You may have been following this series over the years. Running to three volumes – the most-recent story arc ‘The Immaterial Girl’ was collected last year – and if you have been following, you’ll know that’s unique in its approach… This is one of the most realistic comics out there (no really, most comics deal in the fantastical to at least some degree) and is yet all about the real-world human condition in the 21st Century. (The inherent fantasy in it is all played out through revealing the perfectly believable character’s inner landscapes and their interplay with the outside world.) Phonogram’s big deal (and ‘Elevator Pitch’) is: ‘Music is Magic’. If music can make you change your haircut, your clothes, your identity, your friends, make you go to places you wouldn’t normally go and even make your body dance around involuntarily then it must be magic. The second layer to this big deal is then what happens when someone learns how to wield that magic, but I’ll leave you to read the comics to learn about that.
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that I was lucky enough to be one of the circle of comicy sorts to be asked to contribute a ‘B-Side’ – an extra strip – to the second story arc – ‘The Singles Club”s run – this, along with all the other B-sides and extras never before collected (just like B-Sides on singles never made it to musicians’ albums, some of you may not be familiar with the concept of musical singles having flip-sides or extra running time to fill up these days, but just go with me here) will be back in print in April!
As the main story of ‘The Singles Club’ was locked around particular characters all experiencing the same night, my B-side is based around ‘Indie Dave’ – quite possibly my favourite character from the series – gatekeeper of esoteric indie, whose demeanour puts across the way that indie music is always young, youthful and always refuses to grow up, no matter how dishevelled or creaking the fans get in the end.
On Kieron’s lovely newsletter he recently shared a link to a great article written by someone who loves music, comics and Phonogram – Kieran Shiach – where you can see the impression the series made at work.
I know I’m getting in on mentioning this waaaay ahead of release, but that’s how the direct comic market works; it shouts about things about three months in advance and then readers have a chance to preorder or get excited just before the printing presses leap into action and a run of stories are put out into the world. If you’d like to welcome a copy of this into your home – and put it somewhere near your record collection – you can ask at your friendly local, independently-owned comic shop (mine are Gnash Comics and OMG Comics) for a copy on release, and make it even more easy for them by giving them this ordering code:
See Image Comic’s product page for the collection here.
I’ll go digging in my archives for for some supporting matter for this one to share closer to the release.
Yes I know going to such lengths gabbing about a book when I’ve only got one little strip in it is odd, but I flipping love Phonogram.