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All together now
Milton Glaser Collection. Gian Carlo Menotti’s Help, Help, The Globolinks! adapted by Leigh Dean and illustrated by Milton Glaser (G. Schirmer, 1970).
August 01, 2014

All together now

By: bethkleber

Gian Carlo Menotti’s sci-fi opera for children Help, Help, The Globolinks! tells the story of instrument-wielding children who ultimately fight off an alien invasion. The Globolinks land on Earth in front of a school bus to a score of sinister electronic sounds. Humans touched by Globolinks are rendered speechless and are ultimately transformed into one of them. Only music can save the day, as the children from St. Paul’s School discover they can defeat the Globolinks with their voices and instruments. Menotti’s opera premiered in Hamburg on December 21, 1968 (here’s a clip from a 1969 production); it was performed in English at the New York City Opera in December 1969. The libretto was adapted for a children’s book in 1970, complete with illustrations (based the original production) by Milton Glaser.


Sound familiar? Though somewhat more earnest in tone (but not without an element of camp), Help, Help, The Globolinks! set up much the same conflict as 1968’s Yellow Submarine; it’s not much of a leap to imagine the children of St. Paul’s School taking on the Blue Meanies. Looking at the broad swaths of flat, eye-popping color, the bulbous shapes, even the human figure proportions, it’s easy to see the stylistic similarities shared at the time by Milton Glaser and Yellow Submarine’s art director Heinz Edelmann (though Edelmann made a sharp turn away from psychedelic art after the success of that film).


A poster for "Die Beatles. Yellow Submarine". The water color/ink illustration is a clutter of charters and props used in the film. Each of the band member's head float around, each a different color. The colors in the illustration is bright, the only dark colors are the warm brown used for the mountains and rocks and black used for the few opaque shadow it has.


 
Offset German film poster by Heinz Edelmann, 1969 from Electrical Banana by Norman Hathaway & Dan Nadel, 2011. Lots more on Edelmann’s psychedelic art in there.

A frame still from the film "Yellow Submarine". The background is a watercolor illustration of a green valley adorned with fluffly green bushes. On the middle right is a huge man from the shoulders up. He has a cherry red old fashion captain uniform. huddled around him and throughout the valley are people with fancy dress wear looking at him.


 
Still from Yellow Submarine, 1968.

An illustration of a group of people outside their bus standing in a field of a vibrant green forest with colorful plants floating in the air which is filled with swirly white and grey smoke. The art is very 70 with it's hatch line style and use of color.


 
Milton Glaser Collection Box 45 Folder 6. Original art for Gian Carlo Menotti’s Help, Help, The Globolinks!

A 70's illustration of a giant woman with a fancy hat that is covered in feathers and flower. She is scolding a tiny man with her finger. The man is sitting on a cushion bench.


 
Milton Glaser Collection Box 45 Folder 10. Original art for Gian Carlo Menotti’s Help, Help, The Globolinks!

An illustration of a brown truck up close. The truck driver is in a navy blue uniform and next to him is woman in a violet dress holding a wrinkled paper. The truck is a green forest-like scenery. there is fluid grey smoke surrounded the truck and there's a static lighting in front of the truck. The illustration is drawn with some hatched line to create form.


 
Milton Glaser Collection Box 45 Folder 4. Original art for Gian Carlo Menotti’s Help, Help, The Globolinks!

A photo of a open book. The book is opened to page of an illustration of a woman, in a purple skirt and black dress, on the ground next to a violin that has combusted into white smoke. It is night, in the distance there is a colorful purple and orange city emitting dark smoke. The woman is near a forest and the ground bright lime green.


 
Milton Glaser Collection. Gian Carlo Menotti’s Help, Help, The Globolinks! adapted by Leigh Dean and illustrated by Milton Glaser (G. Schirmer, 1970).

A photo of an opened book. The book is opened to a page of an illustration of line of musicians walking on a field of flowers.  There are 10 people on the line of musicians, some carry an instrument or is holding a kid's hand. The flowers are all different types of flowers, their colors are saturated and colorful.


 
Milton Glaser Collection. Gian Carlo Menotti’s Help, Help, The Globolinks! adapted by Leigh Dean and illustrated by Milton Glaser (G. Schirmer, 1970).

This post also appears on our Picturebox blog.