Saturday, September 08, 2012

Saturday Cartoons-- Baby's in Black

Bellstorf, Arne. Baby's in Black: Astrid Kirchherr, Stuart Sutcliffe, and The Beatles.
May 2012, First Second Books.

Even forty years after The Beatles broke up, students (especially my youngest daughter, whose wardrobe is about 90% Beatles tees) are still interested in the group. This graphic novel does a great job of getting a different view of the very early days of the group. An end note says that Astrid Kirchherr collaborated extensively with the author of this book, so the group's days in Hamburg are portrayed. Klaus Voorman's involvement is also included, and we learn a tiny bit about Paul, John, and the very young George. Stuart Sutcliffe is of course the focus of this, and his art and relationship with Astrid are explored. The narrative ends in 1962 with the death of Sutcliffe from a brain hemorrhage.
Strengths: A great back story that students might not know, in a graphic format that they will enjoy.
Weaknesses: Wow. Did people smoke that much back then. Apparently. There are two f-bombs, both spoken by John, which is realistic. This might be of more interest to high school students, and I may pass on this one, even though I enjoyed it personally.

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