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