A cartoonist’s concert of a lifetime

When The Beatles made their way to Chicago’s South Side for two performances on August 20th, 1965, you can bet that now-established painter and cartoonist Carol Tyler was there, too. Her new comics memoir tells the story.

beatles carol tyler comics memoir

Following a slate of explosively popular singles “Eight Days a Week,” “Ticket to Ride,” as well as the Help! soundtrack LP release, The Beatles geared up to perform on this day 53 years ago at Comiskey Park in Chicago, Illinois.

Five days after they played to more than 55,000 attendees at Shea Stadium in Queens, New York—an event that called for at least 130 police officers to be on duty—the Fab Four took to the stage twice in Chicago, once at 3PM and later, at 8PM. A crowd of 50,000 screamed, fainted, got up off the ground, screamed, and fainted again (In his marvelous Dreaming the Beatles, writer Rob Sheffield rightfully recognizes The Beatlemaniac girls as “the most famous screamers in history”).

Just ahead of her freshman year in high school, revered cartoonist and painter Carol Tyler was among the throngs of Beatles devotees at the later show, 17 rows up from home plate.

“They walked up to the stage so casually,” remembers Tyler in a brand new graphic memoir called Fab4 Mania: A Beatles Obsession and the Concert of a Lifetime. “Twenty-five people right away fainted. Everyone was screaming and crying. We were all standing.”

Tyler’s deep-dig of the ephemera she collected and the journaling she did back then is at the core of Fab4 Mania, a full-color collection of drawings and diary entries penned from her perspective at age 13. I wrote about her book at Hyperallergic in July.

Image from Fab4 Mania: A Beatles Obsession and the Concert of a Lifetime by Carol Tyler (© 2018 Carol Tyler, courtesy Fantagraphics).