For their latest Four-Color Flashback, Paul and Arlo are exploring the world of Si Spurrier and Jeff Stokely’s 2015 mini-series The Spire. Our location is a massive, tiered city surrounded by a desolate wasteland; our cast of characters include privileged aristocrats and the undesired “Sculpted,” hybridized from human and animal DNA; and our story is one of noir sleuthing, extreme violence, racial intolerance, and classism. The boys discuss Spurrier and Stokely’s deceptively simple storytelling; the “soft edges” around their world-building; Stokely’s manga-influenced art; and just how in-spire-ing it all is. Plus, a number of previous FCF selections are hitting the small screen, including Y: The Last Man, The Sandman, and most unbelievably of all, Grendel.
NEXT: what’s that? It’s October? Time for Gobbledyween 2021. Our annual horror-fest kicks off with a discussion of Ti West’s 2009 indie phenom The House of the Devil, featuring our old pal Greg Sahadachny.
Gobbledygeek episode 423, “Geek Challenge: Thunderheart vs. Dead Man,” is available for listening or download right here and on Apple Podcasts here.
Because our mascot is a turkey, and because we generally frown upon genocide, Paul and Arlo are spending Thanksgiving weekend discussing films with ties to Native American culture. For this Geek Challenge, Paul urges Arlo to watch Michael Apted’s 1992 conspiracy thriller Thunderheart, starring Val Kilmer as an FBI agent who grows to embrace his Sioux heritage. In turn, Arlo makes Paul watch Jim Jarmusch’s 1995 psychedelic Western Dead Man, wherein Johnny Depp’s iteration of William Blake takes an offbeat journey to the next life. The boys address the major caveat of both films starring white men, as well as their own lily whiteness; determine that Graham Greene and Gary Farmer walk away with their respective movies; and discuss how both films explore spiritual death and rebirth. With a bonus discussion of Apted’s documentary Incident at Oglala!
NEXT: Arlo’s having a baby. We’re going on hiatus with hopes of returning in mid-to-late January. We wish everyone a happy and, more importantly, safe holiday season. We love you.
Gobbledygeek episode 422, “Sandman Mystery Theatre – Book One (feat. Vickie Willis Navarra)”, is available for listening or download right here and on Apple Podcasts here.
For the penultimate Gobbledygeek of the year, Paul and Arlo return to an institution they dropped like a bad habit at the start of the pandemic: the Four-Color Flashback! Vickie Willis Navarra, board member of the Comics and Popular Arts Conference at DragonCon, joins the boys to discuss Sandman Mystery Theatre: Book One. Matt Wagner’s resurrection of DC’s Golden Age hero Wesley Dodds, with art by Guy Davis, John Watkiss, R.G. Taylor, and David Hornung, explores the dark dreams of 1938 New York. The gang discusses the art’s sketchy, shadowy noir qualities; Vickie interrupts her praise of Dian Belmont long enough to wonder if Dian falls into the “exceptional female” trope; Paul and Arlo ponder the series’ connection to Neil Gaiman’s Sandman; and more.
NEXT: season 11 comes to a close with a Geek Challenge featuring Thunderheart and Dead Man.
Art from ‘The Private Eye’ (2013) by Marcos Martin & Muntsa Vicente. Dialogue by Brian K. Vaughan.
Gobbledygeek episode 391, “Four-Color Flashback: The Private Eye,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
The Cloud burst, and for forty days and forty nights, all of our secrets rained down. In the not terribly distant future world of Brian K. Vaughan, Marcos Martin, and Muntsa Vicente’s 2013-15 series The Private Eye, the Internet is a distant memory and anonymity is now the foundation of American society. Of course, our hero is an amoral paparazzo-slash-private investigator whose job is to dig up those old secrets; of course, this leads him into a world of trouble. For the penultimate Four-Color Flashback of 2019, Paul and Arlo discuss Vaughan’s clever utilization of noir tropes in the post-Internet age, Martin’s dynamic pencils/inks, Vicente’s eye-popping colors (this is one noir that doesn’t hide in the shadows), their radical pay-what-you-want self-publishing platform Panel Syndicate, and the big philosophical question at the heart of the book: is the Internet worth it?
Next: for the final Four-Color Flashback of the season, we get existential with Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba’s Daytripper.
Total Run Time: 01:31:30
00:00:22 – Intro
00:04:10 – Main Topic
01:27:00 – Outro / Next
“Private Eyes” by Daryl Hall & John Oates, Private Eyes (1981)
“This Masquerade” by The Carpenters, Now & Then (1973)
Art from ‘My Favorite Thing Is Monsters’ (2017) by Emil Ferris.
Gobbledygeek episode 389, “Gobbledyween / FCF: My Favorite Thing Is Monsters (feat. Eric Sipple),” is available for listening or download here and on iTunes here.
Our favorite thing is Gobbledyween, so to close out this year’s frightening festivities, Paul and Arlo are breaking from the norm to discuss Emil Ferris’ 2017 graphic novel My Favorite Thing Is Monsters. Joining them for this first Gobbledyween/Four-Color Flashback crossover is their The Deli Counter of Justice collaborator Eric Sipple. The gang marvels at Ferris’ stunning art (all done in ballpoint pen!), attempts to process the numerous threads in this first of two planned volumes (sexuality, duality, and reality, oh my!), draws unexpected parallels to Art Spiegelman’s Maus (a FCF entry just this past August!), and so much more (no parenthetical necessary!). We promise there are monsters.
Next: and I’m freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, free Gooooobbliiiiiiin’.
Total Run Time: 01:42:55
00:00:44 – Intro
00:03:20 – My Favorite Thing is Monsters
01:36:51 – Outro / Next
“Wild Thing” by The Troggs, From Nowhere (1966)
“Good Monsters” by Jars of Clay, Good Monsters (2006)
Art from ‘Green River Killer: A True Detective Story’ by Jonathan Case. Dialogue by Jeff Jensen.
Gobbledygeek episode 385, “Four-Color Flashback: Green River Killer,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
For another installment of this year’s non-superhero Four-Color Flashback, Paul and Arlo look at the story of a real-life hero in Green River Killer: A True Detective Story, Jeff Jensen and Jonathan Case’s loving tribute to Jeff’s dad, Detective Tom Jensen. Detective Jensen was instrumental in catching Gary Leon Ridgway AKA the Green River Killer, America’s most prolific serial killer. The boys discuss Paul’s connection to (and possible culpability in?!) the case, the comparisons or lack thereof to the father-son dynamic in Maus, Case’s beautiful character acting, and more.
Next: leaves are on the ground, blood is on the screen. It’s time for Gobbledyween. We kick off this year’s festivities with a(nother) discussion of Drew Goddard’s 2011 mega-meta horror film The Cabin in the Woods.
Total Run Time: 01:15:25
00:00:35 – Intro
00:02:00 – Green River Killer
01:09:47 – Outro / Next
“Green River” by Creedence Clearwater Revival, Green River (1969)
Gobbledygeek episode 352, “Thor Visionaries: Walter Simonson – Vol. 1,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Far beyond the fields we know, SyfyWire.com contributing editor Matthew Jackson joins Paul and Arlo for another installment of this year’s superheroic Four-Color Flashback. This time, they venture to the land of Asgard on their loyal steeds to discuss Thor Visionaries: Walter Simonson – Vol. 1. Simonson’s legendary run defined many cornerstones of Marvel’s Thor Odinson, from the deep ties to Norse mythology to the doing away of mortal identity Donald Blake. The gang discusses why his run is so definitive, Simonson’s vibrant art, his long-game storytelling, what makes Beta Ray Bill so cool, and the deadliness of McBurgers. Plus, The Big Bang Theory is finally ending, Veronica Mars is finally coming back, and Paul is Forged in Fire.
Next: we’ll be back! At some point! We’re working on a book, kids!
Gobbledygeek episode 340, “Batman: A Death in the Family (feat. Kenn Edwards),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
For the (belated) inaugural installment of Four-Color Flashback 2018, wherein Paul and Arlo will be discussing a different classic superhero story each month, they’ve recruited their old pal Kenn Edwards to help them discuss Batman: A Death in the Family by writer Jim Starlin and artist Jim Aparo. Kenn knows a thing or two about the Caped Crusader, having been part of the Batman Immortal fan film project. However, he’s never read this particular story, in which the Joker savagely beats Robin to death. That puts him on equal footing with our hosts: it’s one of Arlo’s blind spots and Paul hasn’t read it since it was published in 1988. They’re all a little shocked by how anachronistic its goofy plotting and dialogue seem given its release in a post-Dark Knight Returns landscape. Superhero comics were starting to mature, and this one feels like it may have gotten left behind. The gang discusses the impact of Robin’s death; whether Bruce’s hypocrisy is a bug or a feature; the ludicrous political implications of the Joker’s scheme; and why the follow-up story A Lonely Place of Dying is much better. Plus, Arlo is still watching Disney cartoons.
Next: be vewwy, vewwy quiet. The boys and their pal Nate Curtiss are hunting Krasinskis for a discussion of A Quiet Place.
Gobbledygeek episode 299, “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 1: Unmanned,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
FIVE SECONDS AGO: Arlo cracks open the first volume of Y: The Last Man. FOUR SECONDS AGO: Paul berates Arlo for not turning on his mic. THREE SECONDS AGO: Arlo rolls his eyes, turns on mic. TWO SECONDS AGO: Arlo loudly eats into the microphone. ONE SECOND AGO: Paul presses record.
NOW:Gobbledygeek‘s 2017 Four-Color Flashback series is here. This year, the boys will be discussing all ten volumes of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s acclaimed Vertigo series Y: The Last Man, in which every male mammal on the planet drops dead at the same time…save one young escape artist cum layabout and his pet monkey. With Vol. 1: Unmanned, the boys dive into the adventures of Yorick Brown, the laconic Agent 355, and the many varied women they come across during their adventures. Under discussion are the series’ politics, its place in Vaughan’s career, and what makes Guerra’s simple and clean artwork so effective. Plus, Arlo was on a boat, Paul sang along to Moana, and they both struggle to find the joy in discussing pop culture during this incredibly despairing time in American history.
Next: the mythical episode 300 is upon us. Dr. Kenn Edwards, PhD will plumb the tender, fragile psyches of Paul and Arlo. The show will never be the same. They will never be the same. You will never be the same.
The Zootopia bonus episode of Gobbledygeek, “Don’t Call Me Cute,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
It’s happened again. Paul has become obsessed with another movie, necessitating a bonus episode that simply couldn’t fit in the regular Gobbledygeek schedule. This time, Paul is wild about Disney’s Zootopia, which tells the story of bunny cop Judy Hopps and con fox Nick Wilde, who team up on a case that goes to surprising lengths in uncovering systemic oppression in the animal kingdom. Paul and Arlo discuss the film’s take on racism and sexism, debate its effectiveness in shedding light on those subjects, and discover some truly hideous “fan art.”