Gobbledygeek episode 326, “The Rocketeer / Pleasantville: Flying Colors,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
That venerated institution, the Geek Challenge, takes to the bright blue sky with a pair of retro ‘90s flicks. First up, Paul challenges Arlo to Joe Johnston’s 1991 Billy Campbell-starring adventure The Rocketeer, a proto-First Avenger that mixes pulp fiction with ‘30s Hollywood. Then, Arlo challenges Paul to Gary Ross’ 1998 directorial debut Pleasantville, which finds Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon zapped inside the black-and-white world of a hunky dory ‘50s sitcom. These films look backward to say something about the present, and while one admittedly has a lot more on its mind than the other, the boys find both to be unsettlingly timely. From populist demagoguery to villains that no longer feel like an historical artifact, Paul and Arlo mine a lot from these goofy, decades-old movies. Plus, Arlo remembers that comics exist.
Next: after a week off, the boys return to discuss experimental arthouse feature Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, which will be of interest to only the most devout cineaste.
(Show notes for “Flying Colors.”)
Art from ‘Y: The Last Man – Vol. 8: Kimono Dragons’ by Pia Guerra, Jose Marzan Jr., Zylonol, and Clem Robins.
Gobbledygeek episode 325, “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 8: Kimono Dragons (feat. Chance Mazzia),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
This week, Paul and Arlo return to their Four-Color Flashback exploration of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s Y: The Last Man with Vol. 8: Kimono Dragons. Joining them for the first time in a while is once and future 90 700 Club host Chance Mazzia. Frustrated by some of the detours this Japanese misadventure takes, the gang gets around to asking the question that’s hung over this entire FCF series: nearly a decade removed from publication, is Y: The Last Man still as great as they thought it was? To find the answer, they discuss Vaughan’s writing style, how each volume reads compared to the whole, and what if anything Y contributed to the evolution of the comics medium. Plus, Justice League arrives in theaters (leading to a breakthrough in Paul and Arlo’s relationship), the Avengers assemble for the Infinity War trailer, and Arlo is delighted by The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
Next: the Geek Challenge rides again, with a retro kick. Paul will force Arlo to watch Joe Johnston’s 1991 superhero cult classic The Rocketeer, and Arlo will force Paul to watch Gary Ross’ colorful 1998 film Pleasantville.
(Show notes for “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 8: Kimono Dragons.”)
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.)
Gobbledygeek episode 324, “Thor: Ragnarok – Friends from Work,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
For a return to our regularly scheduled pop culture chatter, Paul and Arlo ride their hammers to the faraway world of Asgard, which is in a spot of trouble. Avenger and heir to the throne Thor Odinson must defend his people from the villainous Hela; along the way, he gets imprisoned by an eccentric weirdo named the Grandmaster and is forced to do battle with the Hulk, his infamous “friend from work.” The boys discuss why Thor: Ragnarok is among the very best the Marvel Cinematic Universe has to offer, what perspective New Zealander Taika Waititi brings to the franchise, what the film says about immigrants (besides cueing up the perfect Robert Plant wail), and if we’ll ever see Bruce Banner again. Plus, they discuss the pop culture they enjoyed during the show’s hiatus.
Next: in two weeks’ time, Paul and Arlo pick up their Four-Color Flashback exploration of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s Y: The Last Man with Vol. 8: Kimono Dragons.
(Show notes for “Friends from Work.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 320, “Dunkirk: Beach Battle Bingo,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Sun, spray, bullets, and blood: Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk recounts the worst beach trip in history, as 400,000 Allied troops were trapped by the Nazis in Dunkirk, France. The word Paul and Arlo keep coming back to as a descriptor is “relentless.” 107 minutes of third-act intensity, Dunkirk may be the purest expression of Nolan’s watchmaker-precise skill. The boys discuss the film’s three interweaving time strands, the lack of overt character development (except for that moment), Hans Zimmer’s ticking time bomb of a score, and why the movie never names or shows its Nazi enemies. Plus, Arlo is convinced the rest of the world is experiencing a mass delusion regarding Arrested Development season 4; and the boys take a look at the SDCC trailers for Ready Player One, Justice League, Thor: Ragnarok, Stranger Things, and The Defenders.
Next: it’s another Four-Color Flashback, as Ensley F. Guffey, co-author of Wanna Cook? The Complete Unauthorized Guide to Breaking Bad, joins Paul and Arlo to discuss Y: The Last Man – Vol. 7: Paper Dolls.
(Show notes for “Dunkirk: Beach Battle Bingo.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 314, “Wonder Woman: Amazon Prime (feat. Hallie Prime),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
This week, the lasso of truth compels Paul and Arlo to tell you all about their thoughts on Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman, the fourth film in the DC Extended Universe and the first major female-led superhero movie since freaking Elektra. Joining them on this Themysciran horseback ride is friend of the show Hallie Prime. The gang discusses Gal Gadot’s note-perfect performance, Chris Pine’s frighteningly large eyebrows, whether or not the film’s villains live up to its hero, and if there’s still hope for the DCEU yet. Plus, Arlo gets all evangelical about The Leftovers.
Next: after a week off, Paul and Arlo will take a look at The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford ten years on.
(Show notes for “Wonder Woman: Amazon Prime.”)
The final episode of The Avatar Returns is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Goodbyes are hard. That’s why we drink. In this episode your sad hosts are sad. In the absence of new Avatar: The Last Airbender or The Legend of Korra chapters to discuss, we get slightly inebriated and try to make it a party. There’s trivia, “Who Said It” challenges, lists (because everyone loves lists), and lots of self-indulgence and time-wasting. We really do go out on the top of our game.
In all seriousness, we have had a tremendous time sharing this journey with each other and with all of our listeners. No one could have predicted how important this silly little project would become for all of us, and so reaching the end and having to step away is truly bittersweet. We’re all proud of what we’ve done, but we’re going to miss coming together every week to have these discussions. We will of course return from time to time with new episodes as the graphic novel series collected editions come out, so this isn’t goodbye forever.
Thanks to each and every one of you who has joined us along the way. It’s been an honor and a pleasure.
“The greatest illusion of this world is the illusion of separation.”
(Show notes for The Avatar Returns episode 46.)