Bill Morrison Talks About The Beatles Yellow Submarine Graphic Novel From Titan Comics

Bill Morrison Talks About The Beatles Yellow Submarine Graphic Novel From Titan Comics

Morrison Lives In A Yellow Submarine

♦ Bill Morrison, creator of Titan’s Beatles: Yellow Submarine graphic novel, which comes out this week, spoke last week about his work on the book and here is his chat…

When I was about five, the first record album that I owned was a record of Alvin and the Chipmunks singing The Beatles’ hits. Then, like everyone else in America, I saw The Beatles on TV on The Ed Sullivan Show, and we all went nuts. We knew it was a big deal. I remember, growing up, having Beatles music on in the house all the time. Between my brother and my two older sisters, we had the whole catalog. It was probably in the ’70s that I saw Yellow Submarine on television for the first time.
What did you enjoy about Yellow Submarine when you first saw it?
I think the design aspect of the characters and the look of the whole movie. Growing up, when I was about 10 in the early ’70s, I really became a fan of (U.S. pop artist) Peter Max. I know he had nothing to do with the film, but there was definitely a similarity in style. I was really taken by that look.When I first saw Yellow Submarine, I was really taken by the way it flowed and the design of everything.
What gave you the idea to adapt Yellow Submarine into a comic?
When the film was nearing its 30th anniversary in ’97 or ’98, I was given the opportunity to create an adaptation for Dark Horse Comics. I was really excited and I jumped at the chance. Originally, it was going to be a 48-page adaptation. I did an initial cover and 25 pages but then had to stop as the deal fell through. But now I’m finally able to pick it up again.How did you approach adapting the film into a graphic novel?
I needed to take advantage of the graphic medium that it’s being presented in. I started asking myself, “what do comic books and print have that they can’t really do in a film? I hit on the idea of really making each page look like a poster — like psychedelic blacklight posters that I used to have all over my walls in the ’70s. I thought I could make these pages graphically stimulating. So I started designing the pages with that in mind — with that graphic poster sensibility — and I got really excited about it. People who have seen the pages — fans of the original movie — have really liked it and thought “he’s doing something different with it.”

How do you think the Yellow Submarine film has aged over the years?
It’s definitely a film of its time but it does hold up. You can watch it and it doesn’t feel dated — especially if you have a nice crisp print of it. The colors are vibrant, the music’s great, the animation is wonderful. It definitely holds up really well.

I’m watching it over and over again for the graphic novel adaptation and it’s just fun — it doesn’t get old. There’s always so much to look at. I think it’s brilliant.

Yellow Submarine Bill Morrison www.tripwiremagazine.co.uk

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