border=”0″> I’m not quite sure what to make of “Neil Young’s Greendale,” a graphic novel based upon the legendary rocker’s concept album, with which I have zero familiarity. Certainly, Young’s hardcore fans will view the work with different eyes “ my set arrives at the text fresh and open.
It centers on the small town of Greendale, just outside of which resides the Green family: an artistic hippie dad, his farming wife and their beautiful teenage daughter, Sun, who was born a twin, yet remained one only shortly. Now 18, the heart-of-gold Sun starts having weird dreams “ like, goat-man weird “ and withdrawing from her everyday world. Soon thereafter, a stranger looking not unlike Young shows up in town.
The resulting events entail loss of innocence, supernatural happenings and long-buried family secrets coming to light. Is it horror? Fantasy? Something else entirely? Yes or no and kinda … I think. Like a Stephen King epic, it’s sort of all of these things without committing to the constraints of any single genre. That makes the preachy, political end seem even more out-of-place.
It should be noted that while Young has blessed this project, he didn’t script it; that’s left to Joshua Dysart, who does as fine a job as any, I suppose, in expanding the singer’s vision to a fiction-ready narrative. Although not stunning, the story is nothing of which to be ashamed, and Cliff Chiang’s illustrations shine with urgency and poignancy. “Rod Lott