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4-STAR FEATURE

August 22, 2014

THE FIFTH BEATLE AND VIVEK J. TIWARY

beatle
Author Vivek J. Tiwary poses with his Eisner Award-winning graphic novel, 'The Fifth Beatle' during Chicago's Beatlefest 2014. The writer/producer/director is now at work on the film version of his best-selling work.

Author Vivek J. Tiwary poses with his Eisner Award-winning graphic novel, ‘The Fifth Beatle’ during Chicago’s Beatlefest 2014. The writer/producer/director is now at work on the film version of his best-selling work.

 

Today it seems like everyone is putting out a graphic novel. Some are good, some are mediocre….a few are even great.

I’m happy to report that one of the great ones is The Fifth Beatle by author Vivek J. Tiwary and illustrated by Andrew C. Robinson and Kyle Baker.

The Fifth Beatle is the story of Brian Epstein, discoverer, manager and expert marketer of the Fab Four during their formative years in the 1960s.

 

beatle

 

This may seem an unlikely subject for a graphic novel. But that’s where writer Vivek J. Tiwary works his magic. SMEF caught up with the 41 year-old author at—of all places—Beatlefest 2014— last weekend in Chicago. He took a break  during his appearance there to tell us how this project was born.

“I’ve been a life-long Beatles fan,” he says. “I was this little Indian kid in New York and I became fascinated with Brian Epstein and his impact on the group. I always knew there was a great story there that could be told in an entertaining way.”

Talking to Vivek (he says it’s prounced like ‘steak’) is somewhat of an experience in itself. He’s a dynamo—words and ideas spew forth with an enthusiasm and passion that is electric. You are immediately struck that you are in the presence of One Smart Dude!

 

'The Fifth Beatle' co-artist Andrew C. Robinson, taken at Planet Comicon 2014 in Kanas City, Missouri.

‘The Fifth Beatle’ co-artist Andrew C. Robinson, taken at Planet Comicon 2014 in Kanas City, Missouri.

 

Tiwary explains that Epstein’s impact on the Beatles was incalculable. He was responsible for securing their first contracts and persuading Ed Sullivan to book them on his show in 1964.

“His personal life was equally as fascinating. Brian was a 26 year-old Jewish boy in Liverpool, which was not exactly the cultural center of England. Also, he was gay in an era where it was a crime and you were ostracized by society and considered ‘sick.’ The world considered him a big joke.”

Tiwary has long been a comics fan and endeavored to write for his beloved medium as well. The author called upon his business training to put together a package that showcased  his graphic novel about Brian Epstein.

 

A mid-2000s photo of 'The Fifth Beatle' co-artist Kyle Baker.Taken at one of Shelton Drum's fabulous Heroes Cons.

A mid-2000s photo of ‘The Fifth Beatle’ co-artist Kyle Baker.Taken at one of Shelton Drum’s fabulous Heroes Cons.

When some 20-odd pages were completed, word got around to the major publishers and many vied for the right to publish the completed product. Tiwary ultimately hooked up with Dark Horse who published the graphic novel and released it in 2013.

“They were the most creator-friendly of anyone who wanted to publish this book,” he says. “They bent-over backwards to accommodate me and it’s been wonderful working with them.”

The graphic novel debuted November 18, 2013 and shot to number five on the New York Times Best-Seller List. The big book-store chains immediately embraced this hit project and it found its way to a wider audience than just comics fans. Its story about music and the graphic elements made it a monster cross-over hit.

The creative team’s pedigree is top-drawer. I would need another two columns just to list all the high-profile accomplishments Tiwary has been attached to—Broadway plays, movies, television—it’s truly a jaw-dropping resume. He is the founder of Tiwary Entertainment Group, Ltd., which selects art and entertainment projects to finance and produce.

Andrew C. Robinson and Kyle Baker are both famous for producing rich, detailed illustrations that have put them at the top of their game in the illustration world. Their work on The Fifth Beatle is some of the best work they have ever done.

 

Blogmeister Sam points his finger of approval to 'The Fifth Beatle,' with author Vivek J. Tiwary, aka 'The Human Dynamo!' The two met up for an interview during Chicago's Beatlefest 2014.

Blogmeister Sam points his finger of approval to ‘The Fifth Beatle,’ with author Vivek J. Tiwary, aka ‘The Human Dynamo!’ The two met up for an interview during Chicago’s Beatlefest 2014.

Among the many awards for the graphic novel, the most recent win was an Eisner Award for the Best Reality-Based Work. It has also been nominated for two Harvey Awards for Best Graphic Album – Original and Best Biographical, Historical or Journalistic Presentation.

Next up for Tiwary is overseeing the planned movie adaptation of The Fifth Beatle, producing the Broadway adaptation of Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill, and, oh yes—more writing for comics and more graphic novels.

@vivekjtiwary #chifest14 @thefifthbeatle  @tiwaryent #smefunhouse @sammaronie

 

               






One Comment


  1. kirk groeneveld

    What a wonderful project. How come we didn’t hear more about this sooner? Why does stuff like this not show up in the mainstream media? Dark Horse needs better promotion for accessible product like this one.



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