Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 309, “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 4: Safeword (feat. Chance Mazzia)”

Art from ‘Y: The Last Man – Vol. 4: Safeword’ by Pia Guerra, José Marzan, Jr., and Zylonol.

Gobbledygeek episode 309, “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 4: Safeword (feat. Chance Mazzia),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Slip on your shiniest boots of leather and grab those whips, it’s Four-Color Flashback time! Professional Grendel podcaster Chance Mazzia joins Paul and Arlo for their year-long exploration of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s Y: The Last Man for Vol. 4: Safeword, wherein things get a little kinky. When the gang stops at a remote cabin in the woods (never a good sign), Yorick is in for a femdom fiesta complete with chains, ropes, and soul-searching. The boys discuss how the series subverts conventional ideas of masculinity; what Yorick’s sexual history tells us about him; and how the story functions in a post-9/11, circa Trump world. Plus, Chance wants you to know The Name of the Wind, and Arlo furthers the kink with Park Chan-Wook’s The Handmaiden.

Next: it’s been more than a decade since Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men hit theaters. Paul and Arlo examine how the film’s dark and despairing future reflects our dark and despairing present.

(Show notes for “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 4: Safeword.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 307, “Oh, the Sci-Fi Horror! (feat. Jess Byard)”

Gobbledygeek episode 307, “Oh, the Sci-Fi Horror! (feat. Jess Byard),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Aliens dripping their acidic psychosexual horrors all over you. Artificial intelligence becoming real, seeing and hearing and controlling all you do. Your friends’ flesh peeling back to reveal their true inhuman visage. These are the nightmares conjured by such sci-fi horror classics as Alien, The Terminator, and The Thing, but you may not have seen their likes in recent years. Blumhouse and Birth. Movies. Death. writer Jess Byard joins Paul and Arlo to ask, “Where have all the good sci-fi horror movies gone?” The gang discusses why the genre reached its apex in the ’80s; why it’s so much more difficult to produce (or even conceptualize of) good sci-fi horror these days; and how TV may be picking up the slack. In the middle of all this, technology literally revolts against our hosts. Plus, Paul and Arlo come from the land of the ice and snow to geek out over the giddy Thor: Ragnarok teaser.

Next: a podcast about a podcast. Paul’s better half, Pam Smith, joins the boys to discuss the beautiful, stunning S-Town.

(Show notes for “Oh, the Sci-Fi Horror!”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 306, “Unmaking Soup”

Gobbledygeek episode 306, “Unmaking Soup,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

This week, Paul and Arlo turn on and tune into the wonders and terrors of the superhuman mind by taking a gander at the first season of Legion. The FX series, developed by Fargo‘s Noah Hawley and theoretically set in the X-Men universe, is unlike most other superheroic media. David Haller is either schizophrenic, an extremely powerful telepathic/telekinetic mutant, or both. Witnessed through his eyes, the world is fractured, bizarre, disturbing, and a tad surreal. As such, the typical X-Men plot–David is rescued from a mutant-hunting government organization known as D3 by a group of rebels with a Magneto-esque leader–is given a swift kick in the pants. The boys discuss this inventive telling of a simple story, the show’s many visual flourishes, why it’s a powerful exploration of mental health, and Aubrey Plaza’s revelatory turn as a 50-year-old man. Plus, a surprise Rick and Morty pre-empts Samurai Jack, overjoying one of our hosts and causing considerable frustration in the other; and the boys rave about the fifth season of another brilliant FX drama, The Americans.

Next: film critic and horror expert Jess Byard joins Paul and Arlo to ask, “Where has all the good sci-fi horror gone?”

(Show notes for “Unmaking Soup.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 305, “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 3: One Small Step (feat. Kenn Edwards)”

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.”)

Listen to ‘The Avatar Returns’ Episode 41

The Avatar Returns episode 41 is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Book Four: Balance begins as we move into the final season of The Legend of Korra. Time jumps in fiction tend to be something of a mixed bag, but as our story picks up three years after the end of Book Three it quickly becomes apparent the device works like a charm here, in what Arlo dubs the strongest start to any season in the entire Avatar Universe. In chapter 401, “After All These Years,” Korra is missing and former Zaofu Captain of the Guard Kuvira has become “The Great Uniter,” using military force to bring order to the chaos in the Earth Kingdom in the wake of the Queen’s death. Chapter 402, “Korra Alone” answers where exactly the Avatar has disappeared to, and why. (Hint: it involved Nega-Korra.) And finally it’s Toph love in chapter 403, “The Coronation” as the O.B. Original Beifong returns to go all Yoda on Korra’s ass.

Paul introduces the podcast’s version of Cousin Oliver. He and Eric both wax rhapsodic about Star Wars Rebels. And Arlo compares Mako to Vin Diesel. Not in a good way. (IS there a good way?)

Next: the next three chapters of Book Four; 404, “The Calling,” 405, “Enemy at the Gates,” and 406, “The Battle of Zaofu.”

(Show notes for The Avatar Returns episode 41.)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 303, “Don’t Be What They Made You”

Gobbledygeek episode 303, “Don’t Be What They Made You,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

People get old. Claws get rusty. Movie franchises get tired. After 17 years of real-world time and 150+ fictional years, the time has come for James “Logan” Howlett AKA Wolverine to take a bow. In Logan, the final film featuring Hugh Jackman in his iconic star-making role, we’re introduced to a near-future bereft of mutants and full of sorrow. Logan’s mind is a potent cocktail of regret, pain, and futility. When a young girl named Laura throws him back into action, he takes the nonagenarian Professor X on the road for one last adventure. Though “adventure” is not a word one would use to describe this brutal, melancholy film, about as far in tone as you could get from any of the nine previous installments in the X-Men series. Paul and Arlo discuss the film’s worthiness as a swan song for Canada’s most violent, how it fits perfectly alongside Cop Land in director James Mangold’s canon, whether or not the very R-rated violence is gratuitous, and if in a perfect world this should be the end of the X-Men’s silver screen career.

Next: Paul and Arlo will be subjecting each other to yet another Geek Challenge. Paul must finally watch Tommy Wiseau’s infamous 2003 cult classic The Room, while Arlo is tasked with Sidney Lumet’s 1982 crime comedy Deathtrap.

(Show notes for “Don’t Be What They Made You.”)

Listen to ‘Gobbledygeek’ Episode 302, “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 2: Cycles (feat. Donora Rihn)”

Art from 'Y: The Last Man - Vol. 2: Cycles' by Pia Guerra and José Marzan Jr.

Art from ‘Y: The Last Man – Vol. 2: Cycles’ by Pia Guerra and José Marzan Jr.

Gobbledygeek episode 302, “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 2: Cycles (feat. Donora Rihn),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.

Bringing a much-needed feminist perspective to a story about a man surrounded on all sides by women, Jeff Bridges poet Donora Rihn joins Paul and Arlo for their year-long Four-Color Flashback exploration of Brian K. Vaughan and Pia Guerra’s acclaimed Vertigo comic book series Y: The Last Man. This time, the gang discusses Vol. 2: Cycles, which collects issues #6-10 of the original series. Donora asks Paul and Arlo how they perceive the book as men, and if they think it shows Yorick growing into his role as the last man on Earth; in turn, Paul and Arlo ask Donora if she finds Vaughan’s narrative voice to be overwhelmingly male and if it fairly represents its many female characters. In between, Arlo can’t stop recommending things to comics newbie Donora, there is yet more praise of Guerra’s clean and beautiful artwork, and there are select readings from Valeria Solanas’ SCUM Manifesto. Plus, Donora has a new name and the gang remembers the late great Bill Paxton.

Next: after a week off for another of Arlo’s poop cruises, the boys sharpen their claws to discuss the final Wolverine film, Logan.

(Show notes for “Y: The Last Man – Vol. 2: Cycles.”)