»How does one tell the story as it was? … You have to consider the whole background of that time: what was Germany, how did we feel about our parents and what they had done? … The strongest influence for young Germans at this time was the desire — the need — to be different from our parent’s generation. We were struggling to find a new way, to escape the past and the burden of guilt we all carried. Our philosophy then, because we were only little kids, was wearing black clothes and going around looking moody. Of course, we had a clue who Jean Paul Sartre was. We got inspired by all the French artists and writers, because that was the closest we could get. England was so far away, and America was out of the question. France was the nearest. So we got all the information from France, and we tried to dress like the French existentialists.«

—Astrid Kirchherr

Panel 2

The Story

The Story of Astrid Kirchherr & Stuart Sutcliffe

Hamburg, 1960. Astrid Kirchherr has finished art school and now works as an assistant for her former teacher, photographer Reinhart Wolf. Her relationship with Klaus Voormann, a young graphic designer, is slowly fading.

One night in October, following another argument, Klaus leaves and goes out on his own. He returns late at night, totally excited about what he has just discovered down in St Pauli, the redlight district of Hamburg: a young group from England playing Rock ‘n’ Roll in a club called ‘Kaiserkeller’ …

When Astrid eventually agrees to accompany him the following night, she doesn’t know her life is about to change forever.

Panel 3

The Book

The Book

Arne Bellstorf: »Baby’s in black — The story of Astrid Kirchherr & Stuart Sutcliffe«
216 pages, black & white, Softcover
ISBN 978-3-941099-12-8
Reprodukt, Berlin 2010

See all foreign editions here.

»Die Beatles in Hamburg, 1960: Der Moment, da aus Existenzialismus Pop wird, erzählt in einer vollendet lakonischen Graphic Novel.«
—Benedikt Erenz, Die Zeit

»In behutsamem, klarem Strich schildert Arne Bellstorf die Anfänge der Beatles aus kaum bekannter Perspektive.«
—Matthias Schmidt, Stern

»Baby’s in black – The story of Astrid Kirchherr & Stuart Sutcliffe ist ein Comic der stillen, melancholischen Momente.«
—Thomas von Steinaecker, Süddeutsche Zeitung

»… in reduzierten und ausdrucksstarken Panels, die einem die Sprache verschlagen.«
—Alexander Müller, Rolling Stone

Panel 4

The Author

The Author

Arne Bellstorf is a cartoonist, graphic designer, writer and editor living and working in Hamburg, Germany.

In 2005 he graduated at the University of Applied Sciences (Department Design) in Hamburg. His final thesis, entitled »acht, neun, zehn«, was his first graphic novel and received much recognition in Germany. Frankfurt Book Fair, Comixene and Frankfurter Rundschau named Arne Bellstorf »Newcomer of the Year« in 2005. From 2006—2014 he has been writing and illustrating a monthly comic page for German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel, since 2009 he contributes cartoons to DIE ZEIT Geschichte.

»Baby’s in Black«, his book about Hamburg’s young existentialists, the early Beatles and German sub-culture in the Sixties, was released in 2010 in Germany by Reprodukt, Berlin and has since been published in more than 13 countries.