The Beatles: Yellow Submarine – Bill Morrison (Titan Comics)

As much as I think the Beatles are highly overrated, what I can’t deny is their impact on music and popular culture. Whilst I realise that they were the first to do a lot of things and broke down a lot of barriers, I feel that some people blindly become Beatles fans in an effort to be seen as a serious music fan, rather than actually digging the music. Dig a bit deeper, there are far more interesting role models out there. But if nothing else, I have The Beatles to thank for inspiring Black Sabbath-so here’s to ya boys.

In 1968, along with a young Ozzy Osbourne, the Fab 4 were also inspiring an animator named George Dunning, who created the animated classic Yellow Submarine. With Britain in the midst of a sexual revolution and psychedelics readily available at every turn, Dunning created an animated feast, based in a music loving under water utopia called Pepperland, which is protected by none other than Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. An attack by the music hating Blue Meanies forces the mayor to take the yellow submarine to Liverpool to persuade our heroes to come back and help them.

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of this milestone film Titan have packaged the whole thing in book form and the results are outstanding. Written and beautifully illustrated by Bill Morrison whose work can be seen on The Simpsons, Futurama and M.A.D Magazine, the artwork really jumps off the page at every turn. The “Britishness” of the film is retained and takes us back to a very specific place in time with the typical English bobby, outlandish clothes and Young Fred, the stereotypical old fisherman, who was surely the inspiration for Captain Birds Eye.

If you are indeed a Beatles fan, then Yellow Submarine will should stand proudly in your collection, if you’re aren’t, then you’ll still probably buy it because it’s The Beatles right? Either way you’ll be making a good decision… Chris Andrews

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