In what writer Kieron Gillen very accurately described as "bad news," his and artist Jamie McKelvie's much anticipated (by us especially) return to their urban fantasy series Phonogram has been delayed until next year. Subtitled The Immaterial Girl, the new miniseries was meant to debut before the end of 2012, but circumstances have become such that the book may not appear until the back half of 2013.In Phonogram, music is literally magic. A slogan that went around the last series was "last night this DJ ruined your life," and in this comics series that can actually happen. Practitioners of this magic are known to each other as Phonomancers, and they live their lives right alongside the rest of us: on the street, in the subway, in the cafe, in the club or in the queue. They have their own sects and rituals.

The phonomancers' adventures were detailed in the miniseries Rue Britannia and The Singles Club. But while beloved by an ever growing cult of readers (particularly readers from beyond the direct market customer base), Phonogram was deemed by its creators as not profitable enough to continue. However, Gillen and McKelvie confirmed the return of the series earlier this year, alongside numerous other high-profile 2012 launches from Image Comics such as Happy! by Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson (out now) and Mara by Brian Wood and Ming Doyle (out December 26).

In a posting to the Phonogram website, Gillen shared a completed black-and-white page of McKelvie art for The Immaterial Girl, which is to feature the recurring Emily Aster phonomancer in a starring role. The writer cited "scheduling issues and all that" as cause for the hefty delay.

We were holding back from mentioning [the delay], in hope we'd be able to make a better prediction of when the story will drop. But, due to a variety of other things, we still don't know. We're pretty sure it'll be 2013. I'll be highly surprised if it's in the first half. What happened? Basically, life happened. "Scheduling issues" and all that. Sorry we can't be more specific. And we're sorry we announced it as early as we did.

Seemingly compounding matters is Marvel NOW Point One, an anthology one-shot to which Gillen and McKelvie contribute a story featuring Loki from Gillen's Journey into Mystery and the Miss America character from Joe Casey and Nick Dragotta's Vengeance. However, Gillen assured readers that despite appearances, one gig has nothing to do with the other.

Yeah. The timing of this is all kinds of odd, but they're unconnected events. We expect and understand a bit of cynicism, but hand on heart, etc.

Finally, the writer teased a new project to be announced at next month's New York Comic Con, which we've confirmed will be creator-owned. More on that when the convention commences.

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