Friday, January 08, 2010

Woman poses in saucy manner; inset photo of bloke over collage

Phonogram: the Singles Club #5 Lust etc.
Phonogram: the Singles Club #6 Ready To Be Heartbroken
By Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie

Phonogram is the comic about magicians who use popular music to power their spells. You will recall my mentioning Rue Britannia, the first collection. That was a continuous story, but The Singles Club is a succession of individual but linked pieces. I suppose the idea is that when brought together in a book, this will be like a compilation album.

I did not like these as much as the first book. Partly it is the art – some bright spark has decided that the comic would be better in colour rather than with the attractively clean black and white art of the first book. I found the story a bit bitty as well, with Lust etc. (focussing on a self-harming and annoying sexy lady character) seeming particularly slight. I liked more Ready to be Heartbroken (about, obviously, a bloke called Lloyd), partly because it threw back nods to the previous issues, making it seem like The Singles Club in total would not so much be a collection of self-contained vignettes but a complex web of narrative. So I reckon I will keep hovering up the issues of this and then, eventually, buy the collection.

One funny thing about this is the music the issues cover. With Rue Britannia, the focus was all on Britpop – much of it pretty lame, but undeniably big music, the kind of thing you could imagine a phonomancer using to power hexes. Lust etc., though, seems to be all about some second division loser indie band called The Long Blondes*; I could not imagine their music powering a minor expletive. Ready to be Heartbroken does at least have the divine Dexy's at its heart, but then it suddenly veers off into Los Campesinos territory. Warning – here be shite**.

*if you are a member of the Long Blondes and are offended by this description then I must admit to never having heard your music and am open to revising my opinion on the basis of evidence.

**if you are a member of Los Campesinos and are offended by this description then I must admit to having seen your band twice and found you to be rubbish on both occasions; your band's fail makes me very sad, as everything about you, apart form the tunes, suggests that you would be the kind of band I like. That said, many otherwise sensible people like your music, so maybe I am the one with ears of cloth.


String Bean Jen said...

Oh Ian I think you'd appreciate the Long Blondes. They were fronted by a very attractive lady and featured two other ladies in the band who were also stylish but did not have the saucy pizazz of the singer.

ian said...

Wasn't there also a sinister bloke who wrote all the tunes?

String Bean Jen said...

Hmmm, I'm not sure. I thought they all wrote the songs together but I could be wrong.

ian said...

I think in the Phonogram write-up they talk about some bloke writing all the songs, but I might be remembering that wrong or it might be wrong.