About The Book: Hamburg, 1960. Astrid Kirchherr has finished art school and now works as an assistant for her former teacher, photographer Reinhart Wolf. Her relationship with Klaus Voormann, a young graphic designer, is slowly fading. One night in October, following another argument, Klaus leaves and goes out on his own. He returns late at night, totally excited about what he has just discovered down in St Pauli, the redlight district of Hamburg: a young group from England playing Rock ‘n’ Roll in a club called Kaiserkeller …When Astrid eventually agrees to accompany him the following night, she doesn’t know her life is about to change forever. »How does one tell the story as it was? … You have to consider the whole background of that time: what was Germany, how did we feel about our parents and what they had done? … The strongest influence for young Germans at this time was the desire - the need - to be different from our parent’s generation. We were struggling to find a new way, to escape the past and the burden of guilt we all carried. Our philosophy then, because we were only little kids, was wearing black clothes and going around looking moody. Of course, we had a clue who Jean Paul Sartre was. We got inspired by all the French artists and writers, because that was the closest we could get. England was so far away, and America was out of the question. France was the nearest. So we got all the information from France, and we tried to dress like the French existentialists.« A fascinating, exhilarating portrait of the Beatles in their early years. In this book you will meet the Beatles . . . right at the beginning of their careers. This gorgeous, high-energy graphic novel is an intimate peek into the early years of the world’s greatest rock band. The heart of Baby’s In Black is a love story. The “fifth Beatle,” Stuart Sutcliffe, falls in love with the beautiful Astrid Kirchherr when she recruits the Beatles for a sensational (and famous) photography session during their time in Hamburg. When the band returns to the UK, Sutcliffe quits, becomes engaged to Kirchherr, and stays in Hamburg. A year later, his meteoric career as a modern artist is cut short when he dies unexpectedly. The book ends as it begins, with Astrid, alone and adrift; but with a note of hope: her life is incomparably richer and more directed thanks to her friendship with the Beatles and her love affair with Sutcliffe. This tender story is rendered in lush, romantic black-and-white artwork. Baby’s In Black is based on a true story.
About The Author: Arne Bellstorf was born in Dannenberg, Germany in 1979. In 2005 he graduated at the University of Applied Sciences (Department Design) in Hamburg. His final thesis, entitled »acht, neun, zehn«, was his first graphic novel and received much recognition in Germany. It has since been published in France, Italy, Poland and South Korea. Frankfurt Book Fair, Comixene and Frankfurter Rundschau named Arne Bellstorf »Newcomer of the Year« in 2005. Since 2006 he has been writing and illustrating a monthly comic page for a German newspaper, Der Tagesspiegel. Besides working as an illustrator and comic artist, he also co-edits the annual Orang comic magazine with Sascha Hommer. Together, they founded Kiki Post, a small collective and independent publishing house for comics, in 2004. Arne Bellstorf is currently living in Hamburg, Germany. If you would like to know more about Ame Bellstorf then click here and check out his website.
My Thoughts: I was an avid Beatles lover back in the day and Baby's In Black was one of my favorite tunes, the book was ok. As an over 50 Baby Boomer I would have preferred to see actual photographs and not read a cartoon style written book. I am so past that now. I did not get the same pleasure from reading cartoons that I did when I was a child. That aspect of the book made it a difficult read for me. The content itself was wonderful and I loved the story line. I would recommend this book to Baby Boomer Beatles fans even though I would only give it a 3.5 star ranking. It was just ok.
Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley Publishing Group in exchange for an honest preview. The opinions given here are 100% my own.