May 8, 2018

INTERVIEW: FAB4 MANIA

New release: The Beatles, James Bond, and Goldfinger are featured in a new graphic novel coming in June from Fantagraphics! Eisner Award-nominated creator Carol Tyler saw The Beatles live in Chicago in 1965- and made a booklet about it right after show! That material, as well as diaries from the era, became the inspiration for Fab4 Mania. Carol stopped by the Spy Vibe lair today to chat briefly about the project. "The book originally started as a blog, because I had this booklet I made in 1965 right after I saw them in person," she said. "I wrote down everything about the concert. The blog was essentially a backstory based on eighth grade memories- the time that led up to the concert. Glorious 13 year old me. I wanted the reader to come to the concert with me, which is why I wrote the backstory." Carol's book was celebrated last week in a special comic release for Free Comic Book Day (World's Greatest Cartoonists/Fantagraphics), which featured a special 2-page story about The Beatles, James Bond, and Goldfginer- all set to the Goldfinger theme song! If the pairing is surprise to some readers, remember that not only were Bond and The Beatles major cultural phenomena at the time- the first Beatles EMI single (Love Me Do) was released the same day Dr. No hit movie screens! (see Spy Vibe post about October 5, 1962). Carol went further into her new Free Comic Book Day story: "The 2 pager for FCBD is a stand alone promo piece, but there are James Bond references in the book. The Beatles were my #1 love, but James Bond ran a close second. I was able to tap in because I kept oodles of stuff from that time- lots of ephemera and clutter. The main thing I wanted to convey was a sense of 'feels like now', not a nostalgic look back." Being a fan of the era, I also wondered about her other faves from the 1960s, such was The Man From U.N.C.L.E.. "I liked both Solo and Illya, but not as much as Bond. James Bond. Sean Connery, of course." Images below from the 2-page special, which Spy Vibers might be able to find at their local comic shops and on eBay. Fab4 Mania will be release on June 20th, 2018. 

From the Press release: "Critically acclaimed cartoonist Carol Tyler (Soldier’s Heart) recreates the exhilaration and excitement of Beatlemania at its height in 1965, her personal obsession with the Beatles, and the odyssey that leads her to the famous Beatles Chicago concert later that year. Told in the voice of its 13-year-old author, Fab4 Mania is a facsimile of the diary that Carol Tyler kept throughout 1965. It includes hundreds of new images drawn by the author depicting her life from that period and retains the precociousness, rebelliousness, and frustrations surrounding her Beatles obsession, culminating in her trip to Chicago on August 20th to see the Beatles in concert. Fab4 Mania is more than a memoir recounting her own private Beatlemania. It’s a look into the life of a teenager from a working class family whose love of music awakens her senses and opens her up to the world beyond that of smalltown Fox Lake, Illinois. The book brims with rich period details, humor, insight, and beautiful drawings capturing the spirit of the time. It is also about the Beatles, of course, as seen through the eyes of a young, giddy teenager and a reflective, adult artist, and the joy the band gave and continues to give." 

More info at Fantagraphics, Amazon, AmazonUK. Below: Details from the special Fantagraphics FCBD issue and cover designs of the kindle and print editions. Enjoy! Incidentally, Dynamite Comics released a James Bond: Vargr #1 issue for Free Comic Book Day- lots of fun for Beatles and Bond fans this week!





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