Phonogram

News, Reviews, Features, Podcasts, & Buyer's Guides...

Best Comics of 2015

Posted by Panel Beats Team at 10:28 on 31 Dec 2015
Best Comics of 2015
If you've been a PanelBeats reader for any length of time, you'll be aware that for one reason and another, we haven't had an incredibly busy year in terms of writing about comics. But we've still been reading them, and so with the end of the year upon us, it seems a good time to check in and let you know what we've enjoyed in 2015, in case you've missed any of it yourself. Look, it's an end-of-year post: you know how these things work.

Rather than doing a ranked countdown based on any kind of consensus, we've instead individually written about which books stood out for us this year. As ever, our tastes and consumption habits can vary hugely (although there is some crossover); and of course, we're aware that we don't necessarily cover the full spectrum of everything that was published across the industry in 2015. Nevertheless, if we've mentioned it below, then as far as this site's concerned, it was a highlight of our year - and is well worth checking out if you haven't already.

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.