Grace, an upcoming graphic novel about Jeff Buckley, explores the singer-songwriter’s life, career and tragic death. Author Tiffanie DeBartolo (How to Kill a Rock Star, God-Shaped Hole) collaborated with visual artists Pascal Dizin and Lisa Reist on the project, which comes out April 30th via First Second/Macmillan (find it here).
The novel — which includes archival material contributed by the musician’s mother, Mary Guibert — opens with a young Buckley bucking comparisons to his father, songwriter Tim Buckley, and developing his own material. After falling in love with a woman in New York, the guitarist ventures to the city to find his own path. The book charts his rise from obscurity to legend — from formative early Nineties shows in Manhattan’s East Village at venues like Sin-é to releasing his sole LP, 1994’s Grace, through relocating to Memphis, Tennessee, where he accidentally drowned in May 1997.
“This story is more than just a story about Jeff’s life,” DeBartolo said in a statement. “It’s also a story about the impact his extraordinary talent and his eternal spirit has on everyone who discovers his timeless music.”
First Second Editorial Director Calista Brill called the project “a beautiful portrait of the artistic drive that takes somebody to the point he reached” in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “The art is expressive and lively, the whole thing is a joyful ode to him rather than a solemn tribute,” she added. “His mother was very involved in the creation of this book, so the authors had access to a terrific wellspring of information about him. Buckley’s fans will adore this book, and it’ll be an interesting read for people who aren’t familiar with his work.”
Guibert, the executor of the Jeff Buckley Estate, collaborated with Rolling Stone senior writer David Browne on Jeff Buckley: His Own Voice, an upcoming book featuring her son’s previously unseen, handwritten journals.