Only a few rock and roll bands blaze their way to the very tippy top of rock stardom - no, not gold records or number one hits or TV specials or fights with Bill Graham or celebrity rehab, we're talking about the very pinnacle of success, which is their very own comic book detailing their amazing careers. But today's Stupid Comic is that very thing, evidence that the band we're talking about is none other than the greatest rock band of all time! Ladies and gentlemen give it up for... the Rolling Stones!
Just kidding. No seriously folks, it's The Beatles, starring in their very own comic book from Dell, on loan from Stupid Comics reader Susan J. who purchased this book at the height of Beatlemania, before the vaccines were developed. Yes, the Beatles, able to offend parents, leap over grooming standards of the day, and, in the case of Paul McCartney, able to pose for some of least convincing Paul McCartney photos ever. Maybe this is Paul's double, just settling into the role. Ready to start screaming? Let's begin!
Well groomed Joe "Best Fantastic Four Inker Ever" Sinnott teens smile excitedly as THE BEATLES cause the world of pop music to quiver and quake!
Their clothes, hairstyles and manners have been copied by young boys all over! Here we see Jimmy Olsen paying a buck eighty five for a slight trim. Madness!
Who are these Beatles? From whence do they come? And what plans have they for humanity? Worldwide enlightenment - or eternal destruction???? Let's, as they say, meet the Beatles.
First up is Paul McCartney, doing an amazing impression of somebody's grandma leaning in to ask if you really liked those cookies, as his huge head, hazel eyes and gleaming, peculiarly and uncharacteristically clean teeth loom menacingly out at the unsuspecting reader.
Why does ANYONE believe ANYTHING Paul McCartney EVER SAYS? We here have documentary evidence of his pants LITERALLY BEING ON FIRE.
As a super rock star Paul wants his trousers as tight as they possibly can get. Tighter. TIGHTER! And no, this is NOT a Code-approved comic!
George Harrison is known as the Beatle with the hugest head, seriously, his head is enormous, this is actually kind of weird, dial it back Sinnott.
Little known fact about George: he went to primary school with the children from the film "Children Of The Damned."
Another little known fact: George isn't afraid to tell it like it is! Take THAT, Vee-Jay Records!
ANOTHER little known fact: George likes to eat lamb chops while looking really, really creepy
It's John Lennon's turn under the microscope as his slightly smaller head and usually serious look are here to remind the swooning female readers that he is, in fact, a married man.
Here he is meeting his wife Cynthia! Sorry gals, he's married. For now, anyway.
You know, a more uncharitable reviewer might say that the jury is STILL out on whether or not John and Cynthia's son has inherited John's musical talents, but that kid had several worldwide top ten hits, which is more than YOU ever had. So just zip it.
As the zany, playful Beatle, John's known for shouting insults at women.
Wait a minute, that isn't zany OR playful.
"John is also accomplished at putting his hands in front of his face because Joe Sinnott really doesn't have good reference for a guy playing the harmonica. Cornflakes and jelly, however, he can handle THAT."
Apart from the whole juxtaposition of "art gallery" with "happy home life" making everybody over the age of 30 realize that that's where Lennon met Yoko Ono, in an art gallery, we're struck with the caption that reads "He can't prevent admiring girls from coming to his house on pilgrimages..." which any Beatlemaniac girl is going to read as nothing less than an engraved invitation. So long kids, I'm off to Liverpool to camp out on Lennon's front porch! He can't stop me!
Now I think we have one more Beatle to get through here. Who's that other Beatle? You know the one. Billy Preston? Stu Sutcliffe? Murray The K?
Of course not. It's Ringo! So named after his favorite Lorne Greene single! Is he the Beatle with the largest head? Could be!
He winks! He puts on rings! He shakes his head! And he pounds those skins! Later, he'll star in "Caveman!" But not quite yet.
So how did these four fine young lads with tight, tight trousers come together to form the powerhouse beat juggernaut that set three or four continents aflame? How did it all start?
Well, it PROBABLY starts in the summer of 1957. Dell's THE BEATLES isn't really sure about the exact date. We DO know, however, that it involved guitars and leather jackets and tight trousers.
Hey look everybody, it's Pete Best! Voted "Angriest Man In Britain 1963-1970", this is the only time we'll see the Beatles' original drummer, who vanished mysteriously somewhere around page 36, never to be heard from again.
While in Germany rockin' out, John noticed Ringo in action with another rock group also rockin' out. This information John filed away in his computer brain for later use when they ditch Pete Best and need another drummer. Not that that would ever happen!
Meanwhile back in Liverpool, young record store manager Brian Epstein (drawn here by a Joe Sinnott who was either deprived of reference materials or was feeling REALLY GENEROUS that day) is suddenly intrigued by all the requests for records by some group named after bugs.
And Brian's thrilled to learn that he can go watch them perform two blocks away in the Cavern Club! They were there all the time and he never knew! Now TODAY, in futuristic 2016, I can use the complex worldwide information system "the internet" to find out within seconds who's playing at Liverpool's Cavern Club. Let's see what exciting new act is playing there tomorrow... it's... uh... The Merseybeats, who, uh, played there in the early 1960s. Progress!!!
There's this magic moment of rock history when Brian Epstein stands in the Cavern Club and watches The Beatles perform for the first time. What amazing thoughts were running through his head at this historic moment? Other than "gotta fire that Pete Best", that is? He'd better become their manager and start getting them in front of record execs, stat!
"Wrong, wrong WRONG, you old gray-haired middle-aged non-young person! How DARE you reject The Beatles and claim that guitar groups are on their way out! You'll regret the day you turned down The Beatles!"
And what do you know? Epstein was right.
Finally EMI threw caution to the wind and gave The Beatles a record contract, earning EMI a tremendous amount of profit that they could later piss away signing the Sex Pistols. But that's show biz, I guess.
Confronted by a solid wall of female flesh, The Beatles quickly... well, even though this isn't a Code-approved comic, we're not going to go into that. Let's just say that The Boys are as human as the next fellow, all right? They aren't made of stone!
Also they mentioned once they liked jelly babies, so audiences started hurling candy at them. I guess it's a good thing they didn't say they enjoyed "baseball" or "9-volt batteries."
I believe we have reached peak Beatlemania. SCREAM. SCREAM FOR YOUR LIVES!!!
AGAIN this comic predicts the future by showing us John and Paul with full hippy-type beards! Maybe they read this comic and said "Damn, we look great with beards, let's grow beards and smoke lots of weed and get into Eastern religions and start dressing like hippies and abandon three-chord pop songs for longer, impenetrable, atonal, self-indulgent mush!" Thanks Dell, thanks a lot.
So The Beatles, having demolished Europe, invaded America and its thousands and thousands of willingly-conquered teenagers. Except for a few anti-Beatle holdouts who stood there holding anti-Beatle signs and.. hey, I think that's Pete Best there in the striped sweater. Give it up Pete, it's over.
What makes The Beatles such an overwheming success? Is it their good-natured sense of humor? Their unspoiled manner? Their brilliant pop craftsmanship that shines like a beacon amidst the soppy dreck that passed for top-40 music in the early 1960s? Or is their success thanks to, as various conspiracy theorists claim, the hypnotic jungle rhythms inherent in the rock music "beat" and the backwards Satanic mind-control messages inserted into pop tunes by British intelligence working in concert with the international drug trade? We may never know the truth. One thing's for sure, the world of pop music will never again be as innocent or as well-scrubbed or as cheeky as it was for five or ten minutes there back in the early 60s, and the corporations that continue to make serious profits from those five or ten minutes never want you to forget it. So long from Liverpool, lads! Give my regards to Gerry And The Pacemakers!
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