Phonogram Volume 1: Rue Britannia, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (6 ratings)


Britannia is ten years dead. Phonomancer David Kohl hadn't spared his oldpatron a thought for almost as long... at which point his mind starts tounravel. Can he discover what's happened to the Mod-Goddess of Britpop whilethere's still something of himself left?

Dark modern-fantasy in a world wheremusic is magic, where a song can save your life or end it.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 152 pages
  • Publisher: Image Comics
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Comics and Graphic Novels
  • ISBN: 9781582406947



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Showing 1 - 5 of 6 reviews.

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Review by

Just took another look at the title - I wonder if that means there's a whole series of Phonogram books with titles like "Phonogam: What's Up with What's Going Down" and "Phonogram: Pop 'Em and Lock "Em, Fool!" and what the hell, "Phonogram: Escape from the Hall of the Mountain King". But okay, phonomancers? Wizards that work with sound? So solid fantasy concept, and not comicky, and not pop musicky - like, they could be a D&amp;D 2e kit or a Final Fantasy class or an <i>Eventide</i> rare. But then you take that magic step - what sound has SO MUCH totemic power and emotional/magical self-transformational energy invested in it, and obviously that's pop hitz, bra! And what would you be like if you were a young wizard learning to manipulate sound and going straight to the source the treasure trove, the 20,000 people standing in a field? You'd be teenage wildlife, my friend! Your whole identity would be caught up in it.And then what would you do when the party stopped?And they chose Britpop, fucking Britpop, and nothing is dearer to my heart. And the ickle girls are stunning. And it makes me wish I'd been born English, a bit, if only to have been a part of it for real, instead of a fantasy projection for little Canadian girls. (But fuck that, England blows.) Past the leisure centre, left at the light, and into an amazing wonder(wall)world of breakdown-of-the-self, Kirby-cosmic cool, hormones, fashion, sweet tunes, and the feeling that comes from realizing that it's once or at the most twice in a lifetime you get to be part of revolution, teen style, now.PS Oh, oh, okay, another reviewer said it in way fewer words: John Constantine meets Jarvis Cocker. Fuck yeah.

Review by

Recommended to me by a friend, this graphic novel is a little fantasy and a lot of music and a whole bunch of craziness. Which means it's pretty awesome (at least to me). I'm picky about my graphic novels, so I was apprehensive, but Rue Britannia is fun. It's a little hard to follow, but that's on purpose and makes it interesting. I'm just annoyed I can't seem to get a copy of Phonogram Volume 2 from any library in the area.

Review by

Phonogram is Great. More than that. It is 4REAL!It is a great metaphor of the about the Brit music scene, its highs and lows, and have a bitter stare over the current music scene and a supposed revival of 90's Britpop. It is a bit about growing up and leaving the weight behind, like it was that easy...Obviously, if the reader knows the bands (what is much easier in these download days) some references are better understandable, but if you lived the Britpop heyday... man, you will get all layers of the metaphor!!The Mr. McKelvie's art is fantastic and have great depictions of key people of the Britpop and the text is very passionate, showing that Mr. Gillen must have lived the scene.It gets 4 stars only for the fact the covers of the mini-series are reproduced in black and white, what is lame (when you see them, you will understand)!!!

Review by

No matter what graphic novels music reference = win. I love how passionate Gillen was about a genre of music..passionate enough to construct a goddess,though aged, which his life revolved around 10 yrs. later. This book doesn't seem to speak just about eras of music ending but about people moving on and the sadness that comes when people forget how the music made them.<br/><br/>I wasn't ever in Gillen's position and I probably won't ever be at this point. I don't know if we'd ever have a Britpop revival as intense as the original era and, even if we did, I'm passed my early 20s. I did enjoy some epic Britpop moments on this side of the pond but there wasn't as big of a scene in upstate NY as you'd see in England for sure. Also, when I started getting into Blur and Pulp, for example, I was way too young to go to clubs (think aged 16 or 17). <br/><br/>The other difference between Gillen and I is that I always incorporated all kinds of different genres of music into my listening habits. For me, I can be just as upset about the heyday of Tropicalia ending as I am Britpop. I know that's strange but it's very true. Back then, I was listening to bands like Radiohead, Pavement, Sunny Day Real Estate, Blur, REM, Neil Young, Beatles, Bob Dylan, Pulp, Joni Mitchell and I was listening to them all together like one big happy family. The only difference now is that I listen to all of these and more (definitely more psychedelic bands, I can tell you that!)<br/><br/>So, when I think of the pain Gillen must have been going through, I just think about if my top ten favorite bands making music today all suddenly decided to call it quits. OR I think about the stabbing anguish I felt when Mark Linkous of Sparklehorse died and I amplify that by at least 10. <br/><br/>Perhaps the most important aspect of this graphic novel aren't it's personal notions, however, but the way it gives weight and remembrance to such a fine era of music that probably can't be repeated as so many circumstances came together to make it happen. The book is also really helpful to include a dictionary and at times album recommendations for people who may not know some of these bands as you will likely want to know more after reading.<br/><br/>Let me final point be this: I think music is one of those things you shouldn't swap for a marriage, career, kids, etc. It's a real tragedy that people do this, perhaps even more traumatic than a grand era of music ending. I myself was told when I was in college that I only listened to the music that I listened to because I was in college. I knew much better than that. Music is a relationship with a beautiful goddess and, if you love her, she can never crack.<br/><br/>

Review by

A strange comic homage to 1990s Britpop. Although I listened to a lot of 1990s music, a lot of this musical moment passed me by. I suspect that a reader of this work might gain more from it if he or she understood that 'scene'. However, even on a superficial level this is an OK book with some unlikeable British protagonists, a lot of sardonic commentary and in-jokes.

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