Phonogram 3 (November 2006)

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In this issue, Gillen introduces time travel. Well, it’s not exactly time travel and I shouldn’t say Gillen introduces it. It’s basically the time travel device out of Somewhere in Time.

Has anyone else noticed I keep coming up with movie references to describe plot points in Phonogram? It’s possibly because Gillen doesn’t have a single original event in the entire comic book. He’s got some mildly original characters—though the “modern fantasy” takes off this issue and it gets pretty lame—but none of the actions are original. It’s a mix of other people’s ideas, with some pretentious music talk laid over it.

Of course, it’s not pretentious music talk. People who don’t care more about music than anything else—we learn—are total lames. I’m shocked Gillen didn’t come up with a vocabulary for the thing, like it’s Harry Potter.

McKelvie’s got more to draw, which is nice.

CREDITS

Faster; writer, Kieron Gillen; artist, Jamie McKelvie; publisher, Image Comics.

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Dark Horse Presents 123 (July 1997)

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Imago‘s finish opens the issue. Arcudi might have needed more time–this installment just gives up, admitting the concept was more interesting than the execution. O’Connell’s art is okay. His faces aren’t distinct enough, but it’s fine for a short story.

Nixey continues the issue’s lackluster vibe with Trout‘s conclusion. In it, Trout (the character) gets his big moment. Except Nixey hadn’t been building toward it except in this installment, so it sort of misfires. Nixey was best when he brought the questing aspect to the story. Without it, like here–an all-action installment–Trout has some good artwork and design, but nothing compelling about it.

Jack Zero reverses the issue’s negative tide a little. It’s got a problematic end, but Zero Boy and Pander do come up with a fantastic resolution to Jack’s trip to the west. Better, they continue coming up with unexpected developments. It’s fine work.

CREDITS

Imago, Part Two; story by John Arcudi; art by Brian O’Connell; lettering by Sean Konot. Trout, Nicky Nicky Nine Doors, Part Five; story and art by Troy Nixey. Jack Zero, Part Three; story by Arnold Pander and Zero Boy; art by Pander; lettered by John Costanza. Edited by Bob Schreck and Jamie S. Rich.

Dark Horse Presents 122 (June 1997)

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I can’t believe I’m saying it but Snejbjerg’s art messes up this Lords of Misrule. He’s unable to draw a regular person. Instead, the person appears frightening, even though he’s not supposed to be frightening. It’s an okay story–but the art, though great in most respects, doesn’t work.

Nixey’s back on track with Trout, at least as far as the art is concerned. He sort of hurries through this installment, which takes a lot of the charm out of it. I expected him to have a big world for Trout; instead, it’s very constricted.

Jack Zero has another good installment from Zero Boy and Pander–it’s very successful as a Western, a genre I’m not used to reading in comics. The ending is a little ominous though.

Arcudi and O’Connell’s Imago is a Batman and Robin analogue where Robin lets Batman die because he’s an overbearing pain. Mildly interesting.

CREDITS

The Lords of Misrule, Part Three; story by John Tomlinson; art by Peter Snejbjerg; lettering by Annie Parkhouse; edited by Ian R. Stude. Trout, Nicky Nicky Nine Doors, Part Four; story and art by Troy Nixey. Jack Zero, Part Two; story by Arnold Pander and Zero Boy; art by Pander; lettered by John Costanza. Imago, Part One; story by John Arcudi; art by Brian O’Connell; lettering by Sean Konot. Edited by Bob Schreck and Jamie S. Rich.

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