Two hosts, unalike in dignity, in fair Gobbledygeek, where we set our podcast. For this month’s Four-Color Flashback, Paul and Arlo pull out a boombox blasting Romeo and Juliet side B. In Prince of Cats, Ronald Wimberly passes the mic to Juliet’s cousin Tybalt, a sideways entry point into the events that lead to and inform the soapy classic. Oh, and did we mention this version stars a Black cast living in an ‘80s NYC where everybody participates in an underground samurai swordfighting ring? The boys discuss Wimberly’s ingenious distortion of Shakespearean language; his manga-influenced art; how the book enriches (perhaps even improves upon?) the play; and what it means to tell this story from a race-conscious perspective.
NEXT: oh hey, it’s that Christopher Plummer Geek Challenge we promised. Mike Nichols’ Wolf and Michael Mann’s The Insider go head-to-head.
00:00:48 – Intro / Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet
00:23:00 – Prince of Cats
01:03:45 – (Interlude: Paul reads NSFW Shakespearean dialogue from Prince of Cats)
Gobbledygeek episode 378, “The Dog Ate My Sleep,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
We’re tired. So tired. That’s what you want to hear when you’re about to fire up a podcast, right? You are reading this, aren’t you? Buried among such illuminating subjects as the coffee Arlo’s drinking, Paul’s underhanded behind-the-scenes manipulations, and the boys’ general unprofessionalism, there is indeed some pop culture palaver and parley. The boys are digging HBO’s troubled teens drama Euphoria despite being approximately 400 years too old to say things like “that’s a mood”; Arlo is losing faith in The Handmaid’s Tale; Paul remembers Yesterday; and they both are in awe of Toy Story 4 being so much more than a cynical cash-grab.
Next: Toby Maguire now vanquished, Jake Gyllenhaal finally makes his way into a Spider-Man movie, donning a fishbowl for Spider-Man: Far From Home.
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 ‘Spider-Man: Origin of the Hobgoblin’ by John Romita Jr., John Romita Sr., and Andy Yanchus.
Gobbledygeek episode 350, “Spider-Man: Origin of the Hobgoblin (feat. Jed Waters Keith),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Paul and Arlo continue to swing through this year’s superheroic Four-Color Flashback to discuss Spider-Man: Origin of the Hobgoblin, joined by FreakSugar managing editor Jed Waters Keith. This early ‘80s story, primarily written by Roger Stern and drawn by John Romita Jr., finds Peter Parker faced with the emergence of a horrific new villain in the grotesque figure of the Hobgoblin. Who is this masked man? Who knows! In true Parker fashion, Spidey tries to unmask Hobby while snapping pix for the Bugle and juggling his crazy love life. The gang discusses the convoluted behind-the-scenes drama surrounding the Hobgoblin’s identity, the evolution of JRJr, how Peter Parker is kind of a huge ladies’ man for being such a dork, and more. Plus, Paul attended this year’s Slayage conference, while Arlo and Jed are reading a whole mess o’ comics.
Gobbledygeek episode 342, “Captain America and the Falcon: Secret Empire (feat. Ensley F. Guffey),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
An American feels betrayed by his government, which has revealed itself to be nothing but a bureaucratic system designed to conceal criminal activity. Sounds familiar, right? It’s also the basis for the superhero classic Captain America and the Falcon: Secret Empire. Steve Englehart, Mike Friedrich, and Sal Buscema’s Nixon-era tale finds Cap on the run from a populace that no longer trusts him. Joining Paul and Arlo for this Four-Color Flashback installment is Wanna Cook? author and Cap superfan Ensley F. Guffey. The gang discusses why a story like this couldn’t be told today, how it’s difficult to understand Watergate’s importance given today’s political climate, the uncomfortable jive-talkin’ racial stereotypes, and why the outrageous cornball of old superhero comics doesn’t dilute its power. Plus, Arlo makes an apology and the gang shares what comics they’ve been reading.
Next: it’s all been leading to this. Avengers: Infinity War.
Gobbledygeek episode 337, “A Wrinkle in Time: The Gift of Your Faults,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Time, she has been wrinkled. Tesser on over as Paul and Arlo discuss Ava DuVernay’s big screen adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s beloved science-fantasy classic A Wrinkle in Time. The boys discuss how the film differs from the novel, for both better and worse; what a strong find Storm Reid is in the lead role; how the film is admirable for willing to be absolutely ridiculous; why it’s so important DuVernay is in the director’s chair; and whether or not the film actually manages to be as inspiring as it wants to be. Plus, the boys pay tribute to Stephen Hawking and discuss the current state of Stan Lee; Paul reads comics; and Arlo continues his Disney journey.
Next: it’s that time again. Wesley “Wezzo” Mead stops by to once again discuss Chris Carter’s seminal sci-fi series The X-Files. This time, the gang will discuss season 8, the last pre-revival season to feature David Duchovny as a (semi-)regular.
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.
Gobbledygeek episode 233, “Sex Class,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
Welcome to sex class. Today, Paul and AJ will be teaching you about the repr–wait, no, sorry, that’s later this season. This week, we’re indulging in a four-color Geek Challenge: AJ must read the run so far of Rick Remender and Wes Craig’s Deadly Class, about a wayward teen boy recruited by a school for assassins in the late ’80s; and Paul must read all ten current issues of Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky’s Sex Criminals, in which two lovers stop time when they come. (That one’ll actually teach you a thing or two.) The boys discuss the two Image series, their raw honesty, their radically different yet equally beautiful art styles, and their ridiculously filthy jokes. Plus, there’s talk of films about damaged musicians (Love and Mercy and Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck) and sentient robots (Ex Machina).
Next: on top of Jurassic World, lookin’ down on creation.
Last week, we brought you our top 10 films of the year. It was different from past years in that while I still wrote words and words and words, Paul presented his list without comment. He continues that trend with his top 10 comics of 2014. Meanwhile, I’m getting into some unusual territory by admitting that I don’t have a list. Sure, I could have scraped something together, but it wouldn’t have felt right.
I adore comic books–look no further than the year-long Four-Color Flashback series on Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman we just wrapped in December–but this was the year they unfortunately fell by the wayside of my pop culture habits. There are a few reasons: comics are expensive, often going for $2.99, $3.99, or even more for a bundle of 20-25 sheets of paper; reading is a solitary, time-consuming activity which requires laser focus, unlike a lot of movies and TV (I’ll probably get in trouble for that), and this year I chose to devote much more of my reading time to prose; and lately, I’ve grown to prefer sitting down with one-and-done graphic novels or trade paperback collections to only getting a single hit of a story each month.
Then there’s the fact that 2014 was the year I (and Paul, and frenemy of the show Eric Sipple) published a book. I’ve always considered myself a creative person, but actually putting blood, sweat, and tears into finishing a real product available for purchase left me with a lot less free time. Video games were the first casualty–I played the very comics-oriented LEGO Marvel Superheroes for a few days, but that was about it–and then, completely by chance, I noticed comics becoming the second. Which is ironic, considering how heavily indebted The Deli Counter of Justice is to superhero comics.
Gobbledygeek episode 178, “Old Testament, Real Wrath of God Type Stuff,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
A storm is coming. No, for real, a storm is coming and it’s gonna wipe me and you and everyone we know right offa this rock: Darren Aronofsky envisions the great flood of Genesis in mysterious ways with his new film Noah. As portrayed by Russell Crowe, Noah’s, uh, a little bleaker than you might remember from Sunday school, as he is forced to grapple with whether or not to allow humanity to persist. Add in some six-armed rock monsters, glowy fingers, and some insane Fountain-esque visuals…and it’s not what almost anyone would expect from a biblical epic. We’ll tell you if that’s a good thing or not. Plus, Paul and AJ watch the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles trailer and talk comics both mainstream (Silver Surfer) and not (Sex Criminals).
Next: though Captain America: The Winter Soldier is in theaters as you read this, because of the way we record, it is not this week’s episode. No matter what that idiot AJ said. So! Next week! Winter Soldier is coming and we are here to talk about it.