Thursday, July 01, 2010


So I just finished Neil Young's Greendale, with script by Josh Dysart and art by the amazing Cliff Chiang, and... well, the art is by the amazing Cliff Chiang!

The art is gorgeous. Gorgeous! Here's a page:

See what I mean?

Problem is, the story never hits the ground for me. It's about Sun Green, a girl in a long line of the Green family where the women all seem to have some sort of nature-magic quirk about them, and then disappear. Reading it, all I could think was that I bet the album would have blown me away... particularly if I were hearing it during the middle of the Bush era. But either way, songs seem able to imply more than the lyrics might say -- we're invited to fill in the blanks with our own experience and details, where Greendale the comic fills those blanks in for us.

Now, I'm a big ol' lib, but the politics in this book just seemed simplistic to me, and never entirely... Idon't know, solid. Bush bad, war bad, drilling bad. More sloganeering and cheerleading than policy. They don't have much depth, and I guess I was hoping for a little more. Or maybe a little less politics altogether. The environmentalism is really at the heart of this book. It never really comes together for me, but taking it out would have gutted the book. But it feels too airy, somehow.

Aargh. At least the book is coherent, which is more than I can say for this post.

Anyway, when I was searching for the art I posted, I found this french website that posted material that an earlier artist, Sean Gordon Murphy, completed before Cliff Chiang replaced him (I don't know why). And I have to say, as much as I love (love!) Cliff's art, I think Murphy might have been a better choice. The people look a little cartoonier, a little less glossy. And with Murphy on art, I likely wouldn't have been interested enough to buy it (Chiang was the draw for me). But I think I would have managed to touch me a little more -- wrap me up in the story more than making me stop and look at every gorgeous page.

Any thoughts? About anything? 'Cause I'm all over the map.


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