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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.

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