Writers Spotlight: Kieron Gillen’s Phonogram

Kieron Gillen has had quite a run thus far with Marvel . Doing amazing work on Uncanny X-Men seeing the series to its conclusion with #544 ( which was reviewed by our own Ryan Duelfer and can be read HERE), and ultimately its rebirth next month at #1 . He also writes Journey Into Mystery starring Young Loki. Which just so happens to be the superior Thor Book ,an amazing feat considering the fact there is little mention of Thor anywhere in it. After a couple of issues of decent work at Marvel ,  Kieron got his Big Break writing a Loki One Shot during the events of Siege that would ultimately prove to show how strong he is at balancing multiple character arcs , creating crazy out of this world concepts and leaning heavily on Mysticism to tell an original tale.

Issue #1 of Phonogram "Rue Brittania"

However this Article is going to focus on one of his first series. One that I thoroughly enjoyed and have a soft spot for in the same vain that I do for Scott Pilgrim. Gillen’s creator owned Image title Phonogram  was where I first discovered his amazing storytelling at work. The mantra of Phonogram’s first limited series run was “Music is Magic”. You see Musicians have the ability to effect normal folks like you and I in deep and impactful ways. They tap into something other worldly to create songs that we play on Repeat , listen to after a break up , and lose our shit when we hear our favorite song in a bar.What if the musicians we speak of are tapping into something supernatural to create the  music we know and love?

This is the basic story to Phonogram . Kieron introduces us to our Jaded Protagonists David Khol who is a Phonomancer who hasn’t been interested with any music scene that has existed after the early Brit Rok Invasion of the 90’s.   What unfolds for six issues is a love letter to Brit Rock , New Wave and Pop Music . Also one hell of a fun , witty and well written comic book. Everything you would want in a comic is here Huge concepts , great characters , creepy moments , action , well written relationships . You buy into this world immediately due to Gillen’s passionate writing. You can tell this series is a labor of Love and it shows. His Artist for this series is Jamie Mckelvie and he knocks this book out of the park  . The issues are all Black and White and each cover is in color representing a unique twist of a famous album cover . He makes references to bands you may or may not have heard but takes the time to give you information on every single song and Artist at the end of the book.  If you enjoy Music and Comics as much as I do , you must seek out this first series .

Issue#3 from Phonogram's second Series "The Singles Club"

Gillen’s second run in the world of Phonogram is a series of single issues that stars separate characters all converging at the same Night Club. Each issue allows us as readers to view the night through their eyes . It’s a cool plot for the series and Gillen’s grasp of both Male and Female characters is very strong . While this series isn’t as cohesive , the story is still enjoyable and beautiful to look at.  The art in this book is again handled by Jamie McKelvie , this time with full color pages. Once again his character designs are simple yet capture every facial expression  and emotion perfectly which is important for a book with so many characters.

So if you love Gillen’s work on Uncanny X-Men and Journey Into Mystery give this series a try. You will be pleasantly surprised at how well crafted it is and you will find yourself seeking out the music Gillen constantly references page after page.  Kieron Gillen’s original work set the building blocks for a very successful career in comics. You owe it to yourself to jump into this unique and colorful world and experience something different.  After All isn’t that why we enjoy reading comic books in the first place?

Check out the website for the series HERE

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Mike DeVivo

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