In artist Jamie McKelvie and author Kieron Gillen's Image Comics series Phonogram, a group of British magicians draw their supernatural powers from pop music LPs ranging from Pulp to Robyn to Dexys Midnight Runners. It's a sleek and clever comic with two volumes — Rue Britannia and The Singles Club — and has also been on hiatus since early 2010.
And since then, Phonogram mavens (like yours truly) have unapologetically harangued the duo about what's next for the series. Financial concerns have waylaid the comic for a few years.
But at last weekend's Image Comics Expo, a new Phonogram series, The Immaterial Girl, was announced tentatively for November 2012. Gillen had this to say about the comic's return at his blog:
The Immaterial Girl will be six issues. We've talked a little about what a hypothetical third Phonogram would be about in interviews, and almost all of that is in here. It's primarily about the war between coven queen witch Emily Aster and the half of her personality she sold to whatever lies on the other side of the screen. It's about identity, eighties music videos and further explorations of Phonogram's core "Music = Magic" thesis. There is horror. There are jokes. There are emotions. There may even be a fight sequence. It also takes A-ha's "Take On Me" with far too much seriousness – which, for us, is the correct amount of seriousness.
But will Gillen use his patented form of method-drinking, which required him to drink some unequivocally foul stuff? We will see next autumn. Among the other nifty projects unveiled at Image Expo were Brian Wood and Ming Doyle's scifi series Mara. Said Wood to Comics Alliance:
The world of MARA is a war-and-fitness obsessed future, where the angst and insecurity of average citizens is compensated with an extreme focus on sports and battle. Mara Prince is a superbly gifted athlete, playing in a women's volleyball league, and is as famous as you can imagine, with endless endorsements, comped everything, and millions of screaming teenage fans. Until one day, during a highly visible match, she starts to manifest superpowers. For a culture that prizes physical achievement, conformity, and fair-minded sportsmanship, this puts Mara's entire world at risk.
...and Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson's new mystery project, Happy!, which represents the first of several projects for Morrison at Image. Said Morrison to iFanboy:
I'm still writing Batman and Superman stories at DC for the foreseeable future and also doing new creator owned stuff for Vertigo – the final volume of Seaguy and at least one other series too be announced – but over the last couple of years I've been developing a range of new titles and characters, not all of which would necessarily suit Vertigo.[...] I'm only able to tell you that the first one is set around Christmas, it's called Happy! and it's drawn by Darick Robertson an artist I've had plans to work with for a long time. Happy! is in a genre I've never really tackled before – but with a bizarre twist, of course.