On August 4th, Z2 Comics will release the anticipated graphic novel centered around the early years of the Grateful Dead. Titled Grateful Dead Origins and written by Chris Miskiewicz with illustrations from Noah Van Sciver, the forthcoming novel was first announced last spring and will come with an accompanying soundtrack curated by the Dead’s archivist, David Lemieux.
Fans who purchase the graphic novel’s deluxe edition will receive a vinyl LP containing previously-unreleased live recordings of “Dark Star”, “St. Stephen”, “Death Don’t Have No Mercy”, and “The Eleven”, all of which were captured at the Fillmore West in San Francisco on August 21st, 1968.
Ahead of the book’s release next month, the band has shared the recording of “St Stephen”, that should make for a fine addition to audio archives of diehard Deadheads thanks to its sonic clarity—a rarity when considering the year of its performance and the equipment available at the time. The August 21st, 1968 performance of “St. Stephen” was the band’s West Coast debut of the song, which went on to appear on 1969’s Aoxomoxoa. Listen to the newly-shared recording of the psychedelic anthem via Rolling Stone here.
Z2 Comics has also shared an excerpt from the book which details the band’s famous Playboy After Dark appearance on January 18th, 1969 when they dosed the coffee pot with LSD, resulting in the fictional party turning into a real one.
Scroll down to check out some of the pages from the forthcoming Grateful Dead graphic novel.
Fans can click here to pre-order the deluxe edition of the book ahead of its arrival next month.