Shock horror, Emily is writing about something other than music! Shame to disappoint, but that’s not strictly true, Phonogram Volumes 1 & 2 combine my love of music and comics. Yes you read that right, comics. This is the girl whose 18th birthday presents included a box of Buffy comics, a Marvel A-Z and some early 90’s Gambit and the X-Men comics. I understood a long time ago that I’m not particularly good at being a girl. But enough of that, on to the good stuff.
Volume 1 of Phonogram centres on the world of Britpop. References to Kenickie and Kenickie are a surefire way to win me over, but the general story arc is a masterpiece. We follow David Kohl as he steps on a voyage of discovery after some rather strange turns of events, where he attempts to discover what has happened to the Mod-Goddess and what the hell is going on. Queue some rather spectacular moments that include Damon Albarn depicted as the King guarding the tomb of Britannia, chastising Richey Edwards for prolonging his own existence by disappearing and most excellently a riff on the post-Britpop music scene that features a dismissal of Dirty Pretty Things for being abysmally named (even I admit that’s true). And that’s not even mentioning Jamie McKelvie’s incredible artwork. A monochromatic masterpiece.
Volume 2 is set on a December night in the heady indie days of 2006. David Kohl again makes an appearance alongside Penny, Mark, Laura Heaven, Mr Logos, Emily Aster, Seth and The Silent Girl. Each separate story is tracked by the one song or artist that the character feels emotionally invested in varying from The Pippettes to Dexys, with my personal favourite being Laura Heaven and her fondness for speaking in Long Blondes quotes (that was me circa 2006 too, I was desperate to be Kate Jackson). Exploring the effects of songs is always going to be an interesting idea, but setting it in comic form and placing into an urban fantasy world is something much more special. Inked in full colour, you’re transported to a world full of interconnected stories that you wouldn’t find amiss at the indie disco.
And speaking of all things Britpop, I’m currently rather in love with My Mad Fat Diary on E4. A slightly more realistic teen tale than those seen on Skins, with a far better soundtrack (check out the episode mix-tapes here if you don’t believe me), its a nice treat to end Monday’s when I’ve normally been stood on my feet all day at work. Don’t get me started on the clothing too (or Nico Mirallegro for that matter!) …