Monday, 26 August 2013

Beatles with an A

© Otava

"Beatles with an A", subtitled "Birth of a band" is not a comic book, but it's more adult equivalent, a graphic novel. Using the comic book format and language, the Beatles' early history is told with a humorous twist. The book takes us from the birth of Ringo Starr to the recording of the song "Please Please Me" in 77 fun-filled pages, full of authentic references and a few speculations.
Amazingly historically correct, the story explores phenomenoms like the "thingy", The Beatles' Hamburg days pet, created with George Harrison's vomit as it's core ingredient. People like Dot Rhone is brought to life, and the characters throughout the story do bear striking resemplances to their real life counterparts.

© Otava

The story has been lovingly told and illustrated by Finnish author of children's book, Mauri Kunnas, and was first published as "Piitles" in Finland last year. Now it's available in English from the book's own website, You can also sample a few pages from the book at the website.
Being both an avid comic book reader as well as a Beatles fan, I heartily recommend this book. The draing style seems to have both underground (Crumb) and overground (Aragones) influences, but is genuinely Mauri Kunnas. His wife and daughter have colourised the drawings. To my delight, the Beatles suits at the Indra club are close to the colours I used back when I first colourised a black and white photo from that time.

George's parents were very tolerant. © Otava

The only thing I would have left out are the "cherubs" Mick and Keith who show up here and there, citing some Rolling Stones lyric. To me, the Beatles were the Beatles, and everyone else was below them. The Rolling Stones was just another British band, a little bit better than the Who but not as good as the Kinks. And of all the other bands who emerged from Great Britain in the sixties, the Pink Floyd tops the list.

Hardcover Comic: 80 pages
Publisher: Otava Publishing Company Ltd
Language: English
Translation: Will Moore
ISBN-10: 9511273957
ISBN-13: 978-9511273950
Product Dimensions: 290mm x 247mm x 10 mm
Weight: 610 grams
Price: 19.70 EUR | £16.90 | $26.20 plus delivery

The book is also due out in Danish, Dutch and Estonian, so far...

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