I hold the secret to the future of comics!
And by “comics” I mean a single issue of a comic. And by “future” I mean tomorrow, 9.12.09, when this particular issue comes out. And by “secret” I mean … well, it’s not really a secret. Phonogram is awesome.
Kieron Gillen was nice enough to send me the latest issue of Phonogram (through some strange alchemy of electronic mail), and while I don’t want to write a full review here and now, I will stay it’s making me hate him and his partner in crime, Mr. Jamie McKelvie. Every time I think they’ve made the perfect issue of a comic, they bring out another one that ups the ante just so. This is actually not a good issue to get if you haven’t gotten the previous five, because it follows pretty much directly from the end of last issue and concerns all our principals, so you have to know what they’re like and why they react to Lloyd’s proposal (which he’s outlined a few times in this series) the way they do. The way Gillen gets to the heart of what Lloyd’s problem is through the way people respond to his proposal is sheer genius, and some of the descriptions of Penny will wrench your heart. It’s not surprising that Gillen writes so well about Dexys Midnight Runners, as he used to be a music critic, but the way he writes about people and their hidden feelings is ridiculous, because it’s so damned true. The guy doesn’t give poor McKelvie too much to do, except on the first few pages, when Lloyd’s rage nearly jumps off the page, and at the end, when Lloyd takes David Kohl’s advice and is liberated … a bit. Plus, the back-up story is beautiful, too. It gets straight to the heart of why we love music, even if we have no talent.
I hate to keep beating the drum for Phonogram … hell, no I don’t. If you’re not reading Phonogram, you’re missing one of the most enjoyable experiences you can have reading a comic, and you’re missing the brilliant synergy of two creators who can seemingly do no wrong. I know I said I wasn’t going to write too much about this issue, and I’ll have more to say when I post my weekly reviews, but when you head to the comic book store tomorrow (or the next day or even this weekend), seek out Phonogram and marvel at its brilliance. You won’t regret it.