Talking To Kieron Gillen About Image – Phonogram In 2014 And Getting Drunk With 300 Spartans

Joseph Glass wrote from NYCC. You can see the first part of this interview on Marvel Comics here and with Avatar here.

With just a few minutes left with Kieron Gillen, we touched base on his Image work. This came after the big news for Kieron at NYCC, that Three #1 had sold out and would be receiving a second printing. Of course, the first thing I had to touch on was Kieron's reaction to that.

The biggest news of the past week obviously is Three #1 sold out, so has that met your expectations?

It's very hard to judge anything, because it's straight historical fiction comic. And that's not exactly the sort of thing that makes the most money around, and stuff at Image is really exciting in terms of what people will like, so there's no idea really what to expect. But yes, that it sold out as quickly as it did and getting a second printing, yeah, that's incredibly nice! I really want as many people as possible to read this story, because we've researched it so much, like Geordie (?) and Ryan and Clayton; everybody's put so much effort into this, and as they get into it there's more.

Like, the first issue is pretty much about the Helots, and the second issue we'll bring in a lot more about Spartan politics. So yeah, we just really pick apart the culture of Sparta through this action story of people on the run.

As well as that, obviously, in terms of Spartan history in comics, there's not been a great deal of it. Possibly the most famous being 300. Was that ever any influence on what you did?

Kind of partly. I was like a lot of guys, I was really into, Sparta interested me. Not an overwhelming interest, but always interested in Thermopylae and how little we know about them. What really inspired me was I was reading 300 drunkenly one night, and I love 300, it's a great comic in many ways, and I was hit by the speech that 'we are the only free men' and drunkenly, I sort of went, 'Oh fuck off, Spartans rented slaves!' and the premise for the whole story just downloaded. Take three Helot slaves, put them on the run from like 300 Spartans, so sort of invert the Thermopylae situation, and then use that as a device to talk about everything else in Sparta. And stuff like even the denouement came to me then, so there's been a lot of research to bring that vision into being.

The other thing which you tend to do with Image, which there hasn't been much information about it in a little while, where is the third Phonogram these days?

I feel like maybe the arse end of next year. Maybe around now [October]? What we know is, we've looked at the schedules, we know where Jamie is working, we reckon, okay at this point he will do this and then at that point we're going to do Phonogram. And that is the sort of plan going forward.

We might just be lying, we might just be wrong…

But it feels like there's movement again?

I wouldn't say there's movement, but there's more of a 'Do This' plan; there is a firm plan of 'You will do this, and then you'll do this'. So yeah, it's still all written, so yeah it'll still be happening, and we're really excited by it still.

Report from Bleeding Cool contributor and creator of The Pride and co-writer of Stiffs, Joe Glass. You can follow him on twitter at @josephglass

About Rich Johnston

Head writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world. Living in London, father of two. Political cartoonist.

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