Graphic Novel Review – Grace: Based on the Jeff Buckley Story by Tiffanie DeBartolo

STATS
Paperback
160 pages
Published April 30th 2019 by First Second
ISBN
159643287X (ISBN13: 9781596432871)
Edition Language
English

STORY SYNOPSIS

A moving graphic biography for music lovers, Grace: The Jeff Buckley Story is painstakingly researched and created in collaboration with Jeff Buckley’s estate.

California, 1991. All his life, people have told Jeff Buckley how much he looks like his father, the famous ’60s folksinger he barely knew. But Jeff believes he has gifts of his own: a rare, octave-spanning voice and a songwriting genius that has only started to show itself. After he falls in love with a mysterious girl in New York, he sets out to make a name for himself outside his father’s shadow.

What follows are six turbulent years of music, heartbreak, hope, and daring—culminating in a tragedy that’s still reverberating in the music world today. 

Written by Tiffanie DeBartolo and with art by Pascal Dizin and Lisa Reist, this graphic novel biography uses archival material provided by Jeff’s mother, Mary Guibert, to reveal the young songwriter in the process of becoming a legend.
 

MY THOUGHTS

I am a fan of Jeff Buckley. I think anyone who has heard his haunting version of Leanord Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ would be affected by it and be a fan. But Jeff Buckley was generally an enigma whose life was cut short. Even after reading this, he is still sort of an enigma. I learned a few new things: for instance, I had no idea who his dad was, or that he was actually a folk singer. I learned that he was uncomfortable with fame and how it was thrust upon him, first in comparison to his father and then further through his own well earned fame. Then poof, his life, his light was out like a light. Jeff Buckley still remains an enigma. Maybe that is how the author intended it. To show that to all, he was and always will be this great shining star that brought light into the sky for a brilliant moment then puffed out. It is really sad the way his life ended. 

Still, it felt very unsatisfying to me. 

Aside from the story the graphics are extremely well done. Kudos to Dizin and Reist. They used a light touch but conveyed a lot of information.

PROCUREMENT

I received a copy of this from Netgalley in exchange for my open and honest review.

IF YOU LIKE THIS, READ THESE

Squirrel Pancake by Tiffanie DeBartolo

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Tiffanie DeBartolo is the author of ‘Grace: Based on the Jeff Buckley Story’, (2019), ‘How To Kill a Rock Star’ (2005), and ‘God Shaped Hole’ (2002), and is the writer and director of the movie ‘Dream for an Insomniac’ (1996) starring Jennifer Aniston, Ione Skye, and Mackenzie Astin.
She is the Founder and CEO of SF Bay Area record label Bright Antenna Records featuring such artist as The Wombats, Wilderado, Roman Lewis, Sports Team, Mona, Flagship, Beware of Darkness, Love Thy Brother, Cheerleader, and Middle Class Rut.
Tiffanie lives in Marin with her husband Scott Schumaker and her two dogs Dipsea and Kazoo.
She was born in Youngstown, OH and went to Villa Maria High School in Villa Maria, Pennsylvania before studying Philosophy at University of California, Berkeley, California. She has two sisters: Lisa DeBartolo & Nikki DeBartolo.

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