Gobbledygeek episode 290, “If You Must Blink, Do It Now,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Laika, the studio behind Coraline, ParaNorman, and The Boxtrolls, has gifted us with a new film: Kubo and the Two Strings, wherein a young one-eyed Japanese boy plays his magical shamisen and pals around with a Monkey and a Beetle while evading the evil grandfather looking to steal his other eye. As one does. Paul and Arlo get in tune with Kubo, digging into the film’s symbolism, its unusual (for a mainstream animated film) themes of grief and impermanence, and how it perfects the nearly dead artform that is stop-motion animation. Is it suitable for kids? What does its underwhelming box office performance say about what audiences expect from animated films? And what does that polarizing ending mean? All this and more, plus Arlo saw an actual Beatle.
Next: for another great story that deserves a wider audience, Paul and Arlo continue their year-long Four-Color Flashback exploration of Matt Wagner’s Grendel with “God and the Devil, Part 1,” collected in Grendel Omnibus: Vol. 3, pp. 115-270.
Gobbledygeek episode 284, “Motorcycle Ninjas on the Forbidden Planet,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
The Geek Challenge. It’s a time-honored tradition: Paul makes Arlo watch some silly ’80s cheesefest, Arlo subjects Paul to a stuffy revered classic. Everyone loses. In the interest of restoring some spontaneity to this well-worn custom, this time Arlo forces upon Paul perhaps the cheesiest movie of the ’80s, Y.K. Kim’s 1987 cult “classic” Miami Connection, in which a group of power balladeers do battle with cocaine ninjas; while Paul finally makes Arlo watch 1956’s Forbidden Planet, a retro-futuristic take on Shakespeare’s The Tempest and a legitimate classic of the sci-fi genre. Once again, the boys try to get at what makes the other tick and just what makes a great movie anyway. Also, you’ll never guess the very tenuous connection between the two films. No, really. You won’t.
Next: there’s somethin’ strange in your neighborhood, and it’s Paul Feig’s distaff Ghostbusters reboot.
Gobbledygeek episode 275 is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life. Sometimes, that means mourning one of our fallen heroes. This week, Paul and Arlo celebrate the work of one Prince Rogers Nelson, who hybridized funk, rock, R&B, and soul into his own distinct brand of ass-wigglin’, housequakin’ music before passing away last month at the age of 57. The boys discuss their favorite songs and albums, from the iconic (“Purple Rain,” “Kiss”) to the more obscure (“Starfish and Coffee,” “7”). Then they set their sights on four of the Purple One’s films: 1984’s melodramatic, kinetic Purple Rain; 1986’s black-and-white curiosity Under the Cherry Moon; 1990’s baffling Graffiti Bridge; and 1987’s incredibly hard to find concert film Sign ‘o’ the Times. Let’s go crazy. Plus, Paul went to a Beyoncé concert and there are brief, spoiler-free discussions of High-Rise and Keanu.
Next: it’s patriotism vs. capitalism, independence vs. regulation, retro ’40s ideals vs. cutting-edge smarm. Guffey und Koontz stop by to chat Captain America: Civil War.
Gobbledygeek episode 248, “Rage Reversal,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
This week on Gobbledygeek, there’s been a rage reversal: Paul, the Enormous Green Rage Monster of the podcast, is unusually calm and placid; meanwhile, AJ is filled with anger, much of it directed toward the fast food chain Wendy’s. What are a couple geeks to do? Find something, anything to distract them from this cosmic imbalance, such as Paul’s recent trip to Disney World and brief return to the zoo that made him famous; Ryan Adams’ melancholy cover version of Taylor Swift’s 1989; and AJ’s adventures at his local arthouse (featuring Phoenix, The End of the Tour, The Diary of a Teenage Girl, and Eraserhead), for which he is roundly mocked.
Next: our year-long Four-Color Flashback series on Jeff Smith’s Bone continues with Vol. VII: Ghost Circles. As always, we are joined by Greg Sahadachny of The Debatable Podcast.
Gobbledygeek episode 241, “Merciful Ono,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
The Geek Challenge once more rears its ugly head, this time to a dark and somber tune. That’s right, Paul and AJ have decided to talk about music again, a subject which they famously lack the words to discuss. But that won’t stop ’em! AJ has challenged Paul to John Lennon’s debut solo album, 1970’s John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, known for its direct and confessional lyrics; while Paul has challenged AJ to the middle album in The Sisters of Mercy catalogue, 1987’s Floodland, a dark and alluring set of songs which may make no sense whatsoever. How much will Paul and AJ embarrass themselves? Tune in and find out!
Next: Fantastic Four? Don’t get ahead of yourself.
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.
There’s a running joke that Paul and I don’t know how to talk about music. And though we’ve been assured by reputable sources that we don’t too bad a job of it, well…I tried writing little blurbs for the albums on my list and felt like a jackass. So we’ll again be presenting our lists (my top 10 and Paul’s top 5) without comments, as Paul’s already done with this year’s movies and comics lists.
In lieu of our dumb words, enjoy some songs from our favorite albums of 2014.