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.
You can’t go home again. But you can return to the creator-owned post-apocalyptic fantasy saga that captivated comics readers for 40 twisted, beautiful issues. That’s exactly what Jeff Lemire did last year with Sweet Tooth: The Return, a sequel miniseries that takes place three whole centuries after the original Vertigo series’ ending. Considering that ending was perfect, does The Return need to exist? Paul and Arlo aren’t so sure. They discuss what The Return adds (or subtracts) from the greaternarrative, the book’s alleged Twin Peaks influence, the story’s many “It’s like poetry, it rhymes” moments, and why you shouldn’t fuck around with elephants. Plus, they start things off by chatting about why Netflix’s Sweet Tooth is a great adaptation.
NEXT: Eric…Sipple? Does anyone know who this is? Why is he talking to us? Oh god.
00:00:50 – Intro
00:03:24 – Netflix Sweet Tooth adaptation
00:15:50 – Sweet Tooth: The Return
01:17:13 – Outro / Next
“Living Underground” by Nico Vega, Nico Vega (2009)
“The Elephant” by Pete Seeger, Birds, Beasts, Bugs & Fishes (Little & Big) (1998)
Imagine a world where a global pandemic killed millions and changed society forever. Spooky stuff, huh? Well, take a break from reality with this month’s Four-Color Flashback: Sweet Tooth: The Deluxe Edition – Book One, comprising the first 12 issues of Jeff Lemire’s offbeat breakthrough about a little deer boy and the post-apocalyptic hell that awaits him in the wilds of Nebraska. Along the way, he meets a Frank Miller-style tough guy named Jepperd, who seems to be the grizzled protector to Gus’ naive innocent. It’s a little more complicated than that, of course. Paul and Arlo discuss Lemire’s weird, idiosyncratic artwork; the way he uses the faces and especially the eyes of his laconic characters to convey so much; and how the new Netflix adaptation is radically different.
NEXT: dust off that mail robot, it’s time for The Americans season 2 with British secret agent Wesley “Wezzo” Mead.
00:00:47 – Intro / Banter
00:19:38 – Sweet Tooth: The Deluxe Edition – Book One
When we’re not contracting coronavirus, we’re contracting people to work on our houses. And sometimes those people, too, can be a plague. Paul and Arlo commiserate over uncomfortable contractor experiences, uncomfortable evangelicalism, and the uncomfortable intersection of those two very uncomfortable things. In other news, baby-faced Paul got his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and had to deal with some folks getting way too up in his personal space. Are we ready for a return to normal? No. No, we are not. Plus, we remember to talk pop culture and chat about the Oscar nominations.
NEXT: Paul decides on air during this very episode that next week will be this month’s Four-Color Flashback, discussing Vols. 1 & 2 of Daniel Warren Johnson’s Extremity.
“Comfort Eagle” by Cake, Comfort Eagle (2001)
“Burning Down the House” by Talking Heads, Speaking in Tongues (1982)
In honor of the late Christopher Plummer, Paul and Arlo host a Geek Challenge with two films featuring one of Canada’s greatest. First, Paul has Arlo watch Mike Nichols’ 1994 horror (?) film Wolf, starring Jack Nicholson as a middle-aged book editor who finds the beast inside courtesy of a wolf bite (with a five-minute cameo from a scenery-chewing Plummer). Then, Arlo makes Paul watch Michael Mann’s 1999 ripped-from-the-headlines thriller The Insider, with Russell Crowe as a scientist taking on Big Tobacco, Al Pacino as the journalist trying to tell his story, and Plummer doing one hell of a job as Mike Wallace. Plus, Paul tries to get Arlo to watch Craig McCracken’s new animated series Kid Cosmic.
NEXT: the boys sharpen their fangs on a Four-Color Flashback discussion of the first two volumes of Scott Snyder, Stephen King, and Rafael Albuquerque’s American Vampire.
00:00:55 – Intro / Kid Cosmic
00:10:29 – Wolf
00:55:45 – The Insider
01:49:45 – Pointless tangent about the term “bucket list” (We’re sorry.)
01:52:54 – Outro / Next
“Wolf Like Me” by TV On The Radio, Return to Cookie Mountain (2006)
First comes a podcast, then comes 423 more podcasts, then comes a baby who is doomed to think having a podcast host for a dad is normal. On the Gobbledygeek season 12 premiere, Arlo is revealed to be a babydaddy–and the kid isn’t Paul’s! Scandal! Arlo discusses life as the father of a newborn, which involves a good deal of poop. Paul has also had to deal with a good deal of poop, even though his isn’t issuing forth from a screaming, squealing bundle of joy. In between all the poop talk, the boys squeeze out some pop culture talk: Arlo catches up with the new seasons of Ramy and PEN15; Paul gets TikTok’d; Arlo watches (and reads) You; and the boys commiserate about the bizarre, disappointing Wonder Woman 1984.
NEXT: ‘tis the damn season. A/V writer-director Joseph Lewis returns to the show for another round of Swiftie analysis with a deep-dive into Evermore.
00:01:07 – Intro
01:24:30 – Spoilers for Netflix’s You (and the novels it’s based on)
01:29:20 – End spoilers
01:55:05 – Outro / Next
“Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder, Songs in the Key of Life (1976)
Chance Mazzia has a lucrative second career as an erotic fiction model.
Gobbledygeek episode 411, “Biennial Torture Session (feat. Chance Mazzia),” is available for listening or download right here and on Apple Podcasts here.
He wasn’t going to get away that easy. Just in time for his biennial torture session, Chance Mazzia has been roped into another episode of Gobbledygeek. Since his last go-round, Chance has become a high school teacher, thereby automatically becoming a more productive member of society than either Paul or Arlo. Chance tells us about the esports team he coaches at school, Paul and Arlo share a rare moment of commiseration by not knowing any of the games Chance mentions, the gang is bummed out by the latest developments concerning Netflix’s live-action Avatar remake, and Paul and Arlo are surprised to fall in love with Harley Quinn.
Next: Taylor Swift delivers the best album of her career with Folklore.
“Multiplayer” by Barbie, Video Game Hero (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (2017)
“Spare Change” by Pet Rocks and Fake Flowers (2020)
Gobbledygeek episode 407, “Chucky at the Blockbuster Museum,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
The beauty of Gobbledygeek freestyle episodes is that Paul and Arlo will hop on the microphone and start yammering about something or other, then next thing you know, bam, it’s been a tight 45 on the Child’s Play franchise. Killer doll movies, killer German time travel shows (what up, Dark), killer longings for idealized video stores of yesteryear, killer viruses–this episode’s got it all. It will kill you.
Next: speaking of somebody who got killed, Hamilton: An American Musical comes to Disney+.
Total Run Time: 01:49:40
00:00:20 – Intro
01:45:06 – Outro / Next
“Chucky Rap” by Daddyphatsnaps, Chucky Rap (2019)
“The Buddi Song” by Mark Hamill & Bear McCreary, Child’s Play (2019)
Jennifer Garner in Gary Winick’s ’13 Going on 30′ (2004). Her face upon realizing she has boobs has become humanity’s face upon awakening each morning.
Gobbledygeek episode 399, “Disclaimer: Not a Criminal Act,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
FIRST THING’S FIRST: Paul obliquely confesses a past sin during this episode, it’s kind of a super tense moment, but Arlo has cleared off-mic that it was not a criminal act! So…do with that what you will! Elsewhere, the world is fucking ending, so you might as well watch The End of the Fucking World. Paul and Arlo muse on the collapse of civilization, discuss proper social distancing etiquette, and recommend things to watch and read as society dissolves. Some of those recommendations: The Hunt, now available on VOD since movie theaters have shuttered; comfy junk food movies like Yes Man and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past; Netflix’s I Am Not Okay with This; Hawkeye: Freefall by Matthew Rosenberg and Otto Schmidt; Matt Fraction and Steve Lieber’s uproarious Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen; and, of course, perennial classic Good Burger.
Next: Ten years. 400 episodes. It’s all led to this. It’s a shame we’re all dying.
Total Run Time: 02:08:53
00:00:46 – Random thoughts on the end of the world
00:59:30 – Paul interrupts the flow to obliquely confess a past sin
01:13:00 – What to watch / read as we slowly go mad and die alone
02:02:26 – Outro / Next
“Doom Days” by Bastille, Doom Days (2019)
“Make Art Not Friends” by Sturgill Simpson, SOUND & FURY (2019)
Art from the ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ 15th anniversary steelbook Blu-ray.
The Avatar Returns episode 49 is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Guess who’s back, back again…
A little flying lemur told us it was the 15th Anniversary of Avatar: The Last Airbender, and we thought, “Hey, we liked that show.” So here we are, Team TARP together again. We discuss our memories of the series, how it’s influenced pop culture, and whether or not that Netflix live-action series is ever gonna happen. We also talk about all the various ways this podcast could reincarnate in the future, be it for books, comics, or other animated series.
Also, our resident boozebender Eric Sipple creates an Avater-themed cocktail. (See the recipe below.)
Total Run Time: 01:40:55
00:00:45 – Intro
00:09:45 – AtLA 15th Anniversary
00:43:33 – Netflix live-action update
01:05:16 – Books & Comics
01:10:30 – Animation
01:20:06 – Speculating about new podcast projects
01:37:20 – Outro / Next
“Avatar: The Last Airbender (Intro)” by Jeremy Zuckerman (2005)