Synopses & Reviews
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 worlds greatest rock band. The heart of Babys 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. Author/illustrator Arne Bellstorf tells this tender story with stirring, romantic black-and-white artwork. Babys In Black is based on a true story.
"Based on the biography of Stuart Sutcliffe, one of the original Beatles, and his relationship with German photographer Astrid Kirchherr, Bellstorf's tragic love story offers insight into the time the Beatles spent performing together in Germany before they made it big. Astrid is a bohemian Francophile who is drawn to the incredible music of the Beatles, then playing in a dive bar in Hamburg. She is immediately attracted to bassist Sutcliffe, and despite their different languages and worlds, the pair fall into a happy, and seemingly easy, romance. But their happiness is short-lived: the Beatles are being forced to leave the country, and Stuart's health is failing. The dialogue all rings true, and although both languages are portrayed in English, the confusion of the characters comes through without losing the audience. Thought the art style suits the story well, the facial features and hair of the male characters are similar enough that it is often difficult to identify which character is which. Fans of the Beatles will certainly be interested in this little-told tale of their early years. The end notes are particularly helpful in giving further perspective on Astrid's continued relationship with the band." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
was born in Dannenberg, Germany in 1979. Since 2006 he has been writing and illustrating a monthly comic page for a German newspaper, Der Tagesspiegel
. His New York Times
Best-Selling graphic novel Babys In Black
garnered unprecedented success in the German market, finding fans from all walks of life. Arne Bellstorf lives in Hamburg, Germany.