With his humanesque Grinch-like face and a voice that could send one thousand felines into cat scratch fever, rock music legend Neil Young has never been a typical poster child for the axe set. It’s rather nice that some people actually make their millions based on legitimate raw talent rather than the visage they pimp out on magazine covers and CD sleeves, and while he might easily be justified in basking in the glory of his country-folk-grungy-blues accomplishments, Young is what you might call a modern day renaissance man.
Conquering the music world is one thing, but for the Canadian songwriter-singer, it’s been equally as important to him to make his mark in film and various types media — not just to indulge his artsy inclinations and express his thoughts on a wide range of topics – but more importantly to stay relevant. Let’s face it. Our world pays far more attention to the young pretty thangs than to the seasoned veterans who have earned their keep, so the 64 year old has wisely tried his hand at crafting two somewhat perplexing films, Human Highway and Greendale (the latter of which expanded on his 2003 album of the same name, delving into the notion of an enviropocalypse) and now…he’s dabbling in the world of DC Comic graphic novels.
Written by Joshua Dysart and illustrated by Cliff Chiang on 100% recycled paper, Greendale…the book offers an alternate perspective of Young’s music and film about a typical American town reeling from the effects of our eco-trials and tribulations. Chronicling the tale of Sun Green’s family and particularly of her apparently supernatural powered female members who are “born with flames in (their) hands and bottled love in (their) hips” yet suspiciously disappear one after the other, the book as a whole shines ample light on the omnipresent themes of environment, war and personal responsibility.
Dysart offers a synopsis: “It takes place on the eve of the invasion of Iraq and it’s the story of a young high school girl on the road to finding her inner-activist in a small fictional town set in northern California. Two truly incredible things are about to take place in this town: one is that a visitor of supernatural proportions is arriving to shake things down to their very foundations. The other is that our protagonist is about to discover something miraculous about herself and all the women in her family.” Judging from the across-the-board glowing reviews, the $19.99 text – which happens to be the first of what will ultimately be a multi-part series – is well worth the escapism.