We’re about to hit Day 1 of Singapore Toy Game and Comic Convention, and what better time to shine the spotlight on Marvel’s guest of honour: Kieron Gillen! If you’re still up and want to find out a bit more about Kieron Gillen, here’s some light reading for you.
Kieron’s been doing comics for quite some time, but he’s only really hit the spotlight when him and his partner in crime Jamie McKelvie got together to do one of the best comics in recent years: Phonogram. The first season of Phonogram is already 5 years old, and while the second only just ended last year, a lot of it is still fresh in people’s minds. And like many others, Phonogram is how I caught on to Gillen’s work. It was wildly inventive, bringing together music and comics in a way that’s only recently been done by Charles Soule’s 27, which under scrutiny can’t actually be filed under the same genre (it’s music AND magic vs music AS magic). What attracted me to it wasn’t just the online buzz – but how he took my listening habits, dragged it out of my mind, then proceeded to craft a story about someone trying to forcefully bring Britpop back to life. That actually also made volume 1 pretty inaccessible for anyone who wasn’t into music or Britpop, and that is why issue 2 is pure magic in it’s execution and accessibility, at times distilling music into the purest form of what it does to people. Sometimes I do wonder if Phonogram would have done better if volume 2 came out first.
Looking back on his career, moving from games journalism to comics, his career has been quite the storied one. From winning awards in games journalism to pioneering a new approach to gaming reviews, Gillen’s work on Rock, Paper, Shotgun has always been a joy to read. While he’s no longer with them on a full-time basis, he still writes for them for special occasions, like when interviewing Irrational’s creative director, Ken Levine. He’s also won an award for his journalistic work – and now, he’s writing comics.
Us geeks would like to wish a merry welcome to Kieron Gillen – to what looks like his second tropical country this year, after his honeymoon in Mexico! He’s going to be on the panel in about 12 hours, so stay tuned!