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.)

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Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 313, “The X-Files: Season 5 (feat. Wesley Mead)”

Gobbledygeek episode 313, “The X-Files: Season 5 (feat. Wesley Mead),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Once again, Paul and Arlo’s most British friend Wesley “Wezzo” Mead is abducted from the U.K. to discuss Chris Carter’s seminal sci-fi series The X-Files. The gang has reached the show’s fifth season; for a while now, Paul and Wezzo have been warning neophyte X-Phile Arlo that things would go downhill, and we may have reached that point. They discuss why season 5 doesn’t work quite as well as previous seasons; the big celebrity guest writers (Stephen King! William Gibson!); if the mytharc stuff makes any sense at this point; whether or not Scully has been completely robbed of agency; and the series’ first feature film, Fight the Future. Plus, there’s despairing political talk as always, and Arlo revisited every single David Lynch movie.

Next: the lasso of truth compels Paul and Arlo to give you their thoughts on Patty Jenkins’ big-screen Wonder Woman.

(Show notes for “The X-Files: Season 5.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 294, “The D-List (feat. Donora Hillard)”

dennys

Gobbledygeek episode 294, “The D-List (feat. Donora Hillard),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Live from Denny’s, it’s Donora Hillard! The Jeff Bridges poet returns to talk about…pretty much everything with Paul and Arlo. While enjoying late-night diner ambiance, the gang discusses driving and the anxiety it causes; dance, of the So You Think You Can variety (featuring, upon special request, a rendition of Paul’s classic Black Swan diatribe); tiny houses, one of which Donora owns; and what’s in everyone’s bags (Arlo’s answers will amaze you). Plus David Lynch, Bunheads, arrested development (neither the rap group nor the television series)…everything.

Next: the boys take their penultimate trip to the hellish world of Matt Wagner’s Grendel as this year’s Four-Color Flashback nears its close, with a look at “God and the Devil, Part 2,” collected in Grendel Omnibus: Vol. 3 – Orion’s Reign.

(Show notes for “The D-List.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 248, “Rage Reversal”

anger

Gobbledygeek episode 248, “Rage Reversal,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.

This week on Gobbledygeek, there’s been a rage reversal: Paul, the Enormous Green Rage Monster of the podcast, is unusually calm and placid; meanwhile, AJ is filled with anger, much of it directed toward the fast food chain Wendy’s. What are a couple geeks to do? Find something, anything to distract them from this cosmic imbalance, such as Paul’s recent trip to Disney World and brief return to the zoo that made him famous; Ryan Adams’ melancholy cover version of Taylor Swift’s 1989; and AJ’s adventures at his local arthouse (featuring Phoenix, The End of the Tour, The Diary of a Teenage Girl, and Eraserhead), for which he is roundly mocked.

Next: our year-long Four-Color Flashback series on Jeff Smith’s Bone continues with Vol. VII: Ghost Circles. As always, we are joined by Greg Sahadachny of The Debatable Podcast.

(Show notes for “Rage Reversal.”)

Paul & AJ’s Top 10 TV Series of 2012

On this, the eve of 2013, Paul and I begin to look back at some of our favorite things of 2012. First up, our ten favorite TV series.

Also, let’s give a slow clap to Paul, who struggled through severe illness just to get these words to you, dear reader. A speedy recovery to you, sir!

– AJ

PAUL: 10. PARKS AND RECREATION (NBC)

Adam Scott, Amy Poehler, and Rashida Jones in 'Parks and Recreation'

Season 5 gets out of the office a little bit, with Ben and April in Washington D.C. (with an evil robot congressman). Ron gets a new love interest (the always lovely Lucy Lawless). Tom starts a new business. And Andy finds a new career.

AJ: 10. GAME OF THRONES (HBO)

Peter Dinklage in 'Game of Thrones'

What Game of Thrones did in its first season was nothing short of exceptional, a 10-episode narrative that goes down as one of the finest accomplishments the medium has seen thus far. And while the second season struggled at times to recapture that majesty, it certainly wasn’t for lack of trying. The scope and breadth of George R.R. Martin’s world remains impressive; the cast, especially Peter Dinklage as the kind of noble imp Tyrion Lannister, continues to knock out high fantasy material that would crush lesser actors; and thrilling hours like “Blackwater” remind us that this is the closest thing we have to a Lord of the Rings on TV. And it’s a whole lot nastier and sexier, too.

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Last Month’s Comics: DC Reboots and ‘Spider-Island’ Breaks Out

Welcome to Last Month’s Comics, in which I will discuss, uh, last month’s comics. The past couple episodes, we’ve pimped Direct Comic Book Service, which I’ve recently started using as a way to return to regular comics reading. The only downside is that I only get bi-weekly shipments (the weekly option is there, it’s just more expensive), so I won’t wind up reading all of my comics from one month until the beginning or the middle of the next. So I figured it’d be nice to sum up my thoughts, frustrations, and surprises about each month’s comics in a single column. It should be noted that, of course, I’m only reading comics that strike my fancy, there are some books I won’t get started on until a couple months from now, and that I also skipped out on all of DC’s books this month…with one exception.

Let’s get started with August 2011…

BEST #1
Angel & Faith #1
Writer: Christos Gage
Art: Rebekah Isaacs (pencils/inks), Dan Jackson (colors)
Executive Producer: Joss Whedon
Publisher: Dark Horse

Last year, Gobbledygeek called Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Season Eight the Worst Comic Book of 2010. It was more a symbolic award than anything: there were worse comics, but none that were more disappointing. Season Eight had a very strong first two-thirds, but in the last third, things went awry more than they went a-right (please forgive me). It all culminated in the bizarre, confusing, contrived “Twilight’s Last Gleaming” arc. However, the final issue was a stellar return to form, and Joss Whedon has promised that Season Nine will be smaller, more character-driven, less prone to jump-the-shark-ness. Judging from Angel & Faith #1, the first piece of Season Nine, I’d say he’s kept that promise. Though I still don’t fully understand what Angel was up to last season–“Your whole Twilight phase makes about as much sense as a David Lynch movie,” so says Faith–watching him again struggling with remorse over his actions and back in help-the-helpless mode is refreshing. Where once Angel was Faith’s mentor, the roles have reversed. Faith is now there to help Angel deal with his grief, though based on the last-page shocker, she’s got a lot of work to do. Christos Gage has all of the characters’ voices down pat, and Rebekah Isaacs’ art might be the best to ever grace any Whedon comic. Can she draw Buffy too?

(Paul and I reviewed Angel & Faith #1 in “Talking Turkey.”)

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Top 100 Characters in Modern Pop Culture: #40-31

On last night’s show, Paul and I continued our countdown of the Top 100 Characters in Modern Pop Culture with #s 40-31. Be sure to listen to the show for our full run-downs, but here are some choice excerpts:

#40

PAUL: Jesse Custer (Preacher)

He’s a good ol’ Southern boy, with a hard-drinking work ethic and a code of honor that he follows to an almost fundamentalist extreme.

AJ: The Joker (DC Comics)

Though the Joker is frightening on his own, as has been explored in many comics and filmic adaptations, he would mean nothing without the Batman. He is Batman reflected through a funhouse mirror, living to terrorize and provoke Gotham City as much as Batman exists solely to protect it and keep watch over it.

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