Friday, August 31, 2018

The Beatles: Yellow Submarine

   The Yellow Submarine is such a wonderful artifact from the 1960s - an animated film that combined the music of The Beatles with a mad, pop art explosion of strange worlds, bizarre creatures, wonderful music and clever wordplay. 

   Astonishingly enough for those of us who were around when it was released, it's been 50 years since the film was first unleashed on an unsuspecting audience.

   To celebrate the occasion, writer / artist Bill Morrison has adapted the film into this delightful explosion of a graphic novel from Titan Comics.

   It's no small trick to adapt a musical into the silent format of comics, and wisely Morrison has avoided copying lyrics directly into the body of the story - but he captures the gleeful, nearly insane energy of the original.

   The story follows an attack by an army of Blue Meanies (and assorted monsters) on the peaceful, music-loving people of Pepperland. Only one man manages to escape in a (ahem) Yellow Submarine. He tracks down John, Paul, George and Ringo and they travel back to that land to try to find a way to break the hold of the Meanies.

   It's all very strange, but the script is sharp and manages to work in an astonishing number of song references along the way. 

   The visuals, modeled on the original film, are stunning and mad as a hatter.

   There's a long tradition of comic adaptations of movies (a tradition that's largely disappeared in this age of Blu-Rays and Netflix), but this is one of the best of that breed of comics. 

   If you're a fan of the Beatles and the original film (as all right-thinking people are), you'll enjoy the warm nostalgic breeze from this work of art. Highly recommended!

Grade: A



No comments: