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The Grateful Dead: Origins by Chris Miskiewicz and Noah Van Scriver (2020)

Finished: 5/21/21

Grade: B

A bio-graphic novel detailing the origins of the Grateful Dead in San Fransisco, from their early shows, to playing as the house band for the acid tests, and culminating with their performance at Woodstock. Hang out with Jerry and the gang as they reinvent their sound, take LSD, and scuffle with the police.

I don’t care about the Grateful Dead. I have tried to get into their music twice before and it just doesn’t click. As my friend Nick says: “I bet if we were high, and watching them live, then we would get it.” Maybe. The truth is that I only read this book because I am drawn to Noah Van Sciver’s art style for some reason I don’t understand. I went to Secret Headquarters twice and both times this was the only book that stood out to me, so I bought it.

And It’s Fun! Like a good old fashioned bio-pic. I don’t think I’m walking away with a new understanding of what made The Grateful Dead so special, but the ground level perspective of the narrative puts you right in the swirling epicenter of the hippie movement and it was fun to live in that world for a while.

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