Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 285, “I Ain’t Afraid of No Girls”

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Gobbledygeek episode 285, “I Ain’t Afraid of No Girls,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Can you dislike Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters reboot without being a woman-hating, frothing-at-the-mouth MRA cave troll? Well, Paul and Arlo sure hope so. While championing the concept of a female-led Ghostbusters movie and praising the comic abilities of the girls in gray–Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, and Leslie Jones–the boys deconstruct the problems not just with this film but modern mainstream comedies in general. They also dig into how this film’s story breaks the mold set by the original movies, its attempts at social commentary, and its action- and CGI-stuffed climax. Plus, Paul delves into Stranger Things and reminds us he used to train Pokémon.

Next: it’s Grendel time again, which means it’s time for us to badger you–or anyone!–to read along with us. Our Four-Color Flashback exploration of Matt Wagner’s epic tale continues with “The Incubation Years,” collected in Grendel Omnibus: Vol. 3 – Orion’s Reign, pp. 10-112.

(Show notes for “I Ain’t Afraid of No Girls.”)

Listen to ‘The Avatar Returns’ Episode 31

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The Avatar Returns episode 31 is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

As The Avatar Returns continues its exploration of The Legend of Korra Book Two, Eric thinks Unalaq’s boringness continues to bore, Paul thinks Korra’s temperamental teenager act continues to grate, and Arlo thinks Paul has gone from face to heel. [Ed. note: he’s wrong, Paul has always been an evil bastard.] Fortunately for Eric, chapter 205, “Peacekeepers” features very little Unalaq. Paul is given a mostly Korra-free episode with chapter 206, “The Sting.” And Arlo can forgive (or at least ignore) Paul’s horribleness because Varrick’s heel turn is just so amazing. And everyone comes together in their love for Nuktuk, The Hero of the South!

Next: Studio Mir makes their triumphant return to animation duties with chapter 207, “Beginnings, Part 1” and 208, “Beginnings, Part 2.”

(Show notes for The Avatar Returns episode 31.)

Listen to ‘The Avatar Returns’ Episode 30

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The Avatar Returns episode 30 is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Six months later…we rejoin our regularly scheduled Avatar universe, already in progress.

The Legend of Korra Book Two kicks off with a gurgle as angry squid spirits drag unsuspecting sailors to their watery graves, Korra has finally “mastered” airbending, and Mako does his best Horatio Caine impression. Chapters 201 and 202 introduce us to Korra’s uncle Unalaq, who is boring but apparently important, and Varrick, who’s just plain smarmy fun. Oh, and there’s a whole spirit portal thing the Avatar has to deal with, but really we just like Varrick. Then in chapters 203 and 204, it’s civil war all over again as boring-but-bad Unalaq leads the Northern Water Tribe in a bid to “save” their Southern Water Tribe cousins. We learn more about Tenzin’s family, including his hippie chick sister Kya, and his wild and crazy older brother Bumi. The hosts agree, Bumi 2.0 is a big improvement over King Bumi.

Also, Arlo reveals he’s had an Eska or two in his past, and Battle Athletes Victory wins the prize for most obscure anime reference on the podcast yet. Congratulations!

Next: Book Two continues with chapters 205, “Peacekeepers,” and 206, “The Sting.” Starring Robert Redford and Paul Newman.

(Show notes for The Avatar Returns episode 30.)

Listen to ‘The Avatar Returns’ Episode 29

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The Avatar Returns episode 29 is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

M. Night Shyamalan directed a movie. Arlo made us watch it. We didn’t like it. We talk about it. We’re sorry.

(Ed. note: we experience intermittent audio issues throughout recording, because even the universe didn’t want us to discuss this garbage fire of a film.)

Next: we finally get back to The Legend of Korra as we kick off Book Two: Spirits with chapters 201-204, “Rebel Spirit,” “The Southern Lights,” “Civil Wars, Part 1,” and “Civil Wars, Part 2.”

(Show notes for The Avatar Returns episode 29.)

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 ‘The Avatar Returns’ Episode 28

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The Avatar Returns episode 28 is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

This week The Avatar Returns returns to the Avatar. We continue our discussion of Dark Horse Comics’ ongoing Avatar: The Last Airbender graphic novel series with Volume 2 – The Search. We talk about how the shift from the larger, more epic story told in Volume 1 – The Promise to this much smaller, more intimate tale works for us, and more importantly for the characters. Whereas the previous book explored issues we didn’t even know we wanted to explore, such as colonialism and cultural appropriation, this book focuses on the bonds of family, born and found, particularly the relationship between brothers and sisters. It also addresses ideas of identity, be they physical, societal, or emotional. We praise writer Gene Luen Yang’s astounding gift for continuing and building on this world and these characters we’ve come to love so much. And we wax embarrassingly rhapsodic about the work of art duo Gurihiru, which just keeps getting better with every volume, every chapter, every page.

There’s also banter this week. We say just a few words (for now) about the first season of DreamWorks’ Voltron: Legendary Defender, and we say way too many words about “adult” coloring books. Seriously, no one cares as much about these things as at least one of our hosts apparently does.

Next: we take a week off in a desperate attempt to prepare ourselves for the following week’s watch of director M. Night Shyamalan’s 2010 “masterpiece,” The Last Airbender. (We promise, The Legend of Korra Book Two is coming. Assuming we survive this.)

(Show notes for The Avatar Returns episode 28.)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 281, “The Glow of Vengeance”

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Gobbledygeek episode 281, “The Glow of Vengeance,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

One is born of Harlem; one is born of vengeance. One hopes to attain the Glow; one hopes to slake the bloodthirst of the mother she never met. For the latest Geek Challenge, Paul challenges Arlo to 1985’s Motown martial arts picture The Last Dragon, while Arlo challenges Paul to 1973’s Japanese exploitation classic Lady Snowblood. (The two films are obviously very similar.) As always, the boys learn more about each other and the differences in how they perceive the cinematic world. Arlo loves hilariously bad “anti-great” movies, so why does The Last Dragon leave him bored? Paul digs tales of otherworldly revenge, so what is it about Lady Snowblood that doesn’t quite click for him? Plus, before the usual disagreement, the boys concur in a brief, spoiler-free discussion of Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster.

Next: the truth? Still out there. Continuing our sporadic discussion of Chris Carter’s seminal sci-fi series The X-Files, everybody’s favorite Brit Wesley “Wezzo” Mead stops by to chat season 2.

(Show notes for “The Glow of Vengeance.”)