Music Monday: Beatles with an A: Birth of a Band

Posted 29 September, 2014 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

Beatles with an A: The Birth of a Band by: Mauri Kunnas

Source: Publisher. I received a copy of this book for review consideration.
Synopsis: (Publisher)
These are the first beats of the Beatles’ career as only legendary rock cartoonist Mauri Kunnas could tell them. Hilarious moments and details that even 
dedicated fans won’t remember having heard before are all told with Kunnas’s characteristically raucous humour and virtuosic drawing skills. 

The riotous tale, from rocking-horse to the recording studio in Abbey Road, where the first singles were laid down. It is a story told thousands of times over, but never in quite such a wacky screwball manner. 

I wanted to really love this book. I adore The Beatles and will snatch up all the reading material I can find on them, so this graphic novel looked like it would be a perfect fit for me.

The storytelling and the writing was well done, quirky and funny, most tales I had heard (as those of us that would call ourselves ‘Beatlemaniacs’ even forty years later, must). But Kunnas reworked the tales so that they were fresh and funny and still delightful. 

My problem came with the art. Most of the time, even with graphic novels the art is a secondary concern for me. To be sure, all of the panels are done in full color and there’s a lot of intricacy in the backgrounds for the most part it’s very impressive. But the people… I don’t know, you see the cover photo above, I felt it was stylistically a little distracting for me.

Please note this is coming from someone with little-to-no talent in the visual arts with only a passing understanding of art history as a whole and even less so on the history of comics and graphic novels.

I suspect this would be a highly enjoyable read for those that have a fascination with The Beatles, especially if you don’t know much about their early years. It’s a fun read and despite my problems with the art I did enjoy it quite a lot.

So, Readers, anyone else out there with a fascination with The Beatles? What do you think about the cover? Do you have any must-read Beatles titles for me?


April @ The Steadfast Reader



7 Responses to “Music Monday: Beatles with an A: Birth of a Band”

  1. I can kinda see what you mean about the art being a little distracting (as a fellow person with little-to-no visual talent). I think my cousin might love this, though, I’ll have to share your review with her! 🙂

  2. I knew that I adored you but my adoration has reached new levels upon learning that you digThe Beatles. I’ve been a bit obsessed with them since my Aunt Linda played me their records when I was a wee, wee lass.

    I can tell by the cover that the art would bug me…can’t put my finger on why though. Hmmm.

  3. Funny, the people (and my inability to recignize them) were the first thing I noticed about the cover. By process of elimination I can figure out who’s who but it shouldn’t be that hard.

  4. I love the Beatles too and so does my sister (who is also a big fan of graphic novels). I have to agree with you about the art. It’s very distracting. How could you possibly make Paul look like that?!

  5. Nishita

    I love the Beatles and this book sounds adorable. I can’t make out the graphic issue from the cover alone, but I”ll take your word for it. Probably just browse through this in the book store.