Kieron Gillen

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Review: Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl #1

Posted by Seb Patrick at 10:12 on 07 Aug 2015
Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl #1
In 1985, Swedish synth-pop band A-ha had a huge hit with their debut single "Take on Me". It reached #2 in the UK (kept off the top by Jennifer Rush's "The Power of Love", a song that is staggeringly inferior to its two mid-80s namesakes) and #1 in the US. This success was due in no small part (although not entirely - it is a fantastic record) to its music video, directed by future Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles helmer Steve Barron. In case you've somehow never seen it, it portrays a young woman reading a comic in a cafe, who finds herself drawn into its pages by the handsome lead character (A-ha's singer Morten Harket, converted to pencil form by rotoscoped animation), before helping him escape from its confines.

It's filled with incredibly striking imagery - and although the soft pencil lines look like no actual comic ever published (I've often wondered if the woman was actually meant to be the artist herself, looking at a rough draft of her own work), it's sort of surprising that in the thirty years since it was made, there hasn't been a single comic that's gone "Hey, this is an iconic pop culture image that plays with our form, we should try and make use of it somehow!"

Fortunately, Phonogram is back.

Phonomancy (or: Why Phonogram Matters) Part 2: Trying to Find the Perfect Match Between Pretentious and Pop

Posted by Seb Patrick at 16:00 on 16 Jun 2015
Phonomancy (or: Why Phonogram Matters) Part 2: Trying to Find the Perfect Match Between Pretentious and Pop
Ahead of the publication of Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl in August, I'm taking an unnecessarily personal look back at the two previous volumes of Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie's breakout work. In part one, I covered the first volume, Rue Britannia. In this concluding chapter, unsurprisingly, I look at volume two: The Singles Club.

Phonomancy (or: Why Phonogram Matters) Part 1: Is It Something I Do To Myself

Posted by Seb Patrick at 11:13 on 19 Jan 2015
Phonomancy (or: Why Phonogram Matters) Part 1: Is It Something I Do To Myself
"I believe that the best way to show how music affects the world is to take evidence directly from life to show how music has changed me and people around me. Not that it's a particularly truthful form of biography. There's a key line in the second issue: 'Sometimes the truth just gets in the way of what really happens.' That's absolutely key. The phrase I'm using is Automythology." - Kieron Gillen

Phonogram is back in August

Posted by Seb Patrick at 14:22 on 09 Jan 2015
Phonogram is back in August
At least, that's what they tell us. But I think they mean it this time. They'd better.

You will be hearing from us a lot about this subject this year. Sorry.

Best Comics of 2014: The Wicked + The Divine

Posted by Seb Patrick at 20:27 on 28 Dec 2014
Best Comics of 2014: The Wicked + The Divine
So, then, to The Wicked + The Divine. Unquestionably one of the major success stories of comics in 2014... and something that, if we're honest, it's difficult for us to talk about in any kind of objective or rational way, because it's by our mates.

The Wicked + The Divine: Overemotional Investment

Posted by Abigail Brady at 22:10 on 17 Sep 2014
The Wicked + The Divine: Overemotional Investment
Warning: Do not read this until you've read The Wicked and The Divine #4. Or, for that matter, issues #1-3. But mostly #4.

Earlier this year I said that I couldn't write about Young Avengers because it was too personal, too close to me, that it would be too much like exposing myself. The Wicked + The Divine is also too personal, but that's exactly why I need to write about it.

The Wicked + The Divine: Whose Gods Are They Anyway?

Posted by Abigail Brady at 14:03 on 16 Jul 2014
The Wicked + The Divine: Whose Gods Are They Anyway?
The Wicked + The Divine #2 is out today. Have you read it yet? If you haven't yet... well, there's nothing I would call a substantive spoiler in here, but I mention a bunch of god names that are not in #1, so read on at your peril...

Review: The Wicked + The Divine #1

Posted by Seb Patrick at 22:46 on 17 Jun 2014
The Wicked + The Divine #1
Are Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie in their imperial phase yet? It's debatable - the answer is probably "not quite yet", but either way, they've chosen to create a comic about a group of people who are very firmly in one. And by the time it's finished its first year, there's every reasonable chance its creators could be in their own.

"David Bowie Saved My Life": Kieron Gillen on The Wicked + The Divine

Posted by Seb Patrick at 13:05 on 20 May 2014
"David Bowie Saved My Life": Kieron Gillen on The Wicked + The Divine
It's only when I sit down to transcribe this interview with Young Avengers, Journey into Mystery and Phonogram scribe Kieron Gillen that I discover that my computer has inexplicably decided only to record his half of the conversation. Obviously, it's a good job it happened that way around and not the other - but it's also a good job it happened with someone like Kieron, who is perfectly capable of giving a lengthy, verbose and compelling interview with very little prompting. As it happens, my voice begins to reappear around ten minutes or so in anyway - but had I needed to, I suspect I could have inferred every one of my questions, or flat out made several up, purely from his essay-length responses.

I'm talking to Kieron - or, rather, he's talking to me - because he's got a new comic on the way: The Wicked + The Divine, his latest co-conspiracy with Phonogram artist Jamie McKelvie and their regular colourist Matt Wilson. A creator-owned ongoing at Image, it launches in the middle of June, and it's very likely that it'll be one of the most talked-about comics of the year. Maybe even by people who aren't Kieron.

Swerving the Fridge in Origin II

Posted by Abigail Brady at 11:26 on 12 May 2014
Swerving the Fridge in Origin II
Spoilers for Origin II #1-5

One wonders whether the Wolverine Fatigue effect is catching up with him, finally, along with the reaper (the Death of Wolverine has been trailed for September). While that's been going on to great attention, Kieron Gillen and Adam Kubert have been quietly exploring his backstory in the aptly-named Origin II. It is ostensibly a sequel to the 2000 miniseries Origin, which is the story that established that Wolverine's birth name is James Howlett.