Friday, December 09, 2011
John Lennon by Joe Sinnott
Counting back—holy cow!—can it really have been 31 years since John Lennon was murdered? I remember that day, December 8, 1980 because like many others of my generation I thought of the Beatles in a very personal way. By having his life cut short Lennon's image forevermore is of a young man, but I always think what might have been, what he would have been capable of musically had he lived.
In 1964 my brother and I were just the right age to become Beatles fans, just as caught up in Beatlemania as everyone else. When this Dell Giant Comic with the Beatles story came out we pounced on it, read every word. Even then I saw it as something of a whitewash; I'd seen the pictures of the Beatles in Germany wearing leather jackets and greasy pompadours, so they weren't as simon-pure as the comic book showed. I liked it anyway. After all, Joe Sinnott was one of my favorite Marvel Comics artists, who did such beautiful work with Jack Kirby's pencils. I'd seen many jobs by Joe as a solo artist, and thought he was perfect for this comic.
Joe's professionalism comes out in every panel, whether he traced publicity photos or not. I don't remember if pictures of John's wife, Cynthia, were available at the time, but in the comic book version she looks a bit generic.*
*I got a laugh out of the panel on page 3, "How about a flick tonight, Cynthia?" Comic books usually avoided the use of the word flick because the "L" and "I" could be run together to make a "U". Even in 1964 my mind provided that word in that panel. Ho-ho.