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‘Phonogram’ Creators Gillen & McKelvie Tease New Comic

Just in advance of this weekend’s Image Comics Expo in Oakland, California, the creators of the cult classic modern fantasy series Phonogram have dropped a tantalizing teaser that strongly suggests a return to their universe of memory kingdoms and phonomancers and where music is magic. Alternatively, the teaser could herald something completely different, but Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie certainly know what they’re doing when they invoke the single sleeve of Daft Punk’s “One More Time,” a track that we know to have influenced the creation of previous Phonogram comics.

Image Comics released two Phonogram series by Gillen and McKelvie. The first, 2007’s “Rue Britannia,” served not just as a thoughtful and innovative comic book eulogy for the musical genre of Britpop, but also as an impressive calling card for two creators who would very quickly go on to higher profile work. The second series, 2010’s “The Singles Club” (this time with colors by Matt Wilson), saw everyone raise the standard for themselves with an emotionally complex and technically daunting story set in a single night at a dance club, with each chapter following the perspective of a different guest while maintaining strict temporal and visual continuity throughout.

A third series was to focus on the beautiful, enigmatic and painfully cool Emily Aster character, a phonomancer who’d played supporting roles in the first installments. But as Gillen told ComicsAlliance in 2010, the financial realities of indie comics were such that Phonogram could not sustain itself, and that we’d seen the last of the series. Having written a lot about this comic, I stated at the time that reunion tours are inevitable and that I found (and continue to find) it unlikely that Kieron Gillen could simply not write Phonogram for the rest of his life. It would be delightful if this teaser proves me right.

Of course it’s very possible that this teaser represents a brand new creator-owned project from Gillen, McKelvie and Wilson, and that will also be very welcome indeed — and in keeping with the aggressive newness theme Image Comics is pursuing in 2012. We’ll likely know more after the Image Comics expo this weekend.

But it is very difficult to ignore that Daft Punk reference…

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