Saturday, August 6, 2011

Phonogram – Behind the Music - MK Stangeland Jr.

(4 Panels)

For thematic purposes, the page should be done in Black and White. Each panel should be of an equal size and stretch the entire horizontal of the page.

Panel 1: A man, MR. BEST, sits at a booth in a smoke filled pub. His face is obscured by a certain lack of lighting. A drink sits on the table in front of him, and a few miscellaneous individuals sit nearby to listen to him speak.

MR. BEST (1): These artists today like to think they have phonomancy figured out. They don’t.

MR. BEST (2): In all our modern history, only four men can ever claim to be true phonomancers.

Panel 2: MR. BEST continues to talk, even as his identity continues to be obscured. The smoke around him begins to form crude music notes.

MR. BEST (1): There’s a reason their music remains as popular as it is. Just like there’s a reason they took the world by storm in the first place.

MR. BEST (2): They weren’t just artists, they were bloody magicians.

Panel 3: MR. BEST continues to talk as the smoke notes begin to come together – they should make out the part of the tune of “I Want to Hold Your Hand” for anyone who’s willing to try to figure out what song the notes represent.

MR. BEST (1): I could have been one of them. I was one of them, once. But then we discovered the magic.

MR. BEST (2): The other three, they thought we should use it. But I didn’t believe in it. So I left, and was replaced with a Starr.

Panel 4: The panel is cut in half by the smoke and the notes it’s forming, with MR. BEST relegated to one side while the rest of the panel makes room for another scene. The right half of the page should be highly recognizable as being from The Ed Sullivan show as he introduces The Beatles.

MR. BEST: Plenty of people claim to know their history, but few know the truth about the origins of…

ED SULLIVAN (1): (Caption Box) Ladies and Gentlemen…

ED SULLIVAN (2): (Caption Box) …THE BEATLES!


Originally, I considered doing a page which featured Elvis as a phonomancer. But then I discovered the heavy British angle the comic seems to have. Thus resulted what you see here.


  1. Tight page, MK. Panel 3 would be my favorite thing ever to see McKelvie draw. The concept is simple enough, really, but you deliver it so well.

    My one big edit would be to tell you to play it with more subtlety. Use word play more, drop the Starr reference, and save the actual reveal for the next page. That would be strong as he'll. Use this page purely as the lure, right hook them with the turn of the page.

  2. @MK to end the week with the Beatles feels exactly how it should. Tightly written and presented page. Panel three for me for me was all kinds of awesome. Actually having the music to I Want To Hold Your Hand is genius. Such a small touch but a wonderfully geeky one. A true fan could pick that out and get something even more from the page than just your average reader.

    I am torn as to how I felt about the Starr line however. One the one hand it felt poetic and had a wonderful beat to it in the way it was said. However I do agree with Ryan that it removed the big reveal would have even more impact.

  3. Great page. The Starr reference gave it away and I would leave it until later (or not at all), but yeah awesome stuff.

  4. The Starr thing probably sounded better in my head, since I imagined it in vocal terms where the spelling wouldn't give it away. Guess this is one of the few times where such a play on words would have been better left out.


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