Saturday, April 19, 2008

Beatles comic book

Alright, maybe I haven't posted here as often as I intended to (how's that for an understatement!). But I'm still here.

This comic book was published in Brazil in 1966 by O Cruzeiro, which used to publish Little Lulu ("Luluzinha" in Brazil), Top Cat ("Manda Chuva") and other great comic book characters, not to mention the major magazine that gave the company its name. The original book was published by Dell in the United States and must be quite a collector's item now. I saw it for sale in 1990 in a New York rare record store called "It's Only Rock and Roll" for $50. I wonder how much it's worth today. By now the real Beatles' story has been told countless times, but in the 60's a "sanitized" version was prepared for the teen audience. For instance: we all know that John Lennon married Cynthia because she was pregnant. The comic book presents a much more romantic version. In the panel below, John is in Hamburg missing Cynthia so much that he doesn't feel like dating the German girls:

So what does he do? He comes back to Liverpool and marries her, of course! Where else but in a church? In fact, the real scene has been drawn by Cynthia herself and printed in both her books, "A Twist of Lennon" and "John". The wedding took place in a Registry Office and the only people in attendance were George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Brian Epstein, Cynthia's brother Tony and his wife. The words of the service were drowned out by the sound of a pneumatic drill outside.

The comic book gives no explanation for Pete Best's departure. Ringo just appears in his place by the time they're recording "Love Me Do". There is also an anectode about the Beatles wearing fake beards to avoid being recognized by the fans while leaving a concert venue, then George Harrison (according to the picture) forgot to remove his fake beard the next time they performed. Ever since then, each and every bearded guy was suspected of being a Beatle in disguise. I've never confirmed this story in any of the books I've read, but who knows? This is typical teen magazine stuff and it may or may not have happened. The art is by Joe Sinnott, famous for his work with Thor and other Marvel characters. Incidentally, Marvel published a Beatles comic book in the 70's, but I've never read it.