Friday, May 4, 2012
Manga Friday: Baby's In Black
Title: Baby's in Black: Astrid Kirchherr, Stuart Sutcliffe, and the Beatles
Author: Arne Bellstorf
Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: First Second (May 8, 2012)
The story of the Beatles in the early years as they were putting in their 10,000 hours in Hamburg, Germany. Before they were "The Beatles," there was Stuart Sutcliffe, their "fifth Beatle," who fell in love and was engaged to Astrid Kirchherr, a young photographer in Hamburg. This is her story.
Mood factor - this graphic novel in black and white sets a wonderful tone. The simplicity of the lines makes it feel rich; not overdone.
Plot - I love graphic novel memoirs because the author/illustrator is constricted by the genre and must synthesize the messy parts of anyone's life into the absolute essentials. At its most essential, this is Astrid's story of love and loss and hope.
Art - There is something comforting about the elements that weave throughout this book: Astrid's cigarette smoke that chain smokes its way through the pages; the winter trees and black scarf that begin and end the book, and the lyrics from "Love me Tender" blowing on the breeze.