Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


‘Paul Is Dead: When the Beatles Lost McCartney’ (review)

Written by Paolo Baron
Art by Ernesto Carbonetti
Published by Image Comics


I’ve read quite a number of Beatles-related comics and graphic novels in recent years. You’d be amazed how many of them there are, all created, no doubt, out of love for the music, and yet so many of them terrible. This one, Paul is Dead: When the Beatles Lost McCartney, manages to hit the middle ground solidly.

The indicia on this Image book says, quote, “All names, characters, events, and locales in this publication are entirely fictional. Any resemblance to actual persons (living or dead), events, or places, without satiric intent, is coincidental.”

Although placed there, no doubt, for legal reasons, it is, of course, a flat out lie.

First of all, the book is not a satire and, in fact, nearly every single name, character, and visual in this painted graphic novel is meant to be a real person, from the Beatles and their entourage to a cameo by Pink Floyd with Syd Barrett.

“Speculative fiction,” and “historical fiction,” are the terms used on the back cover but really it’s just a rather tasteless “what if?” tale in which we see how Ringo, George, and especially John might have reacted if Paul McCartney really HAD been killed at the height of the group’s success and fame.

Producer George Martin, Engineer Geoff Emerick, and Manager Brian Epstein all get a special introduction up front, but appear only briefly within.

In fact, not much happens at all until a fairly predictable twist at the end. Although clocking in at 132 pages, the actual story takes up just a little over 100 of those.

Originally published in Europe, “Lyrics” are by Paolo Baron with “Music” by Ernesto Carbonetti. Translation is credited to Adrian Nathan West. Unfortunately, at no point do I “hear” the familiar voices of the Fab Four in the translated dialogue, even when characters speak in not yet written song lyrics.

The stunning artwork is the book’s redeeming factor—colorful, gorgeous, artsy, slick, and stylized. I stared at every single page for long minutes. Everyone’s way too thin but that adds to the modernized ‘60s illustrative look. The back of the book offers some background on the art.

In the end, though, what was it all for? A pointless, almost non-story, featuring familiar characters out of character. Doesn’t matter how striking its visuals are—and they really are—I can’t bring myself to recommend Paul is Dead: When the Beatles Lost McCartney.

Think I’ll go put on Revolver instead. Where’s my headphones?

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply


Forces of Geek is protected from liability under the DMCA (Digital Millenium Copyright Act) and “Safe Harbor” provisions.

All posts are submitted by volunteer contributors who have agreed to our Code of Conduct.

FOG! will disable users who knowingly commit plagiarism, piracy, trademark or copyright infringement.

Please contact us for expeditious removal of copyrighted/trademarked content.


In many cases free copies of media and merchandise were provided in exchange for an unbiased and honest review. The opinions shared on Forces of Geek are those of the individual author.

You May Also Like


Written and Illustrated by Andrew Kranke Published by Image Comics   I had no idea what to expect when I picked up this book....


Written and Illustrated by Kyle Starks Colors by Chris Schweitzer Published by Image Comics   Writer and artist Kyle Starks really is a wonder...


Written by Chris Condon Art by Jacob Phillips Published by Image Comics   In the vast realm of comic book history, few narratives captivate...


Written by Dan Abnett  Art by I.N.J. Culbard Published by BOOM! Studios   BOOM! Studios’ Wild’s End, created by Dan Abnett and I.N.J. Culbard,...