Greendale HC… I love you! (And NOT like a sister either!)

Posted: July 12, 2010 in Hardcover Review
Tags: , , , , ,

DEFINITELY Eisner Award Worthy!

I wanted to bring this review of Neil Young’s Greendale Hardcover over from my original post on CCW*TV.

I’m not planning on doing this very often– but I really liked this book.

Previous readers: Please note I have added a lot of extra opinion and content in this revised review.

For about three years, I was the main Film Critic for a major film magazine– so I’m fairly certain I know how to write an interesting review with ruining your experience WITHOUT SPOILERS.

So that will be the way I will attempt to write my reviews.

If there are MAJOR SPOILERS I will always try to warn you!

Just finished Neil Young’s Greendale Hardcover… and I loved it.

Never been a huge fan of Neil Young (have to side with Ronnie Van Zant and his “Sweet Home Alabama” description of Neil). So I was very skeptical– wondering what I was about to get into– when I read Neil’s one paragraph blurb in the front of the book… Where he basically professes to not know exactly what his story is about.

The internal alarm bells began ringing immediately.

Neil needs to lay off the peyote– or any other hallucinogen he might be partaking in… Because Joshua Dysart writes an unbelievably compelling, intelligent, multi-layered narrative. I understood it perfectly (at least how I believe I was meant to understand and relate to the story). There were several spots where the narrative could have easy derailed and devolved into pedantic preachy bullshit– but Dysart ALWAYS resists the urge to slide into easy clichés or quirky, unintelligible storytelling.

Cliff Chiang’s art is wonderful. Each line is meticulously considered– without ever seeming mechanical. Chiang somehow makes his art flow seamlessly with the quietude the story demands. Dave Stewart’s coloring is perfection as usual.

MY ONLY BEEF

I did not like that one of the characters looked exactly like a younger version of Neil Young. I understood the conceit behind it– but the appearance of Neil’s famous mug dragged me out of the story almost every time his character appeared. That’s a very minor slag though. Once you accept the vanity (whether someone insisted on this or it was just a loving homage from the comic’s creators) it is relatively easy to just forget about this misstep and move on.

The book design is impeccable. It is one of the few times in recent memory that I felt like I was holding a piece of printed art that had not just NEEDLESSLY DESTROYED hundreds of trees to exist… This feeling is VERY IMPORTANT given the storyline.

I really admire seeing this kind of awareness from Book Designer. Book Design is an art. And it is apparent this designer was quite aware of the story inside–- even when deciding on what paper stock to use for the book’s interior and exterior pages.

Overall, I loved Neil Young’s Greendale. Maybe even more so because I wasn’t expecting to. Would definitely recommend this work to anyone who is in the mood to read a GREAT GRAPHIC NOVEL.

Sure, you could read a Deadpool Hardcover (or something like it) instead. Free world. But you would really be making a decision between reading a wonderful modern-day fairytale or reading a piece of mainstream mutant corporate crap. Your choice.

Comments
  1. Because you like it so much, and I kinda dig Neil Young as well, I’m going to pick this book up on Thursday, IM

  2. It is. I just finished it. Great to look at. Inside and Outside. The main character is very loveable and the family is quite intriguing and to indentify with, eventhough I am not an American. About two thirds into the story, when things become bad for the family I really got emotional. That doesnt happen much, so its that good. One of the best graphic novels of the year for me.

    • Insideman says:

      I am SO happy you enjoyed it, hack/slash. As a former movie reviewer– I was always VERY conscious of the fact that if I recommended something… People would spend money on it. I feel the same way about these comic hardcover and graphic novel reviews. These books are NOT cheap– and even MORE expensive outside the US… So it means a lot to me that you spent your hard earned money AND enjoyed the recommendation!

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