As Jamie Rich reminds us in his afterword, the idea that all musicians must write their own lyrics and melodies is, in actuality, a rather stupid idea. What many think of as some of greatest performers of all time didn’t write a note or word on their own, and despite the occasional master of all crafts that appears, we do not need the endless parade of singer/songwriters that often plug up the music charts. Writing a song, both in terms of lyrics and music, is an art many performers just aren’t up to. Don’t you dare harken back to older times, either — it was just as rare back then as it is now for a singer/songwriter to actually be good. Pop music takes an even more rare talent — how to be everything to everyone and say it with an infectious tune requires a pretty impressive sense of balance.

All this to introduce Days Like This, a wonderful new feel-good journey through the 1960s music industry that produced some of greatest pop music America knows. Groups were formed out of some of the strangest circumstances. In this case, Anna Solomon, ex-wife of a record producer, is determined to take on her ex’s business and beat him at his own game, but first she’s got to find some talent. Enter three high school girls performing at the her daughter’s high school show, and Anna knows she’s got her new band. If only lead singer Tina’s father would let them perform. Tackling head on the minefields of family loyalties, first time writing and recording staff, and her own doubts, Anna is determined to make Tina and the Tiaras stars.

Everything in this title is, pardon the bad pun, perfectly on key — the dialog is easy and perfectly pitched, and the clean flow of Scott Chantler’s artwork wraps it all together in an energetic package. The only let-down is that you can’t hear the music.

Days Like This
ISBN: 1929998481
by J. Torres
Art by Scott Chantler
Oni Press 2003

  • Robin B.

    | She/Her Teen Librarian, Public Library of Brookline

    Editor in Chief

    Robin E. Brenner is Teen Librarian at the Brookline Public Library in Massachusetts. She has chaired the American Library Association Great Graphic Novels for Teens Selection List Committee, the Margaret A. Edwards Award Committee, and served on the Michael L. Printz Award Committee. She is currently the President of the Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table for ALA. She was a judge for the 2007 Eisner awards, helped judge the Boston Globe Horn Book Awards in 2011, and contributes to the Good Comics for Kids blog at School Library Journal. She regularly gives lectures and workshops on graphic novels, manga, and anime at comics conventions including New York and San Diego Comic-Con and at the American Library Association’s conferences. Her guide, Understanding Manga and Anime (Libraries Unlimited, 2007), was nominated for a 2008 Eisner Award.

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