Graham Reid | | 1 min read
One things was clear, many artists didn't feel the need to try to portray their subjects faithfully.
Sometimes a Beatle mop-top was all that needed.
Or so they thought.
By chance this hardback came our way and it is a rather odd affair.
With text by Michels Mabel and by written Gaet's (never heard of them either, we're guessing they're French) this offers a very cliched synopsis of the Beatles' story in chapters such as Hamburg, The Man Who Refused to Sign the Beatles!, The Queen's Rebels, Shea Stadium and the American Tour through to The White Album, Paul is Dead, Abbey Road/Let It Be and The Break-Up.
There's also a short postscript of post-Beatles' careers.
But the interest here is that each of these chapters is illustrated by a different artist – some better than others – whose style range from crisply realised caricatures to Victor Giminez' oddly boggle-eyed images around A Hard Day's Night, and to artists who seem to have had the Beatles described to them down a faulty phone line and just took it from there.
Aside from piling on the cliches and not a few falsehoods (the Beatles excited to meet Elvis? Not according to every account), there are some hilarious mistakes in the text: “All I'm Losing goes gold” (All My Loving?); Ed Sullivan announcing a telegram welcoming the Beatles to America from “Elvis Presley and Tom Palmer” (Col Tom Parker); Harrison discovering Billy Preston playing with Ray Charles and introducing him to the band during the Get Back/Let It Be sessions (they'd first met back in Hamburg) and so on.
So here is the story of the Beatles with illustrations as misheard by many then relayed to others who seem to have misheard much of that too.
And then drawn the pictures.
Not without its amusements of course (Gimenez' illustrations), but . . .
THE BEATLES IN COMICS by MICHELS MABEL and GAET'S is available through amazon.com