For the season finale of Gobbledygeek, Paul and AJ turn to a little-seen, rarely discussed art film: Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens. Joining them are Kenn Edwards of So Let's Get to the Point, Broken Magic author and The Deli Counter of Justice co-editor Eric Sipple, and Star Wars superfan Andrew Allen, scum and villains all. The Force Awakens is strong with nostalgia for the original films, a fact which sits better with some of our panel than others. The gang discusses why the movie leans heavily on the past, whether or not the series is capable of looking forward, the film's place in the established Skywalker mythos, and how it has the exact opposite problem of George Lucas' efforts.


Next: we're on winter break before returning in roughly three weeks' time with a look at Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight; Eric Sipple and A/V writer-director Joseph Lewis bring us up to a Somewhat Disgruntled Four. In the meantime, thank you for a great 2015 and have yourself some happy holidays.

Direct download: Episode_261.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00pm CDT

When the world was new, and dreams had not yet receded from the waking day...Paul and AJ had begun reading Jeff Smith's cartoonish magnum opus Bone. Well, it hasn't been quite that long, but the boys have been analyzing Bone all year long for 2015's Four-Color Flashback series, and their journey has finally come to an end. After admitting frustration with the endless infodumps and constant mythological revelations in the latter half of the series, they have a lot of hopes for Vol. IX: Crown of Horns. Does Smith deliver on these hopes? Does the series work better when viewed on a macro level? Does the ending fit with what has come before? Should you recommend Bone to friends looking to get into comics? My tinglin' scalp says the answers are all here.


Next: for our final episode this year, So Let's Get to the Point's Kenn Edwards, The Deli Counter of Justice co-editor Eric Sipple, and Star Wars fanatic Andrew Allen join Paul and AJ for a discussion of the obscure arthouse film Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens.

Direct download: Episode_260.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 2:58pm CDT

The lost and lonely are looking for a place to belong. Powerful men are looking to keep their darkest secrets hidden. Robert Downey, Jr. isn't looking at all, and that's why he peed on the corpse. It must be Christmas in L.A., Shane Black style. For this year's Twisted Christmas entry, Paul and AJ are joined by So Lets Get to the Point's Kenn Edwards to rap about the 2005 noir comedy Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. The boys debate the merits of Shane Black's self-aware style, including whether or not it's too glib to handle some of the heavier turns the plot takes. Also under discussion: Have we lost RDJ to the Marvel machine? Does the movie have weird ideas about women? And what is it about Shane Black and Christmas anyway?


Next: the time has come for the final Bone. Greg Sahadachny of The Debatable Podcast joins us for our last Four-Color Flashback installment this year, discussing Bone: Vol IX - Crown of Horns by Jeff Smith.

Direct download: Episode_259.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am CDT

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, a filmmaker named George Lucas accidentally created a pop culture empire. Over the years, the Star Wars saga has gotten away from the man who conceived them, both figuratively and literally; the prequel trilogy is a classic example of an artist's reach exceeding their grasp, and Disney is now making a new series without his involvement. Kenn Edwards of So Let's Get to the Point and Star Wars zealot Andrew Allen join Paul and AJ for a wide-ranging discussion of Lucas' saga, what it means to them, and what it's really about, plus an artistic (and political) re-evaluation of Lucas himself.


Next: nothing says Christmas like Shane Black and pissing on a corpse, so ho ho ho, Kenn is back for this year's Twisted Christmas entry: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

Direct download: Episode_258.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 1:27pm CDT

Why talk about a mega-blockbuster sure to be seen by every casual movie fan in the planet when you can talk about a Sam Raimi deep cut from a quarter-century ago? In belated celebration of the 25th anniversary of Raimi's first superhero movie, 1990's Liam Neeson-starring Darkman, Paul and AJ take the fucking elephant, getting down and dirty with the film's idiosyncrasies. Including the question: what draws AJ to those idiosyncrasies, and what keeps Paul at arm's length? The boys discuss auteurism, artifice, a superhero's moral code, and much more.


Next: a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, Kenn Edwards and Andrew Allen join us to discuss the Star Wars saga.

Direct download: Episode_257.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 11:20am CDT

Penultimate installments are tricky. They need to deliver on longstanding character arcs and plot threads while at the same time ensuring everything is in place for the finale just so. As tricky a balance as the one between life and death, one might say. Is it possible that Paul, AJ, and The Debatable Podcast's Greg Sahadachny manage that balance with the penultimate installment of their Four-Color Flashback series discussing Jeff Smith's Bone better than Smith himself does with Vol. VIII: Treasure Hunters? Maybe so. The boys discuss their weariness of the series' ever-expanding mythology and continuous infodumps, while debating whether or not anything of note actually occurs in this volume. They try and say some kind things, too. Plus, even more boning with a discussion of the Kurt Russell Western Bone Tomahawk.


Next: Paul and AJ throw a belated celebration for the 25th anniversary of Sam Raimi's first superhero film, Darkman.

Direct download: Episode_256.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 4:05pm CDT

This week, Paul and AJ enter into their very first three-way with none other than Greg Sahadachny of The Debatable Podcast and All the Pieces Matter. That's right, it's a veritable ménage à geek, as the gang undergoes a tri-part Geek Challenge featuring as much paranoia as they could cram into one podcast. In reverse chronological order, we've got Guy Hamilton's 1985 cult movie (does this thing have a cult?) Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, wherein Fred Ward and a regrettably racist Joel Ward try to take out a secret government weapon; 1977's Black Sunday, a John Frankenheimer would-be blockbuster wherein Robert Shaw's Mossad agent tries to stop Bruce Dern before he kills 80,000 Americans at the Super Bowl; and lastly, Alan J. Pakula's 1974 conspiracy thriller classic The Parallax View, which features Warren Beatty uncovering a cynical government plot. Lots of distrust, misdirection, and bloodshed here. Or as we like to call it, just another episode of Gobbledygeek.


Next: Greg Sahadachny is back for the penultimate installment in our Four-Color Flashback series on Jeff Smith's Bone. This time, the boys tackle Vol. VIII: Treasure Hunters

Direct download: Episode_255.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 4:18pm CDT

There's a starman waiting in the sky, and his name is Mark Watney. Back in February, we talked a whole bunch (some would argue too much) about the Red Planet's greatest botanist when we hosted a Gobbledy-Book Club discussion of Andy Weir's The Martian. Now, Paul and AJ have reconvened the Book Club--Wanna Cook? author Ensley F. Guffey, So Let's Get to the Point's Kenn Edwards, and the all-around amazing Hallie Prime--to tackle Ridley Scott's star-studded film adaptation. Is there a certain amount of character-building shorthand a filmmaker can accomplish by casting familiar faces? Is the film really the story of a band of precocious potato plants? Does Matt Damon have the chops to be stranded all by his lonesome? And most contentiously...does the science hold up? All this and more, plus what pop culture the gang is excited for.


Next: The Debatable Podcast's Greg Sahadachny joins us for our very first Geek Challenge three-way. The movies the boys have challenged each other to this time are Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins, Black Sunday, and The Parallax View.

Direct download: Episode_254.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am CDT

It's the final episode of Gobbledyween 2015, kids, so bust out your Ouija--remember, it's Wee-JUH, not Wee-JEE--boards and prepare to get possessed by 1986's Witchboard. Joining Paul and AJ is first-time guest and hardcore horror fan Aundria; all three of them are baffled by this film, its intentions, and its extensive use of magic as metaphor. Some questions to which they seek answers: Can an atheist believe in spirits? Would ghosts fail a spelling test? Are Jim and Brandon, the estranged best friends at the heart of the movie, secretly knocking sneakers? They probably put more thought into those questions than anyone involved in the making of Witchboard.


Next: the Gobbledy-Book Club reconvenes to discuss Ridley Scott's film adaptation of The Martian. Returning to the show are So Let's Get to the Point's Kenn Edwards, Wanna Cook? co-author Ensley F. Guffey, and the all-around amazing Hallie Prime.

Direct download: Episode_253.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:44pm CDT

The guest host with the most, Nowheresville and A/V writer-director Joseph Lewis, joins Paul and AJ to continue Gobbledyween 2015 with a discussion of Tim Burton's 1988 classic Beetlejuice. The three heathens agree that the movie is great--it's wacky, it's funny, it's morbid--but when they stop and think about it, they have some questions. As brilliant as Michael Keaton is, would the film work better without its titular character? Is it two different movies squished together? What the hell happened to Burton? Of course, there's also a little "Day-O," a little Lydia, and a little bafflement over the fact that a Beetlejuice 2 is in development.


Next: Gobbledyween comes to a close as friend of the show Aundria summons up Witchboard.

Direct download: Episode_252.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 5:15pm CDT

If it's in a word or it's in a look, you can't get rid of...Gobbledyween. Why would you want to? Especially when Paul and AJ are joined by such enlightening guests as K. Dale Koontz and Ensley F. Guffey, authors of Wanna Cook? The Complete, Unofficial Companion to Breaking Bad. Dale and Ensley help the boys crack open Jennifer Kent's feature debut The Babadook, which has been called one of the most terrifying films ever made. The gang discusses the expectations that kind of praise sets up, how Kent uses the horror genre to explore depression and grief, the incredible acting of Essie Davis and Noah Wiseman, and, uh, Tarkovsky for some reason.


Next: Joseph Lewis, Joseph Lewis, Joseph Lewis! There, now the Nowheresville and A/V writer-director is on hand to liven up Gobbledyween with talk of Tim Burton's 1988 classic Beetlejuice.

Direct download: Episode_251.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 2:31pm CDT

Fall is in the air, leaves are on the ground, blood is on the silver screen. Welcome to Gobbledyween 2015, ladies and germs. Here to help kick off this year's frightening festivities is none other than Greg Sahadachny of The Debatable Podcast and All the Pieces Matter. With nary a pair of sunglasses around, Paul and AJ are helpless but to obey Mr. Sahadachny's command to watch John Carpenter's 1988 cult classic They Live. One could question whether or not it qualifies as a horror movie, but Carpenter is undoubtedly a maestro of the genre, so let's settle on "horror-adjacent," shall we? Paul and AJ are on the fence about the movie's abrupt shift from quiet conspiracy thriller to goofy '80s action movie, while Greg tries to convince them it's all one and the same. The gang discusses that legendary brawl between "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and Keith David, They Live's stature in the Carpenter canon, and why otherwise good horror movies like It Follows and The House of the Devil can't help but feel a little hollow when trying to ape the style originated by Carpenter and other filmmakers of his generation.


Next: there's nothing adjacent about The Babadook; it's full-on 21st century terror. Wanna Cook? authors K. Dale Koontz and Ensley F. Guffey drop by to chat about Jennifer Kent's acclaimed debut.

Direct download: Episode_250.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 5:48pm CDT

Great darkness falls across our podcast. May Paul, AJ, and Greg Sahadachny of The Debatable Podcast and All the Pieces Matter be equal to the burden as they continue their year-long Four-Color Flashback series on Jeff Smith's Bone. This time, the gang turns to Vol. VII: Ghost Circles; if they thought everything happened last volume, even more everything happens this volume. Which begs the question: how much is too much? How many mythology infodumps before the series threatens to crumble beneath their weight? The gang discusses how the extensive exposition fits into Smith's otherwise impeccable structure, how this cute lil' comedy is handling its transition to dramatic fantasy epic, and--oh yes--the return of young Bartleby.


Next: it's that time of year, ghouls and boils. Gobbledyween 2015 kicks off with a return appearance by Greg to discuss John Carpenter's cult classic They Live.

Direct download: Episode_249.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 11:52am CDT

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.

Direct download: Episode_248.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 4:06pm CDT

Gobbledyween comes early with the one-two zombie punch (right through some poor lady's skull) of Peter Jackson's 1992 gorefest Dead Alive AKA Braindead, one of several gonzo films which made the New Zealander perhaps the least likely contender to ever helm The Lord of the Rings; and 1984's cult classic Night of the Comet, wherein the world ends and the burden of society is placed upon two teen sisters and their new pal Hector. In true Geek Challenge fashion, Paul and AJ find themselves baffled by these selections. Paul swims through Dead Alive's rivers of fake blood, while AJ finds himself stranded in Night of the Comet's nearly zombie-free desert. Will our heroes find common ground and come to understand one another? Never.



Next: death is but a door. Time is but a window. We'll be back.

Direct download: Episode_247.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am CDT

Once and future Koko the Showfucker (and, one supposes, veteran pop culture writer/editor) Jason Tabrys is once again spreading his distinct brand of cheer to Gobbledygeek like so much plague. When he's not hawking Jason Juice, M. Tabrys talks with Paul and AJ about fall TV, including accusations of Muppety ignorance; the Dear Fat People video and whether or not YouTube flashes-in-the-pan like it are worth spending our precious outrage on; and what the preponderance of fan theories means, if it means anything at all. But it's mostly Jason Juice.



Next: the Geek Challenge rises from the dead. Paul must watch Peter Jackson's 1992 gorefest Dead Alive, while AJ must endure the 1984 post-apocalyptic teen movie Night of the Comet.

Direct download: Episode_246.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 4:33pm CDT

Paul, AJ, and special guest Greg Sahadachny of The Debatable Podcast are each a small concentrated bit of dream carried along in the currents of Jeff Smith's Bone, which they return to once more in another Four-Color Flashback installment. This time, the gang enters Vol. VI: Old Man's Cave, in which...well, in which everything happens. Questions that have hung over the series from the first volume are finally answered, new wrinkles in the established mythology are revealed, and the main narrative appears to reach its climax. And yet three volumes remain on our journey. Plus, Paul discusses the documentary The Wolfpack, while AJ and Greg appear to resolve their feud before they get around to yelling at each other over Turbo Kid.



Next: oh God, it's Jason Tabrys.

Direct download: Episode_245.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 3:57pm CDT

Our favorite Britisher, Wesley "Wezzo" Mead, makes his return to Gobbledygeek, appearing twice in one year for the first time. What does he have to say in his alluring hick accent? Lots about politics (they have elections over there too!), the cinema (he watched four whole movies the day we recorded this, including Paper Towns and Vacation!), and the sorry state of TV on DVD (it is ceasing to exist!). Paul and AJ once again have their knickers charmed off by everyone's favorite Trowbridge-ian, even if he is telling them about something called Pinky Malinky.



Next: Greg Sahadachny is back for more of Jeff Smith's Bone, this time discussing Vol. VI: Old Man's Cave.

Direct download: Episode_244.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:32pm CDT

Comin' straight from the underground, this week Paul and AJ discuss the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton. Yes, the two whitest podcasters you know deliver their take on the film's authenticity, its sad relevance, where it falls on the biopic spectrum, and yes, the bizarre fact that Ice Cube offspring O'Shea Jackson Jr. is playing Ice Cube. Here's hoping it's less awkward than that time they jammed to "Accidental Racist."



Next: that charming Brit, Wesley "Wezzo" Mead, is back for another round of charming Brit-ness.

Direct download: Episode_243.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 9:07pm CDT

Stop me if you've heard this one before: a near-autistic supergenius, a Portishead-loving invisible girl, a man on fire, and a big ol' pile of rocks walk into another dimension... Oh wait, you have heard this one before? You didn't like it then, either? Huh. Hollywood has now ruined the Fantastic Four three times, and Paul and AJ are on hand to detail all the ways this one goes wrong. What makes it worse is that it starts with Josh Trank's good intentions to give Marvel's first family a fresh update with a strong cast featuring Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, and Jaime Bell. Re-edits, reshoots, and one incomprehensible finale later, those good intentions have been nullified. What happened? DOOM.



Next: who knows? It’s a mystery episode.

Direct download: Episode_242.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 9:27am CDT

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.

Direct download: Episode_241.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 2:38pm CDT


Power is the only thing of substance in this world. Well, that and Jeff Smith's Bone, which Greg Sahadachny of The Debatable Podcast joins Paul and AJ to discuss once more. This time, the gang scales the cliffs of Vol. V: Rock Jaw - Master of the Eastern Border. It's an imposing title for such a straightforward volume, not to mention the shortest of the series thus far. Yet the boys find plenty to talk about, including the introduction of new character Roque Ja, a smooth-talking feline whose name no one can pronounce; the moving tale of Smiley and Bartleby the rat creature cub; and whether or not Smith gets away with the dreamlike narrative.

Next: Paul and AJ face the music with a new Geek Challenge. AJ must listen to Floodland by Sisters of Mercy, while Paul has to give John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band a spin.

Direct download: Episode_240.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 11:36pm CDT

For the twelfth entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the House of Ideas goes microscopic with Ant-Man, bringing Paul Rudd into the fold and attempting to shrink from their recent overstuffed epics. Is there still room for a small-scale, one-and-done movie in the MCU? On their way to finding out, Paul and AJ discuss the film's inventive use of perspective, what it thinks of women, how Rudd stacks up as a superhero, and yes, Peyton Reed taking over the director's chair from an unhappy Edgar Wright.

Next: Greg Sahadachny is back for another Four-Color Flashback installment exploring Jeff Smith's Bone. This time, we're taking a look at Vol. V: Rock Jaw - Master of the Eastern Border.

Direct download: Episode_239.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 10:16pm CDT


I'm sure you've missed Paul and AJ in their extended absence. (Are those crickets I hear?) Well, if you'd like to find out what they were up to, the lowdown's here, as the boys--along with original Gobbler Joseph Lewis--subject anyone who dares listen to the 21st century equivalent of vacation slideshows. These three heathens made their way down to Austin, TX, where they enjoyed the sights, the sounds, the movies, the food. Oh, did they enjoy the food. On their surprisingly Confederate flag-free tour of the South, they also hit Memphis, Nashville, and New Orleans, all of which they discuss in detail. The gang talks about the many movies they saw at the Alamo Drafthouse (including Terminator Genisys and Magic Mike XXL), what they wrote on the wall outside Graceland, and their surprise celebrity encounter at Third Man Records.

Next: Marvel's biggest little hero gets his turn in the spotlight with Ant-Man.

Direct download: Episode_238.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 4:53pm CDT


During Miyazaki Month earlier this year, Paul and AJ (along with a number of their friends) discussed every feature film of Hayao Miyazaki's career...except two. Which is why they've revived the concept for a "lost" Miyazaki Month analyzing 1979's The Castle of Cagliostro, Miyazaki's first movie; and 2008's Ponyo, his penultimate film. Well, "analyze" might be the wrong word...for different reasons, these are two movies which don't necessarily require a lot of thought. But the boys give it their all anyway, going over Cagliostro's heist picture wackiness and Ponyo's dreamlike simplicity, not to mention Hitler and nightmare fish Muppets.

Next: we're on who knows! But we'll be back!

Direct download: Episode_237.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am CDT


We got th' gitchy feelin', which can only mean one's time for another Four-Color Flashback installment exploring the world of Jeff Smith's Bone. Once again, Greg Sahadachny of The Debatable Podcast and All the Pieces Matter joins Paul and AJ to discuss Bone: Vol IV - The Dragonslayer. The series now has both feet in the "epic fantasy realm," so the gang discusses how the expository infodumps work, how Smith maintains his sense of humor amid the darkness, Phoney's major heel turn, and whether or not you should be reading this thing in color or black-and-white.

Next: while Paul and AJ are gone fishin', they've discovered a "lost" Miyazaki Month episode! They'll discuss the only two Miyazaki features they didn't get to in April, 1979's The Castle of Cagliostro and 2008's Ponyo.

Direct download: Episode_236.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 1:31pm CDT


 If you ever feel like you've got more than one voice in your 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.

Direct download: Episode_235.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 8:43pm CDT


Don't you just hate how amusement parks jack up prices during the summer season? I mean, $12 for a Slurpee? Not to mention the lines and the waiting and the heat and the crowds don't get me started on the crowds and OH GOD WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE! Jurassic World is the only park on Earth where you're more likely to get bitten by a pterosaur than a mosquito, so of course the thing's been up and running for 20 years with nary an incident. At least that's the premise of Colin Trevorrow's Jurassic Park sequel, which finds Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, and her heels on the run from all manner of prehistoric beasts. Paul and AJ, joined by Kenn Edwards of So Let's Get to the Point, discuss the film's logic or lack thereof, how it plays into the Buzzfeed-ification of our culture, its surprising similarities to Gremlins 2, and what it has to say about big corporate sequels. Plus, AJ's not dead.

Next: I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together. The Deli Counter of Justice co-editor Eric Sipple joins the boys to talk Netflix's new series Sense8.

Direct download: Episode_234.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 11:30am CDT


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 a sentient robot (Ex Machina).

Next: on top of Jurassic World, lookin' down on creation.

Direct download: Episode_233.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:52am CDT


Our names are Paul and AJ. Our world is fire and blood. Once, we were Gobbledygeek. A podcast searching for a pop cultural cause. Here to give us that cause is none other than Im-Mere-ator Furiosa herself, Mere Smith, author of Cowface and Other Hilarious Stories About Death and writer for such fine television programs as Angel and Rome. Mere schools the boys on the feminism of Mad Max: Fury Road, the three of them discussing the film's gender politics, its beautifully choreographed action, how the hell George Miller got this movie made, and why Mere cried during the end credits. Oh, what a lovely day.

Next: for a comic book-y Geek Challenge, Paul must read Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky's Sex Criminals, while AJ must read Rick Remender and Wes Craig's Deadly Class.

Direct download: Episode_232.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 11:49am CDT


Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to mourn the passing of one of this world's brightest lights: Koko the Showfucker. Jason Tabrys, veteran pop culture writer and one half of Radio Bastard, has returned to Gobbledygeek having outlived his podcast-wrecking parasite. Left to his own devices, Jason only manages to sidetrack Paul and AJ into discussions of the 1993 film Airborne, his favorite knish place, and of course, how AJ is so very young and stupid. In between, the gang ostensibly chats about their increasing disconnect with this thing we call "nerd culture." Koko lives.

Next: Mere Smith, author of Cowface and Other Hilarious Stories About Death and writer for such fine television programs as Angel and Rome, returns to the show to discuss the feminism of Mad Max: Fury Road.

Direct download: Episode_231.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 10:13pm CDT

With Miyazaki Month behind us and Ultron vanquished, Paul and AJ return to the world of Jeff Smith's Bone. Greg Sahadachny of The Debatable Podcast and All the Pieces Matter joins the boys for another Four-Color Flashback, this time taking a look at Vol. III: Eyes of the Storm, wherein things get serious. Smith still crams in plenty of jokes and moments of perfect comedic timing, but the book's heart isn't as light as it perhaps once was. The boys discuss this new heaviness, how it meshes with the series' humor, the volume's mythological infodump, and the many ways in which Smith's art recalls the best of animation.

Next: Don Draper may be gone, but one man is still mad. Paul and AJ dig into the Mad Max series and its new installment, Fury Road.

Direct download: Episode_230.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 3:26pm CDT


Not much in this world is surprising. The irony of this statement is that in order to tell you about how Paul surprises AJ in this episode, we have to give away said surprise: this is the one where Paul finally watches Breaking Bad. AJ remained in the dark the whole time, misled by Paul to think some ominous present was on its way; turns out the present is a discussion of Vince Gilligan's acclaimed morality tale, which long-time listeners will remember Paul refused to watch for years. What did he think of it? You'll have to listen for yourself. Featuring surprise guests K. Dale Koontz and Ensley F. Guffey, authors of Wanna Cook? The Complete, Unofficial Companion to Breaking Bad!

Next: Paul and AJ continue their Four-Color Flashback look at Jeff Smith's Bone with Vol. III: Eyes of the Storm.

Direct download: Episode_229.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 4:42pm CDT


Killer robots. Mind-controlling witches. Suits of armor from space. Dudes with frosted tips. All of this and so! much! more! is contained within Avengers: Age of Ultron, the highly anticipated sequel to Joss Whedon's 2012 extravaganza. The reception has been decidedly less rapturous than that which accompanied the first film, so Paul and AJ dig into what works about the movie, what doesn't, whether or not Whedon goofed up Black Widow, and just how much creative control a filmmaker can have over one of these things. Plus, AJ makes a case for a much smaller film, Seymour: An Introduction.

Next: Paul got AJ a present. Ominous!

Direct download: Episode_228.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:58pm CDT


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.

Direct download: Episode_227.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 9:51pm CDT

Bathhouses, talking fires, giant babies, grotesquely overweight witches...for this leg of Miyazaki Month, Paul and AJ enter the world of the filmmaker's two most visually distinct yet perhaps least coherent films: 2001's Spirited Away and 2004's Howl's Moving Castle. Joining them on their journey is first-time guest (but longtime background entertainer) Monique Morgan of Beacon Hills: After Dark and Nathan Burdette of On the Rocks (and AJ's blood relative). The gang discusses the limitless imagination on display in these two films, the strengths and weaknesses of that lack of coherency, and what the movies have to say about Japanese culture and war.



Next: Miyazaki Month comes to a close, as Smoke Gets in Your Ears: A Mad Men Podcast co-hosts Kenn Edwards and Joseph Lewis drop by for The Wind Rises and The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness.

Direct download: Episode_226.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 6:27pm CDT


Netflix has unveiled the first of four original series from the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Daredevil, starring the most Catholic of all blind superheroes. Executive producers Drew Goddard and Steven DeKnight bring Matt Murdock to the small screen, played by Boardwalk Empire's Charlie Cox. The result is, well, it's surprisingly good, even by Marvel standards. Paul and AJ discuss the parallel structure that brings Wilson Fisk into sharp relief, the shocking deviation the show takes from the source material, the series' beautifully brutal fight scenes, and where things are headed next. Plus, because they're masochists, the boys also revisit the 2003 DD film starring Batman.

Direct download: Bonus_Ep_-_Daredevil.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 7:38pm CDT


Miyazaki Month takes to the skies this week with 1986's Castle in the Sky, the first official Studio Ghibli production, about a boy from a mining town and a princess from a floating island (jeez, does this guy have a thing for princesses or what?); and 1992's Porco Rosso, wherein a man with the face of a pig fights air pirates and evades the Italian Secret Police. Greg Sahadachny, host of The Debatable Podcast and All the Pieces Matter, joins Paul and AJ to discuss Miyazaki's aviation fascination, how Castle in the Sky may be the perfect bridge between Nausicaä  and Princess Mononoke, why Porco Rosso succeeds (or doesn't) as a character study, and more.

Next: Monique Morgan of Beacon Hills: After Dark and Nathan Burdette of On the Rocks join us for a look at Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle.

Direct download: Episode_225.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:11am CDT


Our month-long celebration of Japanese animation master Hayao Miyazaki continues! After the intense, mythology-laden epics Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and Princess Mononoke, Paul and AJ turn to perhaps Miyazaki's lightest features: the 1988-89 one-two punch of My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service. Joining them is author (and The Deli Counter of Justice contributor) Kitty Chandler and editrix extraordinaire Anna Williams. The gang discusses Miyazaki's painterly detail, his use of complex female protagonists, how both films are about growing up, and why it makes perfect sense that My Neighbor Totoro was originally released on a double bill with Grave of the Fireflies.

Next: we're taking to the skies! Greg Sahadachny of The Debatable Podcast and All the Pieces Matter stops by to chat about Castle in the Sky and Porco Rosso.

Direct download: Episode_224.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 4:57pm CDT


Man has been exploiting nature since the first caveman picked up a rock and bludgeoned another to death with it. This doesn't sit well with some, like Hayao Miyazaki, who has made two powerful films about the environment and the ways in which human greed corrupts it: 1984's Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, which led to the creation of the revered Studio Ghibli; and 1997's Princess Mononoke, which finds Ghibli at the peak of its powers. To help Paul and AJ kick off their month-long celebration of Japanese animation master Miyazaki, another princess stops by, namely Princess Sippy Cup AKA The Deli Counter of Justice co-editor Eric Sipple. The gang discusses the ways in which Nausicaä and Mononoke tackle the same themes from different angles, Miyazaki's shifting perspective over the years, and what both films have to say about violence and the nature of evil.

Next: Black Ice author Kitty Chandler (whose work just so happens to appear in The Deli Counter of Justice) and her editrix Anna Williams join us to discuss two lighter Miyazaki films, My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service.

Direct download: Episode_223.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 2:54pm CDT


Paul and AJ's Four-Color Flashback journey through Jeff Smith's Bone continues with the return appearance of The Debatable Podcast's Greg Sahadachny. This time they're taking a look at Vol. II: The Great Cow Race, which follows the first by being just as funny (maybe even funnier) while teasing a deeper, darker mythology. The gang discusses the way Smith conveys so much expression with just a few lines, his fleet-footed storytelling abilities, how he constructs his jokes, and that whole cow race thing. Plus, what does "overrated" mean and which stand-up comics fall under the definition? The boys have answers!

Next: our month-long celebration of Japanese animation master Hayao Miyazaki kicks off as Eric Sipple stops by to discuss Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind and Princess Mononoke.

Direct download: Episode_222.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 4:08pm CDT


#LifeChange is in the air! That's right, this week, the boys have a lot on their minds. As Paul embarks on a new chapter of his life, AJ deals with the major hang-ups of being a homeowner by proxy. None other than frenemy of the show and The Deli Counter of Justice co-editor Eric Sipple is on hand to listen to their whinging after which, the gang gets down to some serious writing talk. The boys discuss the perils of writing flash fiction (AKA extremely short stories), what you can learn from such constrictions, and what's next for the Deli-verse, plus plenty more.

Next: this year's Four-Color Flashback continues with a look at Bone: Vol. II - The Great Cow Race, potentially featuring The Debatable Podcast host Greg Sahadachny.

Direct download: Episode_221.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 6:41am CDT


After spending 2014 weaving their way through the many different stories of Neil Gaiman's The Sandman, Paul and AJ have settled on something which appears much simpler for this year's Four-Color Flashback: Jeff Smith's Bone. Appearances can be deceiving, though. The boys have heard tell that Smith's cartoony magnum opus, taking obvious inspiration from Walt Kelly and Carl Barks' comic strips, grows into a complex, sprawling epic. And even in Vol. 1: Out from Boneville, wherein Fone Bone, Phoney Bone, and Smiley Bone find themselves in a strange new land, there are inklings of the high fantasy to come. Plus, the boys discuss friend of the show Kenn Edwards' short film The Joke, attempt to break down Tina Fey and Robert Carlock's new Netflix show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and prepare to enter the Age of Ultron with a new trailer.

Next: Eric Sipple stops by to chat. This won't end well.

Direct download: Episode_220.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 11:54am CDT


For the first Geek Challenge of 2015, Paul and AJ have been challenged by friend of the show/Smoke Gets in Your Ears co-host Kenn Edwards to do things a little differently: Paul has to challenge AJ to a movie not from the '80s, while AJ has to challenge Paul to one from the '80s that isn't black-and-white or foreign. After some head-scratching, Paul has chosen to force AJ to endure the 1976 cult classic Logan's Run, about two people exploring the outer world; and AJ has tasked Paul with sitting through the 1988 David Cronenberg film Dead Ringers, about two people exploring the inner world. Tenuous connection aside, these are very different movies. Very different. Plus, the boys pay their respects to Leonard Nimoy, talk Spider-Gwen, and just want to be one of Will Forte's ball-friends on The Last Man on Earth.

Next: this year's Four-Color Flashback begins with a look at Out from Boneville, the first volume of Jeff Smith's cartoony magnum opus Bone.

Direct download: Episode_219.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:33pm CDT


Mars: it ain't the kind of place to raise your kids, and it ain't the kind of place where Mark Watney wants to die. We track our astronaut's final attempts to leave the Red Planet in the last six chapters of The Martian by Andy Weir, as Paul and AJ are joined by all of this year's Gobbledy-Book Club readers: So Let's Get to the Point host and Smoke Gets in Your Ears: A Mad Men Podcast co-host Kenn Edwards, Wanna Cook? co-author Ensley F. Guffey, and the Internet's own Hallie Prime. The verdict on the book is perhaps a touch contentious, but that just makes the whole thing more fun, right? Plus, the gang discusses Mars One's very real proposal to send folks to Mars for life.

Next: AJ and Paul have been tasked with an interesting Geek Challenge by Mr. Edwards. Paul must challenege AJ to a movie that's not from the '80s, while AJ must challenge Paul to a movie from the '80s that's also not foreign or black-and-white. After much head-scratching, Paul must endure Dead Ringers and AJ will subject himself to Logan's Run.

Direct download: Episode_218.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 1:56pm CDT

What do cannibalism, Elton John, and pirate-ninjas have in common? They all figure into chapters 13-19 of The Martian by Andy Weir, here discussed by Paul, AJ, and Wanna Cook? co-author Ensley F. Guffey. As Gobbledy-Book Club 2015 nears its end, the gang talks about the book's stylistic and emotional weaknesses, as well as the ways in which Weir effectively builds tension. How will it all end? Ensley knows! But Paul and AJ can only make their terrible, terrible predictions. Plus, the gang gets into that whole Spider-Man business, laments Jon Stewart's decision to leave The Daily Show, and takes a guess at what Neill Blomkamp has in store for his Alien movie.


Next: an all-star jam band reunion of our Martian readers, featuring Ensley, Kenn Edwards, and Hallie Prime.

Direct download: Episode_217.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 6:54pm CDT


For the second week of Gobbledy-Book Club 2015, Paul and AJ are joined by longtime friend (but first-time guest) Hallie Prime to discuss chapters 7-12 of The Martian by Andy Weir. As stranded astronaut Mark Watney becomes more and more desperate for human contact, Weir begins to tap into the emotional weight of his premise. The gang debates how effective this is...and continues to have issues with a little thing called "dialogue." Plus, AJ prepares to Better Call Saul, while the gang straps on their gravity boots for the Wachowskis' Jupiter Ascending.

Next: Wanna Cook? author Ensley F. Guffey stops by to talk chapters 13-19 of The Martian.

Direct download: Episode_216.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 12:38pm CDT


After tackling the layers hidden beneath the puzzle-filled surface of J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst's S last year, the Gobbledy-Book Club returns to discuss The Martian by Andy Weir...and it's a much simpler read, for better or worse. AJ and Paul are joined by So Let's Get to the Point host (and Smoke Gets in Your Ears co-host) Kenn Edwards to talk the first six chapters of The Martian. The pros: the story of astronaut Mark Watney stranded on Mars is immediately engaging, it's pretty damn funny, and it's filled with tons of cool science. The cons: there's a lot of science that might fly over heads, the tone is weirdly lighthearted, and Weir struggles a little with the switch from Mark's POV to folks back home on Earth. Will this premise sustain a whole book? We'll find out!

Next: Hallie Prime joins us to discuss chapters 7-12 of The Martian.

Direct download: Episode_215.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 7:36pm CDT


In what has become a Gobbledy-tradition, Wesley "Wezzo" Mead has made his third transatlantic pilgrimage to these great shores, where the mighty Bat-Turkey reigns supreme. This time around, Wezzo has on his mind new releases, from American Sniper to Inherent Vice; the surprising dearth of Sesame Street in the UK; and his favorite films of the decade so far. Plus, there's talk of the Ghostbusters reboot and the first two weeks of The Nightly Show.

Next: the second annual Gobbledy-Book Club, discussing The Martian by Andy Weir, gets off to a start with Smoke Gets in Your Ears co-host Kenn Edwards.

Direct download: Episode_214.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 11:40pm CDT

Two boys, lost in the woods. A fearsome beast roaming the forest. A frog with many names. Potatoes...and molasses. What do these things all have in common? They're in Over the Garden Wall, the first-ever animated mini-series on Cartoon Network (and perhaps all of American television). The show, broken up in ten 11-minute installments, is a thing of weird and wild beauty. Paul and AJ discuss the many different references it draws from--Miyazaki, Adventure Time, Betty Boop--and how they all cohere to form one of the best cartoons in recent memory. So why don't you join them, over the garden wall? Plus, Paul has become an Avatar: The Last Airbender obsessive and AJ watched a whole bunch of movies during the Gobbledysleep.



Next: Wesley "Wezzo" Mead makes his annual hop, skip, and a jump over the pond.

Direct download: Episode_213.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 8:07pm CDT


To kick off Gobbledygeek season 6, we have for you what we promised at the end of last season: a (nearly) full audio recording of The Deli Counter of Justice reading at Rickert & Beagle Books in Pittsburgh, PA on December 13, 2014. Paul, AJ, and Eric Sipple round out the Deli brain trust, with contributors Thomas Dorton and Alyssa Herron also on hand to read from their stories. In addition, there a few Qs & As before the audio cuts out. We hope you enjoy listening as much as we did reading. Plus, Paul and AJ tease some highlights from the forthcoming season of the show.

Next: the boys discuss the odd, brilliant Cartoon Network mini-series Over the Garden Wall.

Direct download: Episode_212.m4a
Category:general -- posted at: 11:21pm CDT





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