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Baby's in Black: Astrid Kirchherr,…
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Baby's in Black: Astrid Kirchherr, Stuart Sutcliffe, and The Beatles… (edition 2012)

by Arne Bellstorf

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7611158,327 (3.79)1
Member:brenpike
Title:Baby's in Black: Astrid Kirchherr, Stuart Sutcliffe, and The Beatles in Hamburg
Authors:Arne Bellstorf
Info:First Second (2012), Edition: Reprint, Hardcover, 208 pages
Collections:Your library, TIOLI 2012
Rating:****
Tags:biography, 7/12

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Baby's in Black: Astrid Kirchherr, Stuart Sutcliffe, and The Beatles in Hamburg by Arne Bellstorf

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Anyone looking for more material to fire up their Beatle mania?

It’s 1960 in Hamburg, Germany and there aren’t many people who have heard of The Beatles yet. Astrid Kirchherr’s ex-boyfriend drags her to a seedy club just to see them. She’s immediately drawn to them, particularly Stuart. What follows is a melancholy love story. I’m sure this story is nothing new to well-researched Beatles fans. It’s just a new way of telling it. Bellstorf does a fantastic job weaving song lyrics throughout this book, and I did feel a connection to the Astrid and Stuart. The art, however, didn’t match up for me. It was mostly frames of black turtlenecks, dangling cigarettes, and broody stares. He’s certainly talented; I just wanted a little more variety. The art never felt like it was helping to tell the story.

I would have preferred to read this novel in narrative form. Still, if you’re looking for some material on The Beatles in their early years, you might want to check this out. ( )
  LauraAshlee | May 27, 2013 |
Love this graphic novel story about the romance between German photographer Astrid Kirchherr and the legendary "fifth Beatle," Stu Sutcliff who died in 1962. This is also a good portrait of the Beatles in Hamburg before they hit the big time. ( )
  Sullywriter | Apr 3, 2013 |
You can probably tell that I am a huge music fan. Well, what you may not know is that I grew up a child of the 60s/70s so far as musical taste goes. Until sixth grade, I didn't really have a conception of 'modern music,' because I listened to what my parents listened to: oldies CDs and the oldies radio station, which tragically went out of business some time in high school. Although my tastes have diversified, I will always have a soft spot for music of that time period, and some of it will always be a favorite. Primary among my favorite bands, oldies or not, are The Beatles. Thus, upon spying this graphic novel about The Beatles in NetGalley, I just had to have it, and First Second was kind enough to approve me.

The cover is a bit misleading, though. The marketing makes this appear to be more about The Beatles than it actually is. The real story that the graphic novel is telling is that of the romance between Stuart Sutcliffe, bassist for The Beatles during the time when they were playing in Germany, and Astrid Kirchherr, a photographer. Reading real life love stories is always so charming, although they are not as neat and happy as fictional ones.

Now, I know I said that this isn't ABOUT The Beatles, but there is still so much to be learned about their early days in here. As a fan who doesn't research music history much, I found those details fascinating. The Beatles were implicated in a fire in Hamburg! Weird, right? One thing I learned, which I should have known, was that The Beatles smoked constantly. I mean, obviously I knew that, but, in my mind, no one smokes, so that reminded me why I would not want to go back in time and hang with The Beatles.

The one thing that I did not, personally care for was the artwork. It's very crude and simplistic, and just did not jive with me at all. However, I do imagine that Kirchherr would approve. Art is a very personal taste, so you should really take a look for yourself. It's just like what you see on the cover.

I wanted to know more and to test the accuracy, so I consulted my good friend Google and found this awesome article from the Daily Record, which pretty much sums up this period in the history of The Beatles, who thankfully changed their name from The Quarrymen. So cool! Also, I would recommend doing a search for Astrid and The Beatles, because you can see a bunch of pictures of her and pictures she took, which is just amazing.

A graphic novel weighing in at just 200 pages, this is a really easy read. Beatles fans, you should definitely check this out!
( )
  A_Reader_of_Fictions | Apr 1, 2013 |
Intriguing graphic treatment of the early days of The Beatles in Hamburg with the fifth Beatle, Stuart Sutcliffe. Sutcliffe, an artist and only lackadaisical bassist, meets, and falls in love with Astrid. He later succumbs to a cerebral hemorrhage. In the meantime, a great look at rock'n'roll in Europe in the 1960s and an affecting love story.... ( )
  mjspear | Sep 19, 2012 |
An interesting and appropriate take on the Stuart - Astrid romance part of Beatle history. ( )
  geraldinefm | Jul 14, 2012 |
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Epigraph
Grosse Freheit
October 1960
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"Klaus?"
"You won't believe where I've just come from!"
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Retells the love story between Astrid Kirchherr and Stuart Sutcliffe, the famed "fifth Beatle," who started the band with John Lennon and left to become an artist before the band's rise to fame.

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