Bob Odenkirk, David Cross, How Did This Get Made?, more coming to Onion Comedy & Arts Festival

Big news, comedy fans: Our comedy festival returns May 30-June 3 at various venues in Chicago under a new name, The Onion Comedy & Arts Festival. Why change the name from the amusing-but-difficult-to-remember-and-Google 26th Annual Comedy Festival? Well one, see above. And two, it’s The Onion’s 30th anniversary in…

John Darnielle's statement about how to punctuate a Mountain Goats classic is tearing The A.V Club apart

It’s safe to say that we here at The A.V. Club are generally fans of John Darnielle’s work; outside his enjoyably macabre novels, Darnielle is best known as the frontman and creative soul of The Mountain Goats, prolifically banging out his sad-funny musical thoughts on heartache, healing, and the bittersweet pleasures…

The Mountain Goats get a little lost in the darkness of Goths

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Goths, the Mountain Goats’ 16th studio album, opens with “Rain In Soho,” a barnburner of a song that belies the subdued nature of the tracks that follow. In fact, it gets things off to such a rousing start that it’s easy to overlook what’s missing—namely, frontman John Darnielle’s guitar. As mentioned in the album’s…

Spiders could eat you and everyone you love if they felt like it, biologists say

For years, the greatest threat to mankind’s continued survival has been robots bypassing our Captcha systems or learning our Pizza Hut orders, but our two sides now enjoy a tenuous peace after that adorable little girl taught one of their machines about the human concept of “wuv.” That means the human race needs to…

John Darnielle’s Universal Harvester can’t reap the benefits of its intriguing premise

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“In most lives, in most places, people go missing.” The first line of the final chapter of John Darnielle’s second novel, Universal Harvester, makes clear its main concern. Although Darnielle, best known as the singer-songwriter behind indie folk outfit The Mountain Goats, begins the novel as one story—a mystery or…

Lose yourself in 2017 with these 17 books and comics

When the story of reality becomes too unbearable, escape to a different one. There’s never really a year that goes by without the release of good prose to lose yourself in, and 2017 promises dozens of titles to transport you to another world. From satire to memoirs to novels, we’ve selected 12 of the books we’re most…

John Darnielle’s already written another novel, which will be published next year

Given his erudite lyrical stylings, it was only a matter of time before John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats wrote a whole book. And he did, back in 2014—his debut novel, Wolf In White Van, traced the rich interior life of a disfigured game designer. And if that impressive work of dreamy fiction left you hankering for…

The Mountain Goats release new songs in support of pro-choice fundraiser

When John Darnielle’s not writing songs about love, loss, and Chavo Guerrero, he’s apparently speaking up in support of women’s reproductive rights. (Okay, he’s probably also eating, sleeping, and recording songs about the founding of Rome.) Darnielle’s even a member of the Reproductive Justice League, a bowling team…

What creative type do you want to see make a comic?

Welcome back to AVQ&A, where we throw out a question for discussion among the staff and readers. Consider this a prompt to compare notes on your interface with pop culture, to reveal your embarrassing tastes and experiences, and to ponder how our diverse lives all led us to convene here together. Got a question you’d…