Friday, May 8, 2009

TPB Review -

Phonogram: Rue Britannia (Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie) - I have been intrigued by Phonogram for a while, and finally picked up this trade a few weeks ago. I will admit that I had some issues getting into it, despite how badly I wanted to read it and love it.I tried several times right after I picked it up, but I just couldn't break into it. Finally, a few weeks later, I was able to pick it up and really get into it. This was not an easy read for me. That has nothing to do with my enjoyment of a work, though, but more with how I process things, and my comprehension of them. There is a lot to take in conceptually in this book, and it took me a few tries to get it.

Music is a primal force, it is magic, divine, soulful and sexual. It is memory and emotion, power and vulnerability. It exists around us and runs through and around everything. It's no wonder that something so essential has people who understand it on such a level that they can use it as a basis for magic, or that the element of music has it's own pantheon. It certainly makes sense to me. I define periods in my life by the music that shaped them, and the songs that served as the soundtrack, and the pull and sway of the artists that transfixed me at those times. This book takes a look at all of those things.

David Kohl is a phonomancer who is losing his sense of self. Memories are changing and shifting under him and he knows it. After he is accosted by a goddess in a nightclub bathroom he sets himself on a quest to find an aspect of the goddess herself that he is linked to, in order to stop whatever it is that is interfering with her.

It is a very well done comic. The art is very good black and white fare. It is perhaps a bit too realistic for me, but it is good art. The writing is pretty great. There is an obvious love of music, and a real curiosity as to all of the ways that music affects and impacts us. It is interesting and really gives you a lot of opportunities to think about your own experiences as they relate to music and as music relates to you. This book is pretty dense with references to bands and songs, and thankfully the trade comes with a pretty great glossary to explain just about anything mentioned or alluded to in the story.

I recommend this, as it is pretty different, and well done. Once it clicked* for me, I enjoyed it quite a bit, and it really made me think as well.

*Again I have to note that this is not uncommon for me. I have started books many many times that I just have to set down, or restart many times before one day I am ready to read them and I pick them up and read them straight through and love them. It is not in any way suggesting the book is bad, but it is worth noting in any review that I am writing. If I can't read something because I hate it or think it is awful, I would just say that.


The Inkwell Bookstore said...

I've given this to two of my nieces -- one an anglophile, the other sorta emo -- and both of them loved it. Oh, and I dug it, too!

Talkin Bout Comics said...

That's really cool. I love when people really think about the person they are giving to and tailor gifts to the individual. I love it even more when the gift is comics.