|Yup, colour is new. And will be interesting, as it changes everything.|
Horrifically we actually have an agent. Clearly, it'll never be a film, but we find the idea of having an agent hilarious.
Regarding discussion, here's the over-view of the comic I lobbed up on the site recently. It's a brief "This is why series 2 is different" sort of thing. I suspect I should work in more about the actual themes of the thing ("Subjective perceptions of a shared social event") and why we did the setting ("We wanted to go the opposite direction of PG1. That is, instead of a retro story with a single lead, we'd have a virtually contemporary story with a group-cast"). But there's time for that, eh?
“The history of a battle, is not unlike the history of a ball…”
The Duke of Wellington
Our second mini-series is seven issues long and picks up just over a year after Phonogram: Rue Britannia. It’s a somewhat different beast.
It’s on a single night. To be precise: December 23rd 2006.
In a single nightclub. To be precise: Never On a Sunday, a all-girl-music nightclub in a tiny room above an ancient Bristol pub.
And each of the part follows the evening of one of the seven, single phonomancers – or, at least, people in the world of phonomancers. Some you’ll know from the first series, but most will be unfamiliar. David Kohl’s in it, but isn’t one of the lead characters – though Emily Aster and Kid-with-knife are.
Oh – and while there’s interlinking events and similar structural fanciness, each of the stories all stand alone as a single chapter. If you’re familiar with comics and want a reference… well, while the first series was Hellblazer’s protagonist-on-quest, the model here is Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan’s Demo. In fact, I’m a little annoyed Wood got “Demo” as a title, as it’d have been a good title for this series. Most of the cast are much younger than Rue Briannia’s. While Kohl’s problem was identity related to the past, most of theirs are wrestling with the problems with identity and the future.
And trying to get off with each other, obv.
There’s more to the mini-series than the main arc, however. The main story is a sixteen-page Fell-sized story. We’re having back-up stories every issue from artists who we’ve talked into contributing to the project. Clearly, these stories will stand alone too, and we’ll reveal who’s doing them nearer the time. The remaining pages of the issue will be packed with the usual rants, letters, glossaries and even – assuming we have room – interviews with some of the bands who inspired certain episodes.
One thing to note in advance: assuming we don’t get canceled, when the series is collected, it’ll only be the main arc. All the back-up stories are going to remain for the single issues only. Which we’re doing for reasons of both art and commerce. Let’s talk through it:
1) Commerce one first: We need the mini-series to sell so Jamie can eat. It’s in full colour now, so we need to raise the numbers on the issues a little. As lovers of comics ourselves, we both tend to wait for the trade when there’s no reason to do otherwise.
2) And rapidly, we’re already on art. The “reason to do otherwise” had to be making a comic where the singles are ridiculously compelling, singular objects in and of themselves. These aren’t singles as a stepping stone to a spine. These are singles like… well, a pop single. A condensed blast of everything we give a toss about.
3) I’ll admit, there’s a little bit of open perverseness to trying to make the single exciting. When the industry wisdom says one thing, turning our innovative energies towards an increasingly disrespected format is fun.
4) But even without that: Once collected the main story changes its nature. Reading a single issue gives you a single story, that can be enjoyed in the context of the other back-up stories. In other words: reading the singles puts greater attention on each stories merits as an individual story. Reading the stories in a row puts greater attention on the novelistic connections between them. Having all seven in a trade, then having more stories afterwards breaks the effect. The story, once collected, needs to end, not to change into something else.
I stress, we’re not saying the back-up stories will never be collected. If Phonogram continues, we’d eventually like to do a Hatful of Hollow-style B-sides and Rarities collection – but that’s not going to be for another three or four years. Equally, we’ll probably be including some non-single-issue making-of style material in the trade to personalise it a little. The point being, for THE SINGLES CLUB, the singles and trade are fundamentally different endeavours.
That’s the theory, anyway. We think it’ll be neat.