Everything You Need To Know: Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl #1
August 12, 2015
A photo posted by Jamie McKelvie (@mckelvie) on Aug 11, 2015 at 11:55am PDT
MUSIC: The odds are good that music has changed your life at least once or twice, and PHONOGRAM is a comic that makes that metaphor literal. Think back to the oldest song you know by heart. You can probably feel it in addition to singing it—the taste of the gum you chewed that summer, the smell of your mom's shampoo when she sang it to you, the phantom pain of the knee you bruised trying to get funky on the dance floor. PHONOGRAM? It's like that. Or maybe it isn't. Music is different for everybody, you know?
TASTE: You know what's no fun? Irony masquerading as musical taste. You know what's great? Passion. The central conceit of PHONOGRAM, the idea that music can change your life, is a resonant one, and the result is a comic full of people who love music by people who love music. Music connects us with each other across almost every boundary that exists, and PHONOGRAM celebrates that fact.
METATEXT: Gillen & McKelvie comics are often enjoyable adventures in and of themselves, as the plot twists and tragedy that litters THE WICKED + THE DIVINE more than prove. You show up to their comics to be entertained, and that's good, but the icing on the cake is the metatext. Read PHONOGRAM twice: once for fun, and then again while you think about what you read and how it applies to real life. Strip away the music-as-magic and think about it through your own personal filter. What are they saying between the lines?
FASHION: Jamie McKelvie understands the clothes people actually wear, from (hopefully) flattering boxer briefs to semi-homemade t-shirts you pray are clever. While you read PHONOGRAM, study what people are wearing and try to figure out what it says about them and how that factors into the story. The clothes we choose to wear are a form of communication, and the same is true of the clothes artists choose to draw.
META(waitforit)CONTEXT: PHONOGRAM was the first comic the award-winning Gillen & McKelvie team did together, back in '06. Now, nearly ten years after they began and after creating a whole lot of award-winning comics, they're back at the party. Is that metatext, too? Or am I reading too deeply? Trick question: if you worship at the altar of Gillen & McKelvie, you know there's no such thing as "too deep." Think about it.