Gobbledygeek episode 367, “Dentophobia,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
In which our daring duo defies devilish dentists. In all sincerity, here’s a big fat content warning: if, like Paul and Arlo, you are one of the 5-15% of adults with dentophobia, we talk about the dentist. A whole bunch. From childhood orthodontic nightmares to phantasmagoric periodontics of the present day, the boys discuss in (perhaps excruciating) detail their toothy troubles. Plus, if that doesn’t turn you off of the whole damn enterprise, there’s also talk of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World in IMAX, Netflix’s take on The Umbrella Academy, and a belated discussion of seasons 2 and 3 of AMC’s Preacher adaptation.
Next: Higher. Further. Faster. Captain Marvel.
(Show notes for “Dentophobia.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 287, “Time of the Preacher,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Willie Nelson, John Wayne, preachers, bloodsuckers, angels, and arsefaces. Welcome to the world of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s classic Vertigo comic book Preacher, which has now been adapted into a television series on AMC courtesy of Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, and Breaking Bad‘s Sam Catlin. Paul and Arlo previously analyzed the comic book on the blog back in 2012 and now set their sights on the show’s recently wrapped first season. The show takes an interesting route in exploring this tale of a small-town preacher cursed with the Word of God; namely, the ten hours that aired this year feel like a prologue to the series proper. The boys discuss the effectiveness of that approach; the spot-on casting of Dominic Cooper, Joseph Gilgun, and Ruth Negga as the unholy triumvirate of Jesse, Cassidy, and Tulip; how the series stays true to the spirit of Ennis and Dillon’s work, even without being able to drop an F-bomb; and what they hope they’ll see in the second season. Plus, Paul travels No Man’s Sky and Arlo becomes a beach bum.
Next: film buff Scott Stamper makes a pact with Paul and Arlo to discuss Suicide Squad.
(Show notes for “Time of the Preacher.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 278, “Grendel: Part 3 – Devil’s Legacy, Part 2,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Times are tough in Matt Wagner’s nightmarish neon near-future New York as Paul and Arlo continue their year-long Four-Color Flashback trip through Grendel. This time, the boys finish out “Devil’s Legacy” with chapters 8-12 of Grendel Omnibus: Vol. 2 (that’s pp. 247-370, if you need to know). What exactly is the devil’s legacy? How do Hunter Rose’s actions reverberate through the generations, as his “step-granddaughter” Christine Spar once more puts on the mask and picks up the fork? Paul and Arlo search for an answer while drawing a through-line between Grendel and fellow class of ’86-ers Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns, poring over the myriad bizarre details of the Pander Brothers’ artwork, and lauding the achievements of one McGruff the Crime Dog. Plus, a brief, spoiler-free discussion of the pilot episode of AMC’s Preacher adaptation.
Next: strap on your aprons and grab your spatulas! The Deli Counter of Justice authors man their own deli counters, each cooking two burgers apiece from The Bob’s Burgers Burger Book.
(Show notes for “Grendel: Part 3 – Devil’s Legacy, Part 2.”)
On this, the eve of 2013, Paul and I begin to look back at some of our favorite things of 2012. First up, our ten favorite TV series.
Also, let’s give a slow clap to Paul, who struggled through severe illness just to get these words to you, dear reader. A speedy recovery to you, sir!
PAUL: 10. PARKS AND RECREATION (NBC)
Season 5 gets out of the office a little bit, with Ben and April in Washington D.C. (with an evil robot congressman). Ron gets a new love interest (the always lovely Lucy Lawless). Tom starts a new business. And Andy finds a new career.
AJ: 10. GAME OF THRONES (HBO)
What Game of Thrones did in its first season was nothing short of exceptional, a 10-episode narrative that goes down as one of the finest accomplishments the medium has seen thus far. And while the second season struggled at times to recapture that majesty, it certainly wasn’t for lack of trying. The scope and breadth of George R.R. Martin’s world remains impressive; the cast, especially Peter Dinklage as the kind of noble imp Tyrion Lannister, continues to knock out high fantasy material that would crush lesser actors; and thrilling hours like “Blackwater” remind us that this is the closest thing we have to a Lord of the Rings on TV. And it’s a whole lot nastier and sexier, too.
Welcome to the final week in our discussion of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s Preacher. For more, read weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.
Paul: It ends here.
Nine volumes. 66 issues. Five one-shot specials. A four-issue tie-in miniseries. And a tanker truck full of blood and guts. Our pissed-off preacher, gun-toting girl Friday, and blood-drinking BFF all converge, where else? Texas. The Alamo, to be precise. And things get both big and small, epic and very, very personal.
Oh, and one poorly written report gets taken out behind the woodshed and shot the fuck up.
So AJ, mi compadre, what did you think of the grand finale?
AJ: Where to begin? Perhaps it’s best to start with my one sizable complaint before moving on to everything that worked so, so well here. Last week, we talked about the watering-down of Herr Starr, of how even though he’s the series’ ostensible antagonist, his misadventures have often been treated as comic relief. Maybe I just wasn’t paying enough attention, but I completely failed to realize that taking revenge on Jesse had supplanted bringing about Armageddon as his goal in life. So when he announced his plans to the Elite Council, I was just as confused as they were (luckily, I didn’t get murdered right after). I feel like a discussion of Starr as the series’ Big Bad could take up its own post, so I’ll just say that though I loved the vast majority of what we ended up getting, I can’t imagine what an epic ending Armageddon could have provided.
Welcome to week 8 of 9 in our discussion of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s Preacher. For more, read weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7.
AJ: Here we are. The penultimate volume of Preacher. Given the title and the fact that we’re very near the end, I thought there would be a lot more violence and bloodshed. Instead, All Hell’s A-Coming turns its focus inward, with a lot to say about our heroes and their pasts. The past is a big theme here, not only because of the extended flashbacks but also because people and things from long ago keep coming back to add wrinkles to the story.
Speaking of those extended flashbacks, where should we start: Tulip or Cassidy?
Paul: I say we take it in order, so Tulip.
AJ: The beginning of this volume is all kinds of heartbreaking. A listless Tulip dragging herself out of bed, trying and failing to find the drugs she’s felt she’s needed for these past months. Last we saw Cassidy, we were beginning to realize that he might not have been the fundamentally decent person we thought he was. That continues in the opening scene, as he tells Tulip that everything’s all right, she only needs her medicine, and “Don’t make me take that fuckin’ guy away from you.” Followed immediately by Tulip blasting him into the sunlight. Tulip flees the hell that Cassidy has made for her, then we learn all about how she became who she is.
Welcome to week 7 of 9 in our discussion of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s Preacher. For more, read weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.
Paul: So this volume, Salvation, is kind of an intermission in the main story. We get to see what kind of man Jesse is removed from the quest and his group of friends. And as it turns out he’s just as much the Big Damn Hero in this smaller setting as when he’s hunting down God and facing off with saints and lunatics.
How did you feel about this step back from the bigger picture?
AJ: I loved it. It’s impressive how much I enjoyed Jesse’s exploits away from Cassidy, Tulip, Herr Starr, etc. It took me a second to realize that we weren’t going to see most of our old friends (excepting Jesse’s vision quest near the end), but once I adjusted to that, I found Salvation to be one of the most satisfying volumes yet.
Welcome to week 6 of 9 in our analysis of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s Preacher. For more, read weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5.
AJ: A lot happens in this volume, and there’s a lot to talk about, but I’m going to start off with perhaps the least important storyline because I don’t want to forget to bring it up…what the fuck happened to Arseface at the end?! His “furruh uhzmuhyuh,” the arsefaced paradise, his Dad appearing to him and apologizing–was that like the most surreal depiction of suicide ever, or…?
Paul: Unfortunately(?), you’re not gonna get any more on that. The Arseface story is…a little hard to put my finger on. To be honest, though it does have a conclusion, I’m not 100% sure I could tell you what it all ultimately means. Which is why I keep saying, for all intents and purposes you could really just ignore it and hope it goes away.
But to answer your question, I’m pretty sure Ennis wrote that bit while on peyote.
Welcome to week 5 of 9 in our analysis of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s Preacher. For more, read weeks 1, 2, 3, and 4.
Paul: Juhz. (Justice.)
AJ: As much as I’ve had my problems with Arseface thus far, any time he said something like that in this volume, I cracked up. UHFUH.
Paul: He’s just so sweet and earnest.
AJ: He really is. And the gang cracking up while he has them at gunpoint? How can you not laugh at that?
Paul: Poor Uhfuh.
Welcome to week 4 of 9 in our analysis of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s Preacher. Read the past installments here, here, and here.
AJ: After three volumes of mayhem, destruction, bloodshed, blasphemy, and a heapin’ helpin’ of profanity, the Preacher TPBs take a breather with…well, “breather” might be the wrong word. “Diversion” is more like it. Jesse, Tulip, and Cassidy are out of the picture this time as Garth Ennis and a couple guest artists flesh out the backstories of the Saint of Killers, Arseface, and Jody ‘n T.C. Last week, you called this collection “inessential.” Having re-read it, do you still feel the same?
Paul: I’m afraid I actually feel it even more strongly than I remembered. This won’t happen very often at all over the course of these discussions, but I’m going to say that the stories this time around are just not very good. I mean, getting the backstory of the Saint of Killers (or more accurately, a version of his backstory) is cool and interesting. But it also takes the exaggeration and clichés of the main story and really turns them up to 11. And while both Steve Pugh and Carlos Ezquerra have done pretty great stuff elsewhere over the years, here I think they really suffer from being “fill-in” artists for Steve Dillon.
The Arseface and Jody & T.C. stories are straight up pointless.