The Bea­tles Yel­low Sub­ma­rine

Foreword Reviews - - Spotlight Reviews | Graphic Novels -

Bill Mor­ri­son, Ti­tan Comics (AU­GUST) Hard­cover $29.99 (128pp) 978-1-78586-394-3

Bill Mor­ri­son adapts the Bea­tles’ fa­mous an­i­mated mu­si­cal film for his graphic novel The Bea­tles Yel­low Sub­ma­rine.

Yel­low Sub­ma­rine, which de­buted fifty years ago in 1968, was ground­break­ing for its in­ven­tive psy­che­delic an­i­ma­tion and col­ors; it was also an en­ter­tain­ing way for the Bea­tles to transfer their mu­sic into an­other medium. But Yel­low Sub­ma­rine had so much go­ing for it vis­ually that it was pos­si­ble to for­get the mu­sic and just en­joy the film as a fun, some­what bizarre car­toon ad­ven­ture.

That’s ex­actly the ap­proach Mor­ri­son takes in this adap­ta­tion. Pos­si­bly due to is­sues with pub­lish­ing rights, the film’s songs aren’t in­cluded in the book, so fans who re­mem­ber a par­tic­u­lar bit of di­a­logue lead­ing in to “Sgt. Pep­per’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” or “When I’m Sixty-four” might be sur­prised at the ab­sence of those lyrics. But oth­er­wise, Mor­ri­son re­mains faith­ful to the movie, with the Blue Mea­nies who in­vade Pep­per­land try­ing to de­stroy the mu­sic, beauty, and joy therein, and the Fab Four an­swer­ing a call for help.

Mor­ri­son’s art is often stun­ning—as he ex­plains in the book’s fore­word, he set out to make “each page look like a poster.” The graphic novel’s vi­su­als don’t morph and move, of course, but they’re still quite im­pres­sive to gaze upon. Ad­di­tion­ally, the graphic novel for­mat al­lows one to linger on the clever script, es­pe­cially the amus­ing ut­ter­ings of Jeremy, the “Nowhere Man,” along with many successful one-lin­ers by the Bea­tles them­selves.

The Bea­tles Yel­low Sub­ma­rine is fun for read­ers of any age; for Bea­tles fans, it’s a no-brainer.

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