Official Press Release
This March, Oni Press will be bringing a graphic novel to the comics racks worthy of the name “original.” Written by J. Torres (THE COPYBOOK TALES, X-MEN UNLIMITED) and illustrated by Scott Chantler, DAYS LIKE THIS is the fictionalized account of one woman’s ambitions in the music industry and the teenage girl group she creates.
Set circa 1962, it revolves around Harmony Plaza, a buzzing factory for pop music. Hits for bands all across the world are written there, and teenage heartthrobs like Dana Darling and Robbie Mann got their start in those musical hallways. So did Anna Solomon, now ex-wife of music mogul Abe Solomon. Anna is taking her divorce settlement and starting her own music label. Her first signing comes when she discovers Christina James and her two friends singing at their high school talent show-and Tina and the Tiaras are born.
DAYS LIKE THIS is the story of these remarkable women and how they conquer the music industry.
“I remember it was a Friday night, and my e-mail dinged,” Oni Press editor in chief Jamie S. Rich said. “It was J. Torres. He had been toying around with some ideas and had written up some entries for an imagined music encyclopedia. He thought he’d send it to me, as it was right up my alley. The attached documents had biographies of Anna Solomon, songwriter Karen Prince, the Tiaras, and all the various periphery characters. J. had already put his world together, and his instincts were right-I was instantly hooked.”
“It’s no secret that most folks in comics also love music,” Torres said. “You’ve got guys like Joe Casey and James Kochalka playing in bands, you have the Hernandez Bros. and Paul Pope and Chynna Clugston-Major listing the songs they are listening to when they work, and then you have people who are making comics about the music they listen to. It seems these days, most of those comics end up at Oni.”
“DAYS LIKE THIS has been a personal project for me,” Torres added. “I love the bubblegum pop music that flowed out of the Brill Building, and that still lights up oldies radio. It’s a type of music I could share with my father. He passed away this last year, and I have been writing the comic with him in mind. It’s the thing I have done that he could have read and he would get it.”
While new to comics readers, Scott Chantler is actually a seasoned artist with a background in commercial illustration and animation. To see more of Chantler’s work, visit http://www.scottchantler.com.
“I had seen work from Scott years ago, back even at Dark Horse,” Rich said. “I remember liking it then, but had sort of lost track of him since. When J. sent me a link to his site, I was instantly reminded of why I had been into his stuff. His classic approach to a vintage illustration style was perfect to capture the essence to the time our comic book took place in.”
“This was a fascinating project for me,” Chantler explained, “It’s exactly the type of work I’d been looking for in comics, because I can’t think of another book like it. It’s personal and character-driven, and makes meaningful use of the time period. It’s not just some nostalgia trip. It gave me an opportunity to do a lot of juicy research and challenged me to represent the era properly, but without ramming it down people’s throats. There is something iconic to J.’s story that I wanted to reflect in the art.”
In addition to the comics, DAYS LIKE THIS will contain supplemental material written by Rich about the climate of pop music that inspired this project. Though known primarily for his editing duties at Oni, Rich also the author of the illustrated novel CUT MY HAIR, a book evocative of the early ’90s music scene. He also writes reviews for Portland, OR area papers.
DAYS LIKE THIS ships to comic book stores on March 26, 2003. It contains 80 pages of black-and-white story and art. This original graphic novel one-shot will retail for $8.95. It will be printed at digest size, 6″ X 9″.
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