Not My Small Diary #20: The Power of Music
Comic, edited by Delaine Derry Green, 136 pgs, My Small Webpage, mysmallwebpage.com, $8.50
The comics inside this anthology will make you want to jot down a tracklist for your life’s very own soundtrack.
All of the contributions to Not My Small Diary #20 take up the prompt of “The Power of Music.” While consistent in theme, the work varies in skill. Some panels pop off the page, while others aren’t quite up to snuff. Thankfully, each individual comic short takes up only three or four pages at most.
The collection is well-done for the same reason that it falters. Nostalgia is front and centre. At times, this comes off as hokey or cliché, in some instances so overdone that it feels suffocating. A little nuance is desperately needed.
Granted, there are some really relatable instances of music connecting with a cartoonist’s life. One artist talks about how the music he listens to while making pancakes has stuck with him. Another speaks about secretly listening to records at the back of her childhood house because her parents didn’t like the songs. And yet another tells a wild story of picking up a hitchhiker that happened to be going to the same concert.
All are relatable and charming in their own way. They connect with people as we all have one story or another like this. Like when a song came on at work that got us through the shift. An illustrator pens it perfectly, writing “I would look forward to the moment each shift when I would hear someone promise the love and support that was missing in my life.” This collection reminds us of those moments in each page.