Friday, June 29, 2007

Thank You for the Music

At Comic Book Resources, Andy Khouri provides a detailed and well-rounded article on the critically acclaimed Image Comics title Phonogram, a ground-breaking comic about magic, britpop and nostalgia. Khoury talked to writer Kieron Gillen and artist Jamie McKelvie, discussing, among other things, the creative process behind the book.
McKelvie was on vacation in Los Angeles last summer, during the week leading up to the 2006 San Diego Comic-Con International. "CBR News" witnessed the artist missing out on a number of holiday activities so as to draw as much of Phonogram as possible, often on a portable surface which he moved from place to place all over the city. McKelvie [...] later passed out from exhaustion, prompting various comics industry insiders to take humiliating photographs of his unconscious body.

[...] "There were months of poverty," he continued. "I mean proper borderline-starving no-cash-whatsoever, which led to a few delays as I had to get that money elsewhere (commissions, etc). Regrettable, but that's the way it goes. Luckily I have a very understanding girlfriend."
The article also reveals that more Phonogram is in the pipeline.
Phonogram will return with a new series tentatively titled Singles Club [...]. [...] David Kohl will appear, but not as a principal.

"Phonogram is 'the Britpop comic' and it's the 'David Kohl' comic - at the moment," Gillen explained. "I wanted to essentially free us up a bit. If I wanted to go back and do a story set in the 13th century based on Romanian peasant music, I would like the freedom to do that. Not that I necessarily would. I need to escape the boundaries a little, so the idea of setting it basically contemporary and basically a group piece with a variety of different characters was my idea of freeing it up. So if we do a third series, which we would like to do, at the end of the second series people will have their expectations freed. We might lose readers or whatever, and I hope we don't because I think the second series may actually be more accessible than the first."

The Singles Club covers will be based on nightclub flyers, giving McKelvie an opportunity to play heavily with text-based designs. [...] With an eye towards making the single issues more like classic music zines, Gillen and McKelvie also hope to include additional backup material like interviews with famous bands such as TV on the Radio.
Well, lads, you had me with "new series," and I'm still twitching ecstatically from "escape the boundries" and "TV on the Radio." Seriously: Phonogram is quite good. Go out and buy a copy - I recommend the single issues, due to the essays by Gillen that you won't find in the collection.

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