Thursday, 11 December 2008

Who the fuck are The Pipettes?

HEY! Phonogram The Singles Club has kicked off.

If you don't already know, Phonogram is a comic about Phonomancers - magicians who make magic through music. Phonogram The Singles Club is the sequel to Phonogram and will follow a bunch of different Phonomancers over the course of one evening in one night club.

Issue #1 is the story of Penny B who uses dance magic or something. She's very pretty, a bit of an airhead and likes The Pipettes (whoever the fuck they are).

I'm telling you about this dear chums, because unless you've heard of it you probably won't have noticed The Singles Club. See, it has this incredibly girlie cover which is most likely invisible to the majority of men seeking comics about other men in leotards. For those who can see it, I say pick this book up! It's the best pink covered comic I've read since Alpha Flight #12

SPOILERS! no one dies - but people do dance! They're all very beautifully drawn by the very talented Jamie McKelvie, and given witty things to say by the equally excellent Kieron Gillen. Mr Gillen also writes two supplemental short stories which are ably illustrated by Lauren McCubbin and Marc Ellerby.

All you trade waiters should be aware that the Phonogram chaps have jumped on the back matter bandwagon that makes buying the floppies essential. Not only will those backup stories be omitted from the collected version, but you'll also miss out on Gillen's lively text pieces/rants.

You don't want to be buying this in trade anyway. For a start it's called The Singles Club (clue's in bold chums) and if that doesn't convince you then just take Glllen's word for it that every issue will work perfectly well as a stand alone story. I believe him.

As ever some knowledge of the bands referenced in the story is useful but not essential. Personally I'd only heard of Blondie, and was surprised to learn that any club where they play The Tide is High can still be considered cool.

As someone who last attended a night club when Guru Josh was in the charts, I'll have to defer to Gillen an McKelvie on this one. Frankly the club in their story looks like a bit of a hole in the wall to me, but it's populated with young and beautiful people who appear to be enjoying themselves, so I'm willing to accept that this is the kind of place where hep young magicians go to partay these days.

I'm too old for it of course, but I liked issue #1 a lot. It's smart, snappy and above all very nice to look at. I can't claim to have understood everything about it (I have no idea what band Laura is quoting for example) but I'm damn sure that Gillen hasn't wasted a word in the telling of his tale.

At £3 it's a bit on the pricey side, BUT you do get all that lovely back matter. Believe me that elevates it beyond the usual five minute read that you get for £2, PLUS you're totally going to want to go back and stare at McKelvie's drawings for another half hour after you've read it anyway.

LLC definitely recommends.


Anonymous said...

Phonogram compared to Alpha Flight! Now there's a first. Great review.


Anonymous said...

It all comes back to Byrne in the end.

By the way, I think I steered you wrong on the price. Think it was actually £2.65 not £3. I bought so many comics yesterday, I can't remember what cost what.


Disipated Kid said...

The Pipettes are a musical threesome who plays tribute to 50's Motown girls band like The Supremes, etc,...
and they released their record (I think they just have only one)three years ago.

This is a video made by a fan:

And here comes another song's official video:

Mike Leader said...

Good call, Dom! And good write-up, too.

Picked this up yesterday, after reading your post - really enjoyed it. Packed with material, indeed. I like the 'annotations' column, it dissipates any of the preciousness that comes with name-dropping! Spreading the love, and all that.

Will definitely be picking up the next issue.

pulpsfromthebothy said...

This sounds great, love the spandex quip. I was trying to slim down my stack, not add to it! I guess you just reversed my plans. Cheers for that.

Mike Leader said...

As an interesting follow-up (sorry for the comment spamming):

A friend of mine, who is of the cynical sort, picked up the comic (which was lying around in my living room), and he really hated it. He called it the worst thing he'd read in recent memory. And made the quip 'isn't it funny that there's more writing in the columns than in the comic itself?'.. Admittedly, his comments were mostly comprised of reciting the dialogue in a droll, deadpan voice, but still...

First negative review I'd heard! Sadly, he's the kind of person who turns me into an introverted sheepish coward. I think I just walked off and thought of nice things as he ranted.

Anonymous said...

Disipated Kid - ta for that.

pulps from the bothy - hope you enjoy it.

Mike - ach well, his loss.