Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 283, “Grendel: Part 4 – The Devil Inside / Devil Tales”

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Gobbledygeek episode 283, “Grendel: Part 4 – The Devil Inside / Devil Tales,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Descents into madness on the hellish streets of New York City. The tragic inevitability of violence. Bitter, brutal punchlines. This is the world of Matt Wagner’s Grendel, which Paul and Arlo continue to explore in this year’s Four-Color Flashback series. This time, the boys dip into Grendel Omnibus: Vol. 2 – The Legacy, pp. 377-549, for “The Devil Inside,” wherein happy-go-lucky San Franciscan Brian Li-Sung has become corrupted by NYC and possibly some other forces; and “Devil Tales,” in which an elderly Wiggins spins two yarns of the original Grendel, Hunter Rose. Paul and Arlo discuss the change of pace from the twelve-issue Christine Spar epic to smaller, self-contained stories; the indie comix stylings of Bernie Mireault; and how Wagner continues to push the boundaries of comic book storytelling. Plus, Arlo is allergic to podcasts!

Next: the boys take the week off to get all patriotic for July 4th, then return with another Geek Challenge. The tables will turn, with Arlo challenging Paul to a ludicrously awful ’80s movie, Miami Connection; and Paul challenging Arlo to a genuine classic, Forbidden Planet.

(Show notes for “Grendel: Part 4 – The Devil Inside / Devil Tales.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 278, “Grendel: Part 3 – Devil’s Legacy, Part 2”

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Gobbledygeek episode 278, “Grendel: Part 3 – Devil’s Legacy, Part 2,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Times are tough in Matt Wagner’s nightmarish neon near-future New York as Paul and Arlo continue their year-long Four-Color Flashback trip through Grendel. This time, the boys finish out “Devil’s Legacy” with chapters 8-12 of Grendel Omnibus: Vol. 2 (that’s pp. 247-370, if you need to know). What exactly is the devil’s legacy? How do Hunter Rose’s actions reverberate through the generations, as his “step-granddaughter” Christine Spar once more puts on the mask and picks up the fork? Paul and Arlo search for an answer while drawing a through-line between Grendel and fellow class of ’86-ers Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns, poring over the myriad bizarre details of the Pander Brothers’ artwork, and lauding the achievements of one McGruff the Crime Dog. Plus, a brief, spoiler-free discussion of the pilot episode of AMC’s Preacher adaptation.

Next: strap on your aprons and grab your spatulas! The Deli Counter of Justice authors man their own deli counters, each cooking two burgers apiece from The Bob’s Burgers Burger Book.

(Show notes for “Grendel: Part 3 – Devil’s Legacy, Part 2.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 274, “Grendel: Part 2 – Devil’s Legacy, Part 1”

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Gobbledygeek episode 274, “Grendel: Part 2 – Devil’s Legacy, Part 1,” is avalable for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

For their second Four-Color Flashback installment discussing Matt Wagner’s Grendel, Paul and Arlo jump into the first half of the first proper story arc, “Devil’s Legacy” chapters 1-7, collected in Grendel Omnibus: Vol. 2 – The Legacy, pp. 66-246. (This thing’s had a convoluted publishing history.) Anyways, as the boys discover, there’s been a radical shift from the series’ introductory story. Gone is Wagner’s Art Deco-cum-manga art style, replaced by the vibrant, angular artwork of Jacob and Arnold Pander; the storyline has also moved into the “near future” circa 1986, which thanks to some clever math, Paul figures out is probably somewhere around 2005. Most importantly, Grendel’s mask is now worn by Hunter Rose’s step-granddaughter, journalist Christine Spar, who is spurred into action by personal tragedy. Do these stylistic shifts work? Is Wagner’s overblown dialogue a noir-ish affectation or merely self-indulgent? Remember when Donahue was a thing? All this and more, plus Paul and Arlo are shocked by the passing of Prince.

Next: so shocked, in fact, that our next episode is devoted to him. The boys will discuss Prince’s music, as well as three of his films: 1984’s Purple Rain, 1986’s Under the Cherry Moon, and 1987’s concert film Sign ‘o’ the Times.

(Show notes for “Grendel: Part 2 – Devil’s Legacy, Part 1.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 270, “Grendel: Part 1 – Devil by the Deed”

Art from 'Grendel Omnibus: Volume One - Hunter Rose' by Matt Wagner and Rich Rankin.

Art from ‘Grendel Omnibus: Volume One – Hunter Rose’ by Matt Wagner and Rich Rankin.

Gobbledygeek episode 270, “Grendel: Part 1 – Devil by the Deed,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Spring has sprung, which means it’s time for another Four-Color Flashback! In years past, Paul and Arlo have explored the dream worlds of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman and the cartoonish fantasy of Jeff Smith’s Bone. They’ll be devoting 2016 to Matt Wagner’s magnum opus Grendel. There’s a wealth of material out there, but the boys will attempt to stick to the original series, which has been collected in various formats. For this introductory episode, they turn to the first Grendel story, “Devil by the Deed,” which can be found in Grendel Omnibus: Volume One – Hunter Rose, pp. 7-45. What’s it about? Good question! You see, there’s this wealthy playboy named Hunter Rose who writes bestselling novels while also masquerading as Grendel, who seeks control of the mob underworld. In his downtime, he fights an Algonquin werewolf called Argent. Paul recalls what initially drew him to Grendel, while first-time reader Arlo finds it…interesting. The boys discuss Wagner’s manga-meets-Art Deco style, his experimental storytelling, and how he inverts the whole hero/villain thing. Plus, there’s talk of Daredevil season 2.

Next: after a week off, it’s Paul v Arlo: Dawn of Kenn.

(Show notes for “Grendel: Part 1 – Devil by the Deed.”)

Top 100 Characters in Modern Pop Culture #30-21

On last night’s show, Paul and I continued our countdown of the Top 100 Characters in Modern Pop Culture with #s 30-21. Be sure to listen to the show for our full run-downs, but here are some choice excerpts:

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PAUL: Scott Pilgrim (Scott Pilgrim series)

The series is about Scott growing up, about his evolution, and if you as a reader are patient and invested, it absolutely pays off by the end.

AJ: Norma Desmond (Sunset Blvd.)

Norma is a bizarre, grotesque caricature, wanting to hold a funeral for her pet monkey at the film’s beginning and given to lots of other disturbingly narcissistic actions.

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