Grace: The Jeff Buckley Story

First Second. Apr. 2019. 160p. ISBN 9781596432871. pap. $19.99. Rated: Teen+. BIOG
This illustrated biography of singer/songwriter Jeff Buckley (1966–97), from DeBartolo (How To Kill a Rock Star), Dizin (City of Spies), and newcomer Reist, marks the 25th anniversary of his signature album, which provides the book’s title and remains beloved by admirers including Bono and David Bowie. Made with love and care, the work incorporates archival material from Buckley’s mother while acknowledging his failures alongside his successes. It isn’t a cradle-to-grave account, but rather the story of Buckley’s music, from his participation in the 1991 tribute concert for his late father to his tragic death during the making of his second album. However, Grace convincingly argues that music was Buckley’s life, and that even the circumstances of his untimely demise demonstrate his fearlessness in his quest to follow his heart wherever and whenever it moved him. The empathetic black-and-white artwork resembles Scott Pilgrim, drawn by Daniel Clowes: often funny and whimsical, dark and gritty when necessary, and colored throughout in shades of Ghost World’s TV-light blue.
VERDICT Passion and sincerity make this take on Buckley’s tale stand out--just as with Buckley’s music. Recommended not just for Buckley enthusiasts but also for fans of music and biographies of all stripes; some profanity and sensual imagery, suitable for all but the youngest readers.
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