CBS Photography 1964Acclaimed comic book artist Alex Ross is creating a series of dazzling Beatles paintings that has been approved by the band’s Apple Corps company. RollingStone.com is giving an exclusive first look at some of Ross’ initial Fab Four-themed illustrations, which feature various of images inspired by the animated 1968 film Yellow Submarine, done in the artist’s trademark photo-realistic style.

According to Rolling Stone, Ross — who’s best-known in the comics world for his graphic novels Kingdom Come and Marvels — will premiere the pieces this week at the Comic-Con International convention in San Diego. Ross’ first installment in the series is a six-foot-wide painting depicting a three-dimensional scene showing the Beatles holding marching band instruments and surrounded by Yellow Submarine-related imagery.

“I was very much raised on that film,” Ross explains to Rolling Stone, “so I know every detail of it, and I can import that into my work, as though it was a live-action film that they starred in.”

After seeing that first piece, Apple Corps gave Ross the go-ahead to make more paintings in that vein, and he’s gone on to create pieces focusing on each individual band member. For example, his portrait of Ringo Starr references a scene from Yellow Submarine in which the band mates rapidly age backward and become children. Ross tells the magazine he used actual photos of the Beatles members when they were young to help in his depiction.

Ross says he eventually plans to create Beatles portraits inspired by all periods of the band’s career, noting that he’s particularly interested in the Rubber Soul era, circa late 1965. “It’s just on the precipice before they would completely blow out to greater individuality,” he maintains. “But there’s something about almost every era, related to each album, that I can find inspiration from.”

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