Monday, January 18, 2010

Days Like This

Written by J. Torres
Art by Scott Chantler

This book is one of those delightful all-ages types that Oni used to put out, but has apparently stopped for the last couple of years.

Days Like This is a story set in the early 1960s, and focuses on the newly ex-wife of a recording executive, who decides to start up her own label. She meets Christina and her friends at her daughters' school talent show, and forges them into 'Tina and the Tiaras', an up and coming new musical act. Mrs. Anna, the new record mogul, must deal with her ex, her neglected child, and Luther, Tina's father, who does not approve.

The relationship between old-fashioned, church-going Luther and his daughter is at the heart of this book. He objects to her parading around on stage, he objects to her neglecting her church singing, and he objects to her taking 'Christ' out of her stage name, in the funniest scene in the comic. Really, this is a book about a teenager growing up and pulling away from her father. This thread doesn't really get explored enough for me though, and the resolution of it is a little ambiguous.

In a lot of ways, I felt like the story here took the easy way around a number of issues that should be more relevant for this time period; race of course being the largest issue. This is early-60s America, yet there does not seem to be even a hint of racial tension throughout the book. As well, Mrs. Anna seems able to navigate the music industry without even an implication of chauvinism, which doesn't ring true.

Chantler's art is crisp and easy, and he and Torres have a nice energy together. This book is a good companion to their 'Scandalous'.

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