Sunday, July 31, 2011

Phonogram - David Can't Fail - Matt Duarte

Phonogram in “David Can't Fail” by Matt Duarte

Panel 1

Description: David Kohl is standing in a bar, cockily smoking a cigarette and holding a drink, as if about to take a sip.

CAPTION: Despite the oh-so-popular disaffected façade and natural contempt that Phonomancers tend to wear in each other's presence...

CAPTION: The truth is that in the weeks after the “Britannia Incident”, my name was spoken in hushed tones and awed reference by everyone I came across.

Panel 2

Description: David is drinking from the glass now, and behind him we can see two rather young girls looking at him from the far end of the bar. They are whispering to each other, and David probably knows this too as he smirks to himself.

CAPTION: Half of them wanted to shake my hand and pat my back. The other half wanted to punch me in the most painful place they could imagine.

CAPTION: Me? I was happy to take it all in.

Panel 3

Description: From behind David, as he is walking to the stage of the club he is in, which is little more than a couple of inches above the rest of the ground. On it, there's a guitar player, bass, singer, drummer, and a keyboard player. Standard band set-up. Around him, there's only about a dozen people.

CAPTION: If the whole music scene wanted to collectively stroke and/or bite my shaft, I was more than willing to let them.

CAPTION: Hubris? I don't know the meaning of the word.

SINGER: This next one goes out to David...

CAPTION: ...wait, what?

Panel 4

Description: Same layout as before, except some new members have appeared on stage: a saxophone player, a trumpet player, and a trombone player. Behind them, a large chessboard flag has dropped bearing a phonomancer sign. David is now freaking out, arms to his side. The people that were scattered before are now forming a circle around him.

SINGER: The biggest cunt in this city. Who killed one music revival already. We won't let you do it again.

CAPTION: Shit. Shit. Shit.


CAPTION: Another ambush. Weapon of choice? The only genre more ephemerally short-lived, banally narcissistic and purposelessly catchy than Britpop...

Panel 5

Description: A small in-set panel, showing only David's face, which is a mix of horror and despair.


Next: Riding the Fourth Wave!


  1. I think someone marked you down for the potty mouth. I think that's the first C-bomb on here. I have no problem with that.

    This page starts as some sort of introspective internal rant and that seems washed away for me by the gag at the end. I can't see an actual tale stemming out of the ska element but it makes for a quick laugh in this one page arena.

  2. Haha, damn, I forgot to censor it. Well, I think that the c-word would have easily appeared in Phonogram, so it's fine.

    Now, had I done it in the Cap script, that would have merited the low score.

  3. Ha, and if you say the title with a certain accept it become yet another, hilarious, C-bomb. Golden.

  4. I don't get it... but then, I don't get the concept behind this comic. I've never read it and I can't seem to find any useful information on Wikipedia, or even the comic's official page. So I have to ask, will the Ska music hurt him in some way? I'm really confused :/

  5. Good use of the existing character and the concept and it works quite nicely as a one pager.

    Ska. Ick.

  6. Danial: Think about it this way, would listen to a really, really bad song cause you pain? Not physical, of course.

    Ska is frowned upon by music critics, so I have to imagine that making David sit through a set of ska songs would probably be like torture for him.

  7. So based on Ben's script, does the "magic" just mean making people "feel" the music? When I read that "music is magic", I was picturing a Doctor Strange type deal with beams of energy coming from trumpets and such :)

  8. I thought this was a great script Matt. I cannot understand this low score.

    From what I have read while researching, and from this script/epilogue, I want to pick up this comic as soon as possible.

    That's one of the things I LOVE about this site - it exposes you to stories you would have otherwise possibly not heard of.

  9. That low score is mind boggling to me, because this is a great script.

    Reads just like the David Kohl I know and love/hate. The captions quickly set the scene and smack of his unique brand of jerkiness.

    Additionally, I love the idea of someone attacking David with Ska. Too good.

  10. Maybe the low scores are from people who like Ska :P

  11. Yet again Matt your writing shows how great you are at capturing a character instantly. With one one page every reader even people unfamiliar with Phonogram know exactly what kind of guy David Kohl is.

    Also the reveal of the extra band members to form them into the 'deadly' ska band was genius.

  12. Thanks for the kind words, guys. Yeah, I don't know what's up with the score (as I obviously thought it was a good script, was expecting some 3 stars perhaps), but it is slowly going up. I like Danial's idea that I pissed off some ska fans. It should be noted that despite poking fun of it here, I actually do like ska.

    Also, Danial, the magic in Phonogram is nowhere near as flashy as in Dr. Strange. I don't know what the limits of it are, as we've only seen a limited amount of acts. The most common one is convincing people to let you do things (like play a song, or let you into a club), but there have been some more complex things, like Mr. Logos burning his typewriter, or David preparing a ritual to realign his personality.

  13. While I couldn't possibly agree with the sentiment (I can think of much shorter lived, equally narcissistic, though perhaps not quite as catchy genres... Romo comes to mind), I think you captured Kohl's voice perfectly and this was full of fun little in-jokes and references, just like Phonogram at its best.

  14. Oh, and I quite like a bit of ska.

  15. I had no idea what the heck Romo was until I looked it up on Wikipedia. You learn something new everyday.


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