It was a burning ambition of Steve McQueen’s to create the most realistic and exciting movie about professional motor racing. He succeeded in doing this, and he almost lost everything in the process, but he was handed a lifeline at the last minute, and as a result we have the movie Le Mans today. Now we also have the graphic illustrated novel, Steve McQueen in Le Mans.
Prevented from driving in the 1970 Le Mans 24 Hour race by the film’s producers, McQueen’s own Porsche 908 was driven by Porsche works driver Herbert Linge together with British driver Jonathan Williams. Their car was not officially allowed a place in the finishing line-up as the car was really only filming the race and was therefore fitted with bulky camera pods fore and aft. The fact that the #29 Porsche crossed the line in eighth place just shows how reliable the 908s were, and this was after longer pit stops to change film canisters, further highlighting this extraordinary feat.
By rights, the movie should arguably never have been a success as there is no dialogue from any of the actors in the first 37 minutes of the movie. However, the movie has been hailed as one of the greatest motor racing movies of all time and is a firm favourite with motor racing buffs, for whom such an issue is of little consequence.
For Sandro Garbo, the movie Le Mans presented an opportunity that was simply too good to miss. The passion that Steve McQueen had for motor racing was shared by Garbo, and after three years of hard work, a graphic novel telling the story of the movie is now out. What makes this publication so appealing is the love and effort Sandro and his colleagues invested in creating this graphic novel, making sure that every detail was carefully crafted and depicted the story at its best.
The format of the book is large, and the illustrations are simply fantastic, being both so lifelike and true to the movie. In producing an illustrated book of 64 pages one can expect that certain scenes from the movie have been omitted, but this in no way detracts from the excellent work done by Garbo.
Some of the illustrations are full page, and a few even stretch over a double page, but whether the illustrations are large or small, the detail is exceptional. The tension and atmosphere that surrounds the greatest endurance race of all time, the Le Mans 24 Hours, is captured in the spectators, the pit crew and the drivers.
The graphic novel has been created with the support and approval of Steve’s son, Chadwick McQueen and The Terry McQueen Testamentary Trust, with the cooperation of the ACO, the organising body responsible for running the annual 24 Hour race.
“We’re really trying to push the quality of this graphic novel, as well as the endearing motivation behind it,” explains Garbo. “It’s a volume that will delight any fan of classic automobiles, racing or the work of McQueen. My team has invested hundreds of hours into crafting the perfect volume, and we’re currently working with partners (including CBS Consumer Products and the McQueen family) to promote it to readers and groups around the world. McQueen knew no boundaries, and neither do we.”
This volume may not be like your average book on Porsche, or on the famous 24 Hour race, or for that matter about Steve McQueen. But it is a publication that will bring a smile to your face for reasons of the story that we may all know, but want to own a part of. Place a copy of this graphic novel on your coffee table or study bookshelf, and it will undoubtedly start a discussion. Don’t be without yours, get a copy now and with a second volume to follow, it will make a valuable and interesting addition to your book collection. To buy a copy click here.
Title: Steve McQueen in Le Mans – Tribute Edition, Part 1
Author: Sandro Garbo
Publisher: Garbo Studio
First published: December 2016
Dimensions: luxury hardback – 35 x 26cm
Written by: Glen Smale