Art from ‘Maus: A Survivor’s Tale’ by Art Spiegelman.
Gobbledygeek episode 384, “Four-Color Flashback: Maus: A Survivor’s Tale (feat. Eric Sipple),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
For the latest installment of this year’s spandex-free Four-Color Flashback, Paul and Arlo tackle a big one: Art Spiegelman’s Maus: A Survivor’s Tale, still the only comic book ever to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize. Joining them to discuss Spiegelman’s harrowing account of his father Vladek’s time in the concentration camps of Nazi-occupied Poland–and Art’s own tense relationship with Vladek–is Broken Magic author and The Deli Counter of Justice co-creator Eric Sipple. The gang discusses Spiegelman’s provocative choice to depict Jews as mice, Nazis as cats, Poles as pigs, etc.; how Spiegelman follows in a tradition going all the way back to Mickey Mouse; and why it’s specifically disturbing to read Maus in 2019.
Next: Paul and Arlo will return.
(Show notes for “Four-Color Flashback: Maus: A Survivor’s Tale.”)
Art from ‘The Nameless City’ by Faith Erin Hicks & Jordie Bellaire
Gobbledygeek episode 377, “Four-Color Flashback: The Nameless City Trilogy,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
For the next installment of this year’s superhero-free Four-Color Flashback, Paul and Arlo leave the realm of autobiography, semi- or otherwise, for some thrilling adventures in fictional China. Faith Erin Hicks’ The Nameless City trilogy has everything: young men and women coming of age in trying times, political intrigue, backstabbing, betrayal, and some pretty cool martial arts fights. The boys discuss Hicks’ deceptively simple artwork, how she incorporates sound effects into her storytelling, Jordie Bellaire’s stunning color, and why The Nameless City is a love story but not a romance.
(Show notes for “Four-Color Flashback: The Nameless City Trilogy.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 373, “Watered-Down Dr. Pepper,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Welcome to another Freestyle episode of Gobbledygeek, wherein you can either choose to hear Paul yell at clouds or Arlo have an existential crisis about adulthood. Just remember: whatever you choose, it’s gonna taste like watered-down Dr. Pepper. Paul and Arlo discuss Arlo’s new house; their digitally-assisted strolls down memory lane; how nostalgia can lead to arrested development (neither the show nor the hip-hop group); and how “take” culture has sucked a lot of the joy (and nuance) out of pop culture discussion.
Next: oh god, it might be another one of these?
(Show notes for “Watered-Down Dr. Pepper.”)
Art from ‘DC: The New Frontier’ by Darwyn Cooke.
Gobbledygeek episode 350, “DC: The New Frontier (feat. Eric Sipple),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
For this month’s superheroic Four-Color Flashback installment, Paul and Arlo set out for lands unknown with the late, great Darwyn Cooke’s DC: The New Frontier. Cooke’s ambitious 2004 limited series bridges the gap between comics’ Golden Age and Silver Age, paying nostalgic tribute to the fictional heroes of that time while using the era’s form and style to comment on the day’s social and political ills. They’re joined on their voyage by The Avatar Returns co-host and The Deli Counter of Justice co-creator Eric Sipple. The gang discusses Cooke’s artwork, striking and cinematic in ways few others comics have achieved; how Cooke wisely keeps Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman in the background to focus on new heroes like Green Lantern and the Flash; how the story of J’onn J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter, compares to that of African-American freedom fighter John Henry; the pretty good animated adaptation; and more. Plus, Eric has some personal news; SDCC happened, including a slew of trailers for the likes of Shazam, Aquaman, and more; and Nathan Fillion gets his Nathan Drake on in the Uncharted fan film.
Next: the end is out there. Wesley “Wezzo” Mead joins Paul and Arlo to talk The X-Files one last time, as the gang discusses the big screen continuation I Want to Believe and both revival seasons.
(Show notes for “DC: The New Frontier.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 320, “Dunkirk: Beach Battle Bingo,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
Sun, spray, bullets, and blood: Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk recounts the worst beach trip in history, as 400,000 Allied troops were trapped by the Nazis in Dunkirk, France. The word Paul and Arlo keep coming back to as a descriptor is “relentless.” 107 minutes of third-act intensity, Dunkirk may be the purest expression of Nolan’s watchmaker-precise skill. The boys discuss the film’s three interweaving time strands, the lack of overt character development (except for that moment), Hans Zimmer’s ticking time bomb of a score, and why the movie never names or shows its Nazi enemies. Plus, Arlo is convinced the rest of the world is experiencing a mass delusion regarding Arrested Development season 4; and the boys take a look at the SDCC trailers for Ready Player One, Justice League, Thor: Ragnarok, Stranger Things, and The Defenders.
Next: it’s another Four-Color Flashback, as Ensley F. Guffey, co-author of Wanna Cook? The Complete Unauthorized Guide to Breaking Bad, joins Paul and Arlo to discuss Y: The Last Man – Vol. 7: Paper Dolls.
(Show notes for “Dunkirk: Beach Battle Bingo.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 319, “War for the Planet of the Apes: War for the Podcast of the Primates (feat. Kenn Edwards),” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
War for the Planet of the Apes! Huh! Who is it good for? The answer would be cinephiles searching for an intelligent, emotionally and politically resonant blockbuster. Welcome to Paradise’s Kenn Edwards joins Paul and Arlo to discuss Matt Reeves’ final installment in the so-called “Caesar Cycle,” which may be the bleakest monkey movie in history. (Also, they’re not monkeys. Just ask Arlo’s fiancée.) The gang delves into the genius of the film’s visual effects, Andy Serkis’ Oscar-worthy performance, the Apocalypse Now riffs, and how or if these films tie into the original Planet of the Apes series. Plus, Kenn finds a new way to watch Jaws, Paul comes down with The Big Sick, the Doctor is a lady, and the gang commemorates George Romero and Martin Landau.
Next: Christopher Nolan goes to war sans apes with Dunkirk.
(Show notes for “War for the Podcast of the Primates.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 227, “You’ll Believe a Man Can Fly (feat. Kenn Edwards & Joseph Lewis),” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
Our month-long celebration of Japanese animation master Hayao Miyazaki reaches its bittersweet conclusion with a look at Miyazaki’s purported final film, 2013’s The Wind Rises; and Mami Sunada’s documentary about its making, The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness. Joining Paul and AJ for their final descent into the world of Studio Ghibli is Smoke Gets in Your Ears: A Mad Men Podcast co-hosts Kenn Edwards and Joseph Lewis. The gang discusses the parallels between Miyazaki and The Wind Rises‘ aviation engineer Jiro Horikoshi, Miyazaki’s surprisingly fatalistic outlook on life, and–naturally–the grand folly of art. Plus, Joe makes an exciting announcement!
Next: leaping from one Disney-distributed universe to another, Paul and AJ enter The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
(Show notes for “You’ll Believe a Man Can Fly.”)
Gobbledygeek episode 174, “Total Protonic Reversal,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
If you were a sentient human being at any point in the last 30-some-odd years, Harold Ramis made some sort of impact on your life. When Ramis passed away last week at the age of 69, Paul and AJ knew they had to pay homage to him in some way. This week, the boys discuss four of Ramis’ films: Meatballs (which he co-wrote), Stripes (which he co-wrote and starred opposite Bill Murray in), Ghostbusters (which he co-wrote and starred in), and Groundhog Day (which he directed, co-wrote, and if you look at it from a certain angle, played the crucial role in). Ramis made a lot of people laugh, including us. Here we do our best to pay him back. Plus, Paul and AJ suffer through the Oscars.
Next week: as part of an epic pod crawl (check the show notes for more information!), Paul and AJ will be discussing the final film of Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Three Colors trilogy, Red.
(Show notes for “Total Protonic Reversal.”)
Last week, we discussed our favorite TV series of the last year. This week, we turn to the big screen.
PAUL: 10. DJANGO UNCHAINED (dir. Quentin Tarantino)
With Django Unchained, director Quentin Tarantino takes us once more back to a terrible moment in our history, and once again asks us to indulge him his little anachronisms and revisionist revenge fantasies. This time, instead of Nazis and baseball-bat-wielding Jews, we get slavers and bounty-hunting dentists. Set in the pre-Civil War Deep South, Unchained is Tarantino’s homage to the Spaghetti Westerns of Leone and Corbucci, which he prefers to call his Spaghetti Southern. I’ll say that the absence of editor Sally Menke is sharply felt here, though. If I, of all people, notice the nearly three-hour runtime, then there could’ve been some tightening. The cast is great across the board, including a list of hidden cameos longer than my arm (among others, original Django Franco Nero makes an appearance). Jamie Foxx is great in the title role, though I imagine what Will Smith could’ve done with the part, as was the original intent. Leo DiCaprio, Samuel L. Jackson, and Walton Goggins all shine in their respective roles. Kerry Washington was reduced to little more than the damsel in distress, however, which is unusual for a Tarantino picture. But the standout here is Christoph Waltz. He is every bit as charmingly heroic and admirable this time as he was charmingly repulsive and hateful in Basterds.
AJ: 10. MOONRISE KINGDOM (dir. Wes Anderson)
Wes Anderson’s films often have a childlike quality about them, whether it be his colorful storybook compositions or the petulance of many of his characters. So it’s fitting that he’s finally made a film about children, one in which the kids are on the run from what’s expected of them and their adult guardians are forced to accept the roles they’ve played in their children’s abandonment of them. Newcomers Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward, both in their first screen acting roles, give perfectly awkward performances. Anderson regulars Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman are in their element here, while Frances McDormand and Tilda Swinton join the auteur’s troupe with ease. Perhaps most encouragingly, Moonrise Kingdom is the first sign of life in years from Bruce Willis–who, with a movie soon to appear on our lists, proved later in the year that he’s most definitely still kicking–and Edward Norton, two actors who really needed a movie like this.
Gobbledygeek episode 108, “Grave of the Rabbits,” is available for listening or download right here.
We know that every episode of Gobbledygeek makes you cry, but this one might especially depress you. It’s Geek Challenge time once more, so Paul has tasked AJ with watching the 1978 animated adaptation of Watership Down; in turn, AJ has challenged Paul to watch the 1988 anime Grave of the Fireflies. One is about the brutal escape of a group of rabbits from their soon-to-be-demolished warren. The other is about the brutal attempts at survival made by a very young brother and sister after their home is demolished in WWII-era Japan. Both are very sad. To lighten the mood, AJ talks about watching every episode of Childrens Hospital over the last week, and both of them discuss the addition of Ciarán Hinds to the cast of Game of Thrones.
Next: as summer winds down, it’s time to take a look ahead at the Fall/Winter Movie Preview.
(Show notes for “Grave of the Rabbits.”)