Neil Young’s Greendale by Joshua Dysart (writer), Cliff Chiang (artist), Dave Stewart (colorist), Todd Klein (letterer)
Date read: 30 May 2016
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Published 2010 by Young Family Trust and DC Comics
Source: Deschutes Public Library [Teen Graphic novel DYSART JOSH]
I greatly enjoyed this. It went places I hadn’t imagined and it’s far more complex than it needs to be as if there are more Green family stories out there still to be told. Almost makes me tingle.
Let me back up. I heard and acquired this album when it came out in mid-2003 and listened to it many, many times. I was fully immersed in Greendale lore as either directly elucidated or as hinted at on the album. I truly wanted to have a serious “book discussion group” about this album as a text, as a narrative. I was at university at the time and was well-integrated into a couple of those sorts of discussion groups then so it made some sense. Sadly, it never happened. The album truly is that complex. There is one other album from around the same time that I believe merits the same treatment, Poe’s Haunted.
Greendale (the album is Young’s twenty-sixth studio album and his ninth with Crazy Horse. My copy was one of those which “… was originally released with a DVD of live “Neil-only” acoustic performance of the Greendale material from Vicar Street, Dublin, Ireland.” So this was another interpretation.
At some point I also got the movie, which gave another spin on the story. Clearly, Greendale was a rich mental ecosystem for Young.
This graphic novel adaptation by Joshua Dysart and others, with a short intro by Neil (and supposedly some direct involvement) really expands the world while keeping the story the same. It really is pretty brilliant. I honestly think I want to own a copy of this. As I said above, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about Greendale on a fairly serious level.
Highly recommended whether or not you know the album or even if you can’t stand Neil Young (I know those people exist; I don’t hold it against them.).
I really wish there was more of this world, perhaps exploring more of those members of the family who barely made a complicating appearance.
“Legendary singer-songwriter, musician and activist Neil Young brings one of his most personal albums, GREENDALE, to comics. Overseeing the work of acclaimed writer Joshua Dysart (UNKNOWN SOLDIER) and fan-favorite artist Cliff Chiang (HUMAN TARGET), they compose a graphic novel that explores a whole new dimension to the album that Rolling Stone voted as one of the best of its year.In the Fall of 2003, as the nation gallops into war, a politically active teenage girl named Sun lives, loves and dreams in a small California town named Greendale.Sun’s always been different. There’s been talk that the women in her family have all had a preternatural communion with nature. And when a Stranger comes to town – a character whose presence causes Greendale to, well, go to hell – she’ll find herself on a journey both mystical and mythical. To face the Stranger, she’ll unearth the secrets of her family in a political coming-of-age story infused with its own special magic.”