You can see in Phonogram the seeds of The Wicked + The Divine, I think, and an earlier stage of McKelvie’s art which isn’t quite the style he uses for The Wicked + The Divine or Young Avengers, but which is attractive and clean. The aesthetic is different, since it’s all black and white; it looks quite striking, but I think I do prefer comics in colour. It makes things easier to read, for me: I had a tendency to lose panels and not read in the right order, for some reason, with Phonogram.
The story itself, well… I know the glossary says that you don’t really need to know Britpop to get it, but I feel like you do need more knowledge than I have. I was toddling and learning to talk and think in the 90s, and even once I was at school and other kids were listening to music, I would still rather have been reading. So a lot of the references and the nostalgia stuff, the whole attitude, was just not in my frame of reference.
The magic system, the goddess and aspects of her, the links to music — it was a cool idea, but not elaborated enough. So lacking that, sympathetic characters or a nostalgic link, I felt like I didn’t really have a way into the comic. It was interesting, but not my thing. Worth a look, though, if you’re a fan of Gillen and McKelvie as a team, and especially The Wicked + The Divine.
Three stars from me mostly because: a) it involves a guy having periods as a punishment for being an asshole, and b) the art.