What I thought of Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl #4

Thoughts about #1, #2 and #3.

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Last issue saw Emily try to escape using the video to Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart, but this issue starts in Bristol in 2008 which is a bit of a diversion to say the least. Still, Gillen and McKelvie share the horror that was an Indie night in the (now defunct) Cooler that was on Park Street in the city.

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At least I think it’s the Cooler, it certainly looks a bit like it and a ‘hateful hole full of hateful arseholes’ summed what it was up quite well.

It’s probably best that you’ve read the previous issue of Phonogram as this is a tale of Laura, another member of the coven and her time in Bristol. It’s also about spotting little bits of Bristol such as the Wetherspoons used for a scene, or wondering if the houses early in the issue are in Redland or Cotham, or generally as a current inhabitant of Bristol being utterly distracted by the detail McKelvie throws in along with some fantastic layouts.

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And there then follows some lovely pages of commentary of the Indie scene, before a superhero fight breaks out that I’m not going to spoil.

This is an odd little issue of the series that’s a bit of an interruption but there’s much going on here as small details are given that hint at the main storyline, and also, in the glossary Gillen confirms the club is indeed The Cooler and a shitehole it was too, but I only skirted the outskirts of the Bristol Indie scene mainly due to the astonishingly poncy arseholes that tended to smother the joy from it.

And this comic brings back the bad and good of days a decade ago. It’s fantastic for that alone.

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