Phonogram (comics)

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Cover of Phonogram (vol. 1) #2.
Art by Jamie McKelvie.
Publication information
Publisher Image Comics
Schedule Irregular
Format Limited series
Genre Dark fantasy, contemporary fantasy
Publication date (vol. 1)
August 2006 - May 2007
(vol. 2)
December 2008 - February 2010
(vol. 3)

August 2015 -
Number of issues (vol. 1)
(vol. 2)
(vol. 3)
Main character(s) David Kohl, Emily Aster
Creative team
Writer(s) Kieron Gillen
Artist(s) Jamie McKelvie
Letterer(s) Jamie McKelvie
Colorist(s) (vol. 2-3)
Matt Wilson
Creator(s) Kieron Gillen
Jamie McKelvie
Collected editions
Rue Britannia ISBN 1-58240-694-4
The Singles Club ISBN 1607061791

Phonogram is a comic book written by Kieron Gillen and drawn by Jamie McKelvie. It is published by Image Comics.

Publication history[edit]

Two mini-series have been completed. A third series was planned for late 2012; Gillen announced in September 2012 that the series would be delayed until the second half of 2013 at the earliest.[1]

The first volume, "Rue Britannia". began in August 2006 and stars David Kohl, a mage who uses the medium of Britpop music to interpret his magic.

The second volume, "The Singles Club" consists of seven one-shots looking at young phonomancers and their experiences over one night at a dance club. Each issue consists of a 16-page main story, rounded-out with features and back-up stories.[2][3]

Gillen originally ruled out a third volume because sales were just too low:

However, in February 2012 at the 2012 Image Expo, a third series of Phonogram was announced entitled "The Immaterial Girl". On the subject of the change of heart, Gillen stated:

After further delays while Gillen and McKelvie launched The Wicked + The Divine, "The Immaterial Girl" was announced at the 2015 Image Expo as to be published in August 2015.[6]

Volume 1: Rue Britannia[edit]

The first volume was a six-issue run, collected under the title "Rue Britannia". In keeping with the Britpop theme, the six individual issues and the collection had cover art based on album artwork from that era.

Issue Number Issue Title Influencing Album & Artist
1 Without Your Permission Elastica - Elastica
2 Can’t Imagine the World Without Me It's Great When You're Straight... Yeah - Black Grape
3 Faster Definitely Maybe - Oasis
4 Murder Park Modern Life Is Rubbish - Blur
5 Kissing with Dry Lips Suede - Suede
6 Live Forever The Holy Bible - Manic Street Preachers
TPB collecting issues 1-6 Rue Britannia This Is Hardcore - Pulp

At the end of each issue, and somewhat shortened in the trade paperback, the creators give a glossary of the more obscure phrases and pop-culture references used, as well as musings on the history of Britpop and the influences on the book.


Phonomancer David Kohl has to save his Britpop goddess, Britannia, who is missing. Cursed by a goddess, he follows a series of leads and meets with other 'mancers, and spends time with a "normal" friend, Kid-With-Knife. He eventually locates Britannia.

Volume 2: The Singles Club[edit]

Issue Number Issue Title Relevant Song Focus Character
1 Pull Shapes The Pipettes - Pull Shapes Penny B
2 Wine and Bed and More and Again CSS - Let's Make Love and Listen to Death from Above Marc
3 We Share Our Mother's Health The Knife - We Share Our Mothers' Health Emily Aster
4 Konichiwa Bitches Robyn - Konichiwa Bitches Seth Bingo and Silent Girl
5 Lust Etc The Long Blondes - Lust in the Movies Laura Heaven
6 Ready to Be Heartbroken Camera Obscura - Lloyd, I'm Ready to Be Heartbroken Lloyd
7 Wolf Like Me TV on the Radio - Wolf Like Me Kid-with-knife

Once more, a glossary is included in both the issues and the trade collection. The trade also includes the tracklist that is playing in the club scenes.

The first print of issue 5 was recalled due to it having been printed with the bar code from issue 4. The second print corrected the error.[citation needed]


Several phonomancers center on a club, where magic is discouraged. Each issue focuses on a different phonomancer, with David Kohl returning as a supporting character throughout. David's coven leader, Emily Aster, is the focus of one issue, wherein she struggles with her dual personality.

Volume 3: The Immaterial Girl[edit]

Continuing from the Aster-centric issue of "The Singles Club", "The Immaterial Girl" is set to focus on coven leader Emily Aster's struggle with her dual-personality and identity crisis.

Collected editions[edit]

The three limited series have been collected as trade paperbacks:



External links[edit]