PHONOGRAM: THE IMMATERIAL GIRL Lost In Music Videos
released oUT NoW! Publisher Image Comics
Writer Kieron Gillen
Artist Jamie mcKelvie
It once seemed like an impossible comeback, but against the odds, Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie’s much-loved musical oddity Phonogram has been resurrected for a third and final outing. The cult-iest of cult comics, Phonogram exists in a zone somewhere between fantasy and music journalism, depicting a world where pop music genuinely is magic.
The Immaterial Girl shifts gears from the previous volume’s anthology approach, instead focussing on eternally arch Phonomancer Emily Aster. Once a self-harming goth, Emily sold half her soul to gain success, but when a moment of doubt brings the missing half back for vengeance, Emily finds herself trapped in a world of ’80s music videos.
This leads to some dazzling pastiches of classic videos like A-ha’s “Take On Me”, and both McKelvie and colour artist Matthew Wilson pull off wildly inventive touches. Gillen’s script, meanwhile is as sharply intelligent as ever. Phonogram remains a gloriously niche series packed with in-jokes that will either delight or bewilder, but it’s also firm proof that Gillen and McKelvie are one of the most creative writer/artist teams around. Saxon Bullock
The Immaterial Girl’s other music video homages include “Thriller”, “Material Girl” and “Total Eclipse Of The Heart”.
A-ha have that effect on us too.