four-Color Flashback for a new decade with the big kahuna of all superhero stories: Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ 1986-87 maxi-series Watchmen. Aided by emotional sherpa Greg Sahadachny, once and future host of The Debatable Podcast, the boys openly admit there is no new light to shed on perhaps the most analyzed comic book of all time–then get to shedding. What’s it like reading Watchmen in 2020? In the wake of Damon Lindelof’s TV sequel? The gang finds that, like all great art, Watchmen has not changed in the 33 years since its run wrapped, but we have. In a world where fascism seems much more tangible, where superhero fiction reigns supreme, Moore and Gibbons’ work has taken on a renewed sense of meaning. The gang discusses the book’s formalist genius; our heroes’ utter contempt for those they claim to save; why, for a certain type of reader, Rorschach is a morally just idol; and plenty more.
Next: we continue watching the Watchmen with a discussion of Lindelof’s HBO show.
Total Run Time: 01:50:43
- 00:00:21 – Intro
- 00:04:00 – Watchmen
- 01:47:43 – Outro / Next
- “Desolation Row” by Bob Dylan, Highway 61 Revisited (1965)
- “Cosmic Charlie” by The Grateful Dead, Aoxomoxoa (1969)
- “In 1986, Watchmen skewered the way we love superheroes. It’s still as relevant as ever.” by Alex Abad-Santos, Vox
- “Watchmen’s Fearful Symmetry: (almost) frame by frame”by Pedro V. Ribeiro, Medium
- Sam Hamm’s Watchmen Script
Art from ‘Daytripper’ (2010) by Gabriel Bá, Fábio Moon & Dave Stewart.
Gobbledygeek episode 392, “Four-Color Flashback: Daytripper,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
It took Brás de Oliva Domingos so long to find out, and he found out. What, if anything, he found out is the central question of Fábio Moon and Gabriel Bá’s 2010 Vertigo series Daytripper, subject of our final Four-Color Flashback for 2019. You see, Brás writes obituaries for a São Paulo newspaper–and at the end of most chapters in this book, he dies. Twin writers/artists Moon and Bá pave the way for an existential journey along the many turning points of a life, from the imperceptible to the unmistakable. Paul and Arlo discuss Daytripper’s hint of magical realism; the coherent, airtight structure that grounds the book’s absurdity; how the series’ hopeful attitude brushes up against horrific tragedy; Moon and Bá’s distinctive (though not so distinctive we know who is penciling and/or inking what!) art style, accentuated by master colorist Dave Stewart; and more.
Next: on the Gobbledygeek season 10 finale, Christmas gets twisted with John McPhail’s 2018 horror-comedy-musical Anna and the Apocalypse.
Total Run Time: 01:32:47
- 00:00:42 – Intro
- 00:06:30 – Daytripper
- 01:26:40 – Outro / Next
- “Day Tripper” by Sergio Mendes & Brasil ‘66, Herb Alpert Presents Sergio Mendes & Brasil ‘66 (1966)
- “Circle of Life” by Carmen Twillie & Lebo M, The Lion King (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (1994)
Art from ‘The Private Eye’ (2013) by Marcos Martin & Muntsa Vicente. Dialogue by Brian K. Vaughan.
Gobbledygeek episode 391, “Four-Color Flashback: The Private Eye,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
The Cloud burst, and for forty days and forty nights, all of our secrets rained down. In the not terribly distant future world of Brian K. Vaughan, Marcos Martin, and Muntsa Vicente’s 2013-15 series The Private Eye, the Internet is a distant memory and anonymity is now the foundation of American society. Of course, our hero is an amoral paparazzo-slash-private investigator whose job is to dig up those old secrets; of course, this leads him into a world of trouble. For the penultimate Four-Color Flashback of 2019, Paul and Arlo discuss Vaughan’s clever utilization of noir tropes in the post-Internet age, Martin’s dynamic pencils/inks, Vicente’s eye-popping colors (this is one noir that doesn’t hide in the shadows), their radical pay-what-you-want self-publishing platform Panel Syndicate, and the big philosophical question at the heart of the book: is the Internet worth it?
Next: for the final Four-Color Flashback of the season, we get existential with Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba’s Daytripper.
Total Run Time: 01:31:30
- 00:00:22 – Intro
- 00:04:10 – Main Topic
- 01:27:00 – Outro / Next
- “Private Eyes” by Daryl Hall & John Oates, Private Eyes (1981)
- “This Masquerade” by The Carpenters, Now & Then (1973)
Art from ‘My Favorite Thing Is Monsters’ (2017) by Emil Ferris.
Gobbledygeek episode 389, “Gobbledyween / FCF: My Favorite Thing Is Monsters (feat. Eric Sipple),” is available for listening or download here and on iTunes here.
Our favorite thing is Gobbledyween, so to close out this year’s frightening festivities, Paul and Arlo are breaking from the norm to discuss Emil Ferris’ 2017 graphic novel My Favorite Thing Is Monsters. Joining them for this first Gobbledyween/Four-Color Flashback crossover is their The Deli Counter of Justice collaborator Eric Sipple. The gang marvels at Ferris’ stunning art (all done in ballpoint pen!), attempts to process the numerous threads in this first of two planned volumes (sexuality, duality, and reality, oh my!), draws unexpected parallels to Art Spiegelman’s Maus (a FCF entry just this past August!), and so much more (no parenthetical necessary!). We promise there are monsters.
Next: and I’m freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, free Gooooobbliiiiiiin’.
Total Run Time: 01:42:55
- 00:00:44 – Intro
- 00:03:20 – My Favorite Thing is Monsters
- 01:36:51 – Outro / Next
- “Wild Thing” by The Troggs, From Nowhere (1966)
- “Good Monsters” by Jars of Clay, Good Monsters (2006)
- “The Holocaust, Art, Chicago & Sickness: A 3,500-Word Interview with My Favorite Thing Is Monsters Mastermind Emil Ferris” by Hillary Brown, Paste
- “’My Favorite Thing Is Monsters’ Is A Dazzling, Graphic Novel Tour-De-Force” by John Powers, NPR
- “My Favorite Thing Is Monsters – Review” by Andrea Crow, Lambda Literary
- “Emil Ferris: ‘I didn’t want to be a woman – being a monster was the best solution’” by Sam Thielman, The Guardian
- “My Favorite Thing Is Monsters – Review” by Paul Tumey, The Comics Journal
- “When Everyone’s a Monster, No One Is: The Ugly Everyday in My Favorite Thing is Monsters” by Em Nordling, Tor.com
- “My Favorite Thing Is Monsters is a brilliant, eye-opening graphic novel debut” by Oliver Sava, AV Club
- “The Bite That Changed My Life” by Elly Fishman, Chicagomag.com
Art from ‘Green River Killer: A True Detective Story’ by Jonathan Case. Dialogue by Jeff Jensen.
Gobbledygeek episode 385, “Four-Color Flashback: Green River Killer,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
For another installment of this year’s non-superhero Four-Color Flashback, Paul and Arlo look at the story of a real-life hero in Green River Killer: A True Detective Story, Jeff Jensen and Jonathan Case’s loving tribute to Jeff’s dad, Detective Tom Jensen. Detective Jensen was instrumental in catching Gary Leon Ridgway AKA the Green River Killer, America’s most prolific serial killer. The boys discuss Paul’s connection to (and possible culpability in?!) the case, the comparisons or lack thereof to the father-son dynamic in Maus, Case’s beautiful character acting, and more.
Next: leaves are on the ground, blood is on the screen. It’s time for Gobbledyween. We kick off this year’s festivities with a(nother) discussion of Drew Goddard’s 2011 mega-meta horror film The Cabin in the Woods.
Total Run Time: 01:15:25
- 00:00:35 – Intro
- 00:02:00 – Green River Killer
- 01:09:47 – Outro / Next
- “Green River” by Creedence Clearwater Revival, Green River (1969)
- “Deep Red Bells” by Neko Case, Blacklisted (2002)
- “Writer Jeff Jensen Talks Dark Horse’s Green River Killer: A True Detective Story”, diamondcomics.com
Art from ‘Maus: A Survivor’s Tale’ by Art Spiegelman.
Gobbledygeek episode 384, “Four-Color Flashback: Maus: A Survivor’s Tale (feat. Eric Sipple),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
For the latest installment of this year’s spandex-free Four-Color Flashback, Paul and Arlo tackle a big one: Art Spiegelman’s Maus: A Survivor’s Tale, still the only comic book ever to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize. Joining them to discuss Spiegelman’s harrowing account of his father Vladek’s time in the concentration camps of Nazi-occupied Poland–and Art’s own tense relationship with Vladek–is Broken Magic author and The Deli Counter of Justice co-creator Eric Sipple. The gang discusses Spiegelman’s provocative choice to depict Jews as mice, Nazis as cats, Poles as pigs, etc.; how Spiegelman follows in a tradition going all the way back to Mickey Mouse; and why it’s specifically disturbing to read Maus in 2019.
Next: Paul and Arlo will return.
(Show notes for “Four-Color Flashback: Maus: A Survivor’s Tale.”)
Art from ‘Hip Hop Family Tree’ by Ed Piskor.
Gobbledygeek episode 381, “Four-Color Flashback: Hip Hop Family Tree,” is a available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Paul and Arlo are in the place to be, rapping about Ed Piskor’s Hip Hop Family Tree. For the latest Four-Color Flashback installment, our nerdy white heroes take on nerdy white cartoonist Piskor’s quartet (so far) of graphic novels discussing the history of hip hop culture. The boys discuss Piskor’s art, equally indebted to underground comix and superhero books of the ‘70s and ‘80s; how the physical editions beautifully replicate the aesthetics of the time period; how Piskor captures the rhythm and fluidity of DJs and breakdancers; and what in the hell he’s got against Russell “Rush” Simmons.
Next: Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood is Family-friendly entertainment.
(Show notes for “Four-Color Flashback: Hip Hop Family Tree.”)