The Avatar Returns episode 43 is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
The Avatar Returns phone tree has been activated and we’re answering the call as we head into the back half of The Legend of Korra Book Four. In chapter 407, “Reunion,” the band is back together…mostly. And it feels so good…mostly. Wu is down; Korra and Mako are on each others’ nerves; and Bolin lavabends the taste right out of some mecha suit mouths. In 408, “Remembrances,” cue the twinkling flashback music as, you guessed it Golden Girls, it’s a clip show. But oh what a glorious clip show it is! Chibi Mako tells his romantic origin story to Chibi Wu; Korra and Asami share some tea and reminisce; and Varrick shares the tale of the Greatest Mover Ever Made! And finally, in 409, we journey “Beyond the Wilds” to poke things with sticks while Korra finally confronts her inner demons, which bear a striking resemblance to a hippie prison sage Zaheer.
However, the bulk of our discussion tonight focuses on the hundreds of possible spin-off properties we hosts are dying to see in the future, including the possible Varrick/Bolin road movies, the anarchist PSAs of Zaheer, and the “Fearsome Foursome Phone Tree Saga!” (We also talk a little about the new Mystery Science Theater 3000 revival and the anime juggernaut that is Your Name. But really it’s all about that phone tree.)
Next: the penultimate episode of our show discussions. Only two more podcasts focused on The Legend of Korra before we put a bow on the whole TARP project with our big blowout wrap party episode. So next week we’ll be looking at chapters 410, “Operation Beifong,” and 411, “Kuvira’s Gambit.”
(Show notes for The Avatar Returns episode 43.)
Listen to Gobbledygeek episode 305, “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 3: One Small Step (feat. Kenn Edwards),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Hallelujah, it’s raining men! As Yorick Brown discovers he may not be the last man in the universe thanks to a space shuttle carrying two others, Paul and Arlo invite Kenn Edwards to join them on their year-long Four-Color Flashback discussion of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s Y: The Last Man. With Vol. 3: One Small Step, the gang discusses the book’s self-referential devices, the prominence of fiction as a theme, and how Yorick’s progression from boy to man is coming along. There’s also talk of guest artist Paul Chadwick, who fills in for Guerra on the two-issue departure “Comedy & Tragedy”; depending on who you ask, the story is either a Gaiman-esque delight or the height of masturbatory self-indulgence. Fun times! Plus, Arlo and Kenn discuss Dave Chappelle’s new Netflix specials, Jerrod Carmichael’s 8, and, you know, the role of comedy in modern society. Meanwhile, Paul twiddles his thumbs.
Next: throw out your meds, drop the needle on The Dark Side of the Moon, and get ready for a discussion of Noah Hawley’s brain-breaking FX/Marvel TV series Legion.
(Show notes for “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 3: One Small Step.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 296, “Swing Away (feat. Kenn Edwards),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Armed only with a glass of water and his trusty baseball bat, Kenn Edwards of So Let’s Get to the Point invades the podcast this week to help Paul and Arlo kick off Gobbledyween 2016. This year’s month-long horror-fest gets off to a miraculous start with a discussion of M. Night Shyamalan’s sci-fi thriller Signs. After the runaway success of The Sixth Sense and the lukewarm contemporary response to Unbreakable, Signs is often considered the last film Shyamalan made before a precipitous decline; that is, when it’s considered at all. The gang gets to the core of what makes Signs a worthwhile film, including a question you may hear repeated about the other movies on this year’s slate: Is it a horror film at all? The boys also delve into Shyamalan’s exploration of faith, how the film functions as a response to 9/11, whether or not it’s okay to still enjoy a Mel Gibson performance, and more. Plus, Paul violently shames Arlo for not watching Luke Cage, and the mythical episode 300 is teased.
Next: Gobbledyween 2016 grows fangs for Kathryn Bigelow’s 1987 vampiric neo-Western Near Dark.
(Show notes for “Swing Away.”)
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.”)
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.)
Art from ‘Grendel Omnibus: Volume One – Hunter Rose’ by Matt Wagner and Rich Rankin.
Gobbledygeek episode 270, “Grendel: Part 1 – Devil by the Deed,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Spring has sprung, which means it’s time for another Four-Color Flashback! In years past, Paul and Arlo have explored the dream worlds of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman and the cartoonish fantasy of Jeff Smith’s Bone. They’ll be devoting 2016 to Matt Wagner’s magnum opus Grendel. There’s a wealth of material out there, but the boys will attempt to stick to the original series, which has been collected in various formats. For this introductory episode, they turn to the first Grendel story, “Devil by the Deed,” which can be found in Grendel Omnibus: Volume One – Hunter Rose, pp. 7-45. What’s it about? Good question! You see, there’s this wealthy playboy named Hunter Rose who writes bestselling novels while also masquerading as Grendel, who seeks control of the mob underworld. In his downtime, he fights an Algonquin werewolf called Argent. Paul recalls what initially drew him to Grendel, while first-time reader Arlo finds it…interesting. The boys discuss Wagner’s manga-meets-Art Deco style, his experimental storytelling, and how he inverts the whole hero/villain thing. Plus, there’s talk of Daredevil season 2.
Next: after a week off, it’s Paul v Arlo: Dawn of Kenn.
(Show notes for “Grendel: Part 1 – Devil by the Deed.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 235, “All Together Now (feat. Eric Sipple),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
If you ever feel like you’ve got more than one voice in your head…you just might. That’s what the eight leads of Netflix’s new series Sense8 discover. What Paul and AJ discover, along with their The Deli Counter of Justice co-editor Eric Sipple, is that the show, from the minds of the Wachowski siblings and J. Michael Straczynski, is a fascinating intersection of race, class, sexuality, and geography. As the characters experience the world through each others’ eyes–and beyond–the show delves into a topic unfamiliar to much pop culture: empathy. The gang digs into Sense8‘s metaphysical kick, its brilliantly layered characters, its binge-watching model, and more.
Next: Greg Sahadachny of The Debatable Podcast drops in for another Four-Color Flashback episode examining Jeff Smith’s Bone. This time, we’ll be reading Bone: Vol IV – The Dragonslayer.
(Show notes for “All Together Now.”)