Gobbledygeek episode 371, “Four-Color Flashback: Persepolis,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
For the next black-and-white non-fiction graphic novel of Four-Color Flashback 2k19, Paul and Arlo head East to discuss Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis. Published between 2000-04, Persepolis tells Satrapi’s autobiographical story of growing up during the Iranian Revolution and coming of age in a totalitarian society. The boys discuss Satrapi’s simplistic, cartoony artwork and its heavy use of black ink; why comics is the perfect medium to make this story a universal one; how Satrapi challenges our Western notions of Iranian culture; and why Paul had a tough time connecting to the book.
Gobbledygeek episode 369, “Four-Color Flashback: Blankets,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Marks on paper, sheets of snow, first loves crowned with halos. These are some of the images that make up Craig Thompson’s 2003 illustrated novel Blankets, a modern classic if ever there was one. Paul and Arlo continue this year’s “nondenominational” Four-Color Flashback with a discussion of Thompson’s masterpiece, an autobiographical story of childhood, sexuality, first love, and the author’s struggle with faith. The boys discuss Thompson’s brave and uncomfortable truth, their experiences (or lack thereof) with organized religion, Craig’s idolatry of his beloved Raina, and Thompson’s stunning artwork. Plus, scraps of Marvel news that have no business being in this episode but which broke after we recorded the Captain Marvel one. Sorry. We’re professionals.
Next: after a week off, the boys are back and who knows what they’ll be talking about?
Art from ‘Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art’ by Scott McCloud.
Gobbledygeek episode 363, “Four-Color Flashback: Understanding Comics,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
For Four-Color Flashback 2019, Paul and Arlo are venturing beyond the realm of superheroes and into the wide world of comics many Americans never visit. To first appreciate comics, though, it’s important to understand their capabilities. There’s nowhere better to turn than Scott McCloud’s seminal 1993 tome Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. It’s an academic, analytical study of the comics form–but it’s also a friendly, entertaining, flat-out fun read. Paul and Arlo discuss why everyone should read Understanding Comics, how it influenced the way they read comics, the concept of closure, and the digital revolution.
Next: witchcraft, murder, and all that jazz in a musical Geek Challenge. Arlo must watch Disney’s 1971 Angela Lansbury vehicle Bedknobs and Broomsticks, while Paul is tasked with 2002’s Renee Zellweger showcase Chicago.
Art from ‘The Vision’ by Gabriel Hernandez Walta and Jordie Bellaire.
Gobbledygeek episode 360, “Four-Color Flashback: The Vision (feat. Jed Waters Keith),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
This year’s superheroic Four-Color Flashback comes to a close as the Visions of Virginia move into their house at 616 Hickory Branch Lane, Arlington, VA, 21301. In Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta’s The Vision, the synthezoid Avenger creates his own family in an effort to achieve normalcy–and watches as his efforts fail, early and often. Joining Paul and Arlo to discuss one of the decade’s best comics is FreakSugar contributing editor Jed Waters Keith. The gang discusses the foreboding on every page; King’s watchmaker precision; Walta’s subtle emotional modulations; and how by denying his emotions and refusing to learn from his mistakes, the Vision is as human as any of us. Plus, Arlo still hasn’t gone on a poop cruise; and Paul wants to Die while reading Winter Soldier.
Next month: this bizarre roller coaster ride of a season ends with a discussion of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Art from ‘Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters’ by Mike Grell.
Gobbledygeek episode 359, “Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Ollie, draw back your bow and let your arrow go straight to that killer’s heart. For the penultimate Four-Color Flashback of the year, and the final DC installment of our Age of Heroes project, Paul and Arlo head to the asphalt jungle of Seattle as Oliver Queen stalks his street punk prey in Mike Grell’s 1987 miniseries Green Arrow: The Longbow Hunters. As was common practice in the ‘80s, Grell reimagined the character of Green Arrow as grimmer, grittier, and existing in a real world full of boobs and blood. The boys discuss why Grell, by and large, does not really pull this off; the two really interesting moments of subversion he does manage; his stellar, sketchy, detailed artwork; and Dinah Lance’s near-fridging. Plus, the boys honor Stan Lee; Arlo cooks up some groovy spaghetti with the new White Album set; Paul needs a Bodyguard; and things get horrifying with The Immortal Hulk and Outer Darkness.
Next: happy Thanksgiving! Paul and Arlo return next month to close out the Age of Heroes with Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta’s The Vision, joined by their pal Jed Waters Keith.
Art from ‘Daredevil: Born Again’ by David Mazzucchelli & Christie Scheele.
Gobbledygeek episode 354, “Daredevil: Born Again (feat. Chance Mazzia),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Sight-impaired Jesus freak Matt Murdock finds himself in the crosshairs of rotund businessman Wilson Fisk in that most celebrated of Daredevil stories, Born Again. Paul and Arlo’s pal Chance Mazzia joins them for another superheroic Four-Color Flashback installment to discuss the Frank Miller/David Mazzucchelli classic. The gang discusses the tale’s obvious religious symbolism; Mazzucchelli’s fluid, detailed art; Miller’s Murdock-style descent into belligerent paranoia; and how Miller’s triple threat of Born Again, The Dark Knight Returns, and Batman: Year One changed superhero comics for better and worse. Plus, Cary Joji Fukanaga goes cuckoo with Netflix’s Maniac, and the gang pays their respects to late Batman artist Norm Breyfogle.
Next: at long last, Gobbledyween returns. The festival of terror kicks off with Robert Eggers’ new cult classic, 2015’s The Witch.
What if Superman was one of us? Just a slob like one of us? Just a stranger baling hay, trying to till his own farm? That’s part of the appeal of Alex Ross and Mark Waid’s Kingdom Come, the subject of our latest superheroic Four-Color Flashback–Ross’ painted artwork brings DC’s pantheon to vivid life. Of course, Superman isn’t one of us. He makes this clear when, after a decade in exile, he descends upon Metropolis to mete out cold hard justice to a new, irresponsible generation of heroes and villains. Kingdom Come was intended as a statement on the Xtreme anti-heroes of the ‘90s, and as its human protagonist Norman McKay witnesses the fantastic devastation around him, the book explores issues of faith and fascism. Paul and Arlo discuss how Ross and Waid’s tale holds up more than 20 years later, how it reconciles the heroes’ godlike power with fragile human will, why it may be Ross’ best work, and its nigh definitive portrait of DC’s Trinity. Plus, Arlo finishes his Disney marathon while catching Pokémon, and we tease a future discussion of Spider-Man PS4.
Next: we switch religions from DC to Marvel as our pal Chance Mazzia joins us to talk Frank Miller and David Mazzucchelli’s Daredevil: Born Again.