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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.

pgsc6Kieron 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.


Well I’ll give it a look tomorrow, thanks.

But I can’t say I’m impressed by the cluttered sample you posted. If the art is flat and computery, or manga-ish, I’ll have to pass.

its so disappointing he`s working for marvel now. i know he has to eat but still.

Truth: That’s the cover. The interior is cleaner (like the image in the upper right), but there are some pages that look like a fanzine. But it’s not quite as “cluttered” as the cover.

Hey hey! Kieron Gillen does awesome work for Marvel. He made me actually give two shits about Beta Ray Bill and Ares, and SWORD is one of the most fun books Marvel has on the stands(which means its selling like balls ;_;). I’ll have to get this book though, since Kieron is quickly moving up my list of favorite comic writers.

Here’s a five page preview of the issue, for those who are interested:

Thanks, Greg!


Jeremy — The first Phonogram tpb has been out for a while — get that first. Or at the same time, whatever.

Also, McKelvie’s “Suburban Glamour” is pretty great too.

Truth – that’s a cover designed to look… well, cluttered. It’s a representation of the fanzine stuff LLoyd does.

Greg – Not much to do? NOT MUCH TO DO!?! You try putting those outpourings of a disturbed mind together, figuring out the best way to place his crazy cut up rantings, how best to photocopy and scan to achieve the right effect, how to… NOT MUCH TO DO!?

Heh. Glad you liked it. I am pretty proud of this issue.

Great series fell in love with it since i got issue #3 of this series, still looking for issue 1 and 2, probably best comics i have bought in last 5 years, will paperback include all the liner notes from the end of issues???

Great comic. Some of the backup features lately have been pretty poor — last issue’s ska thing was downright stupid, for instance — but that’s not even a bump in the road, really.

I regret to say that I’ve been struggling with ennui the last several weeks as regards comics (to the extent that I haven’t been able to work up enough interest or energy to even crack the covers of most of what I buy) & any number of other pursuits I normally enjoy (probably a seasonal twist on my customary sporadic bouts with depression), but I’m genuinely looking foward to picking up this issue.

Which of course means Diamond probably will have forgotten to ship my pull-list copy.

Also, I should mention that Gillen is costing me money — not just the price of PHONOGRAM, but also the $18 or so I shelled out for a CD of the early Long Blondes singles after learning in the last issue of the disc’s existence.

*shakes fist toward wherever the hell it is in Britain that Gillen lives*

Jamie: Photoshop? That’s the LOSER’S way out!!!!!

Ah, you know that I love the art. I just feel bad for you when Gillen takes over and shows off and doesn’t let you draw Penny dancing.

I know, he should just write novels or something.

You’ve read my scripts. I don’t need to write novels to write novels, comrade.

There was a lot of pritt-stick involved in the making of this issue too.


Pritt stick and scissors!

We’re so zine.

[…] There’s a five page preview of the issue here. Reviews? Well, as well as Comics Daily there’s one in Best Shots over at Newsarama and Comics Should Be Good. […]

I know its really not reflective of anything from Vol 2, but anytime I see a discussion on Phonogram the only words that spring to mind

“I love Kenickie”

And its all phonograms fault.

ps. Is it true that Phonogram 3 is unlikely to be made?

Yeah, sorry. It just doesn’t make a living, and I’m nearly 30, you know? I can’t spend another year constantly worrying about how I’m going to pay for food and rent, much as I love Phonogram.

I’ve been very lucky in that the other (mostly Marvel) stuff that has come my way has allowed me to scrape by.

1. The all dj issue of Phonogram is easily one of the best comics of 2009.
2. I recommend starting with the much more accessible second series of Phonogram, and then going back to the first one.
3. HUGE bummer about Phonogram ending. Thanks for making for us while you could, guys.

Hey, thanks for reading it.

Greg – If anyone was left with not much to do this issue it was me! ;) I only had to color 10 or 11 pages while Kieron and Jamie slaved over all those fanzine pages. I got off way too easy!

LOL @ sacks complaining about Gillen working for Marvel now.

Get over it. The indie “purity” pipedreams are so 1993 and dated.

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