[Neil Young has been exploring the possibilities of multi-media work for decades now. So it wasn't much of a surprise when his 2003 concept album Greendale, a narrative falling somewhere between heavy social commentary and mystical fable, reemerged a year later as a feature film.
Now Young's Greendale project has reemerged once again, this time as a comic book on DC's alternative line Vertigo. Written by Joshua Dysart (Violent Messiahs, Swamp Thing, Hellboy) with art by Cliff Chiang (Human Target, Green Arrow/Black Canary), Greendale the comic book fleshes out the album's story, providing a more linear, Young-endorsed version of the tale implied by the songs.
Cliff Chiang and Joshua Dysart will be guest-blogging for West Coast Sound today and tomorrow.]
"Comics and music have historically had a pretty dicey relationship. If you'd asked me for this list 5 years ago, it would have been pretty tough to fill without allowing for some crappy, embarrassing licensing vehicle. Luckily, times have changed. Here are some of my recent favorites, in no particular order:
Comic Book Tattoo: an award-winning anthology with a metric ton of talented comic creators interpreting the lyrics of Tori Amos in short story form. Beautiful and engaging.
Fall Out Toy Works: inspired by the song "Tiffany Blews" from Fall Out Boy. There's more to this work than you might expect, as Brett Lewis (writer of the brilliant Wintermen graphic novel) fuses his idiosyncratic storytelling with a Pygmalion tale about love, robots, and the freedom to make your own (bad) decisions.
Put The Book Back On The Shelf: As with Comic Book Tattoo, an anthology based on the songs of Belle and Sebastian. An appropriately cool and sincere evocation of the band and their music.
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Phonogram: Rue Brittania & Singles Club: A clever, stylish take on music and magic. I love these 2 books because they remind me of the power of a perfect pop song, and of the days when I would lock myself in a room with a new CD.
Umbrella Academy: Written by My Chemical Romance's Gerard Way, this Eisner award-winning series reads like a charming mashup of the X-Men and The Royal Tenenbaums. It's a blast of pure imagination.