Beatles With an A

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78

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ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED

August 2014

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“Affectionately tongue-in-cheek, blatantly less than accurate, riotously hyperbolic and totally absorbing.” – Broken Frontier

These are the first beats of the Beatles’ career as only legendary rock cartoonist Mauri Kunnas could tell them. The cover depicts John, Paul, George and Ringo crossing the street
Abbey Road style, but the street is in Hamburg’s seedy Reeperbahn red-light district. Kunnas chronicles the band from Ringo’s birth (against a backdrop of the Luftwaffe shelling Liverpool) through the release of their hit ‘Please Please Me’/‘Ask Me Why’.

Focusing on the band’s pre-fame days in a sly and irreverent style (and not shying away from Brian Epstein’s fixation upon John), Kunnas makes liberal use of corny in-jokes and hokey wordplay, but it’s all done in good fun.

Hilarious moments and details not even dedicated fans will remember having heard before are all told with Kunnas’s characteristically raucous humour and virtuosic drawing skills.

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REVIEWS

Broken Frontier

•Comic book website

“This playful and entertaining book … tracks the origins and journey of the young Beatles from high-school anonymity to international renown in a comically illustrated hotchpotch of conjecture, anecdote and catch-of-the-day it-was-this-big pub talk … The hand-drawn sketchy panels are crowded with detail and expression, slightly caricature-like in the depiction of their now-famous inhabitants. No doubt there are many references in the jam-packed panels that flew over my head but will leave a true musical aficionado of the time chuffed and grinning slyly.”

Paul Gravett

•Comics journalist and curator

Included in Paul Gravett's Books To Read: Best Graphic Novels August 2014