I have been a fan of The Beatles for as long as I can remember. My parents would let me borrow their Beatles CDs and mixtapes, which I would play almost daily. Their music, movies, and accomplishments have influenced my life in more ways than one. So when I found out that there was a graphic novel about their early years, I had to read it from cover to cover. And I am glad I did.
The graphic novel The Beatles: All Our Yesterdays takes readers into the very early years of the band when they were first starting out. It begins when a young John Lennon and his classmates created their own band called the Quarrymen. As his band performs for a local party in Liverpool, he meets Paul McCartney, a young musician who was impressed with Lennon’s talent. The two became inseparable, creating their own songs and performing tunes from noteworthy singers, such as Elvis Presley. Years later, George Harrison joins the band, along with past members Stuart Sutcliffe and Pete Best, and The Beatles began their ascent to the top. Ringo Starr joined the band later on when the musicians were ready to create their first studio album. The band had been through many ups and downs to met their goals, but in the end, they became one of the greatest bands in music history.
What makes this graphic novel striking is the precise details in the artwork and the storytelling. Illustrator Lalit Kumar Sharma’s artwork is so detailed that you can notice a character’s wrinkles when he or she is expressing emotion. The young Fab Four look so accurate, from hairstyles to facial expressions to body movement. But the artwork does not end there. The scenery and pop culture of 1960’s Europe is expressed with bright colors and detailed linework. Readers will be transported into this amazing time period, exploring the emergence of new music.
Author Jason Quinn creates an engaging story that goes well with this detailed artwork. He chooses noteworthy events from the band’s lives that would influence their careers and friendships, such as the deaths of family and friends, losing bandmates, and performing in many different clubs and stages. The collaboration of colorful detailed artwork and emotional storytelling work well together, creating an informative biography. Trivia about The Beatles and their impact is included with extra information about the numerous guitars that they used in performances and a short flash forward into their later years.
The Beatles: All Our Yesterdays is the perfect addition for a library’s adult graphic novel collection, as well as a library’s young adult collection. Recommend this to any audiophile and they will not be sorry. Readers will enjoy little known facts about the band and a rare glimpse into their early years. I certainly learned more about one of my favorite rock bands by gaining a detailed and descriptive graphic insight into their struggles and triumphs in the early years of their careers.
The Beatles: All Our Yesterdays
by Jason Quinn
Art by Lalit Kumar Sharma