"What kind of fish is that, Grandpa?," "Why is that man so angry, Grandpa?," "When can I go with you on the boat, Grandpa?"

I think it amused him that his grandsons had no interest in the docks or the boats, while his youngest granddaughter was an endless source of questions about the minutiae of fishing. Every time we went to the docks, he'd stop at a black stone with a carved Onyx surface…the design on it was a spider-web. He'd take off his cap and bow his head before the stone, and I was aware of the importance of the ritual, but I was afraid to ask its meaning. One day, I gathered up my courage, and asked outright, in a soft voice, "Grandpa, why do you bow your head? What is the stone for?"

I thought he'd be mad. I was surprised and alarmed to see he had tears in his eyes. "That stone, lassie, is for the Captain and crew of the Marvel, which sunk in these waters these many months ago."

And then, to the accompaniment of his hornpipe, he sat near the stone and sang. 

The legend lives on, though the time is long gone

When comics were sellin' like crazy

The time was a'right fer a book like Dark Knight

And Sandman was fresh as a daisy

Ev'ry corner drugstore carried Fantastic Four,

And the Hulk and the Batman and Titans

And the work gained respect-we were proud to collect

When the Watchmen, Alan Moore was a'writin'

The sea was serene, and then Spin Magazine

Said comics was better than records

And the very top guys quickly opened their eyes--

Became DC and Marvel defectors

They went on to do, books surprising and new

And the fans were all bless't with the bounty

And Marvel sold more, and a new comic store

Seemed to thrive in every county

See, Marvel stock climbed (even split twenty times)

And the owners were feelin' quite cocky

They sure (as a mass) had their heads up their ass,

Or they'd seen that the shoals were too rocky!

They had broad appeal, and the man at the wheel,

Carried the great ship too low in the water…

And during his term, any non-comics firm

That was cheap, well, he up and he bought 'er!

Though retailers cussed, Marvel said, "Buy from us…

We now handle our own distribution"

They ignored fan demands and they cluttered the stands

With X-men and Spider-pollution

The Captain saw gold in his covers, tri-folded

He envisioned a comic book Disney…

He said "My problem is…I bought Fleer and Toy Biz

And the lawsuits are keeping me busy!"

The variants, moreover, the summer cross-overs

Were gimmicks that once seemed compellin'

By the time Spider-Man had his thousandth ash-can

These marketing ploys started smellin'!

Still sales were outrageous, web lines advantageous

And Marvel had top talent backing…

But they wanted to roam, took their art and went home

Though their Image writing sadly was lacking

Marvel, stuck in the mud, got outsold by Youngblood,

And soon Spawn was the number one seller

Checked the Captain's old stash, it was empty of cash,

His performance had been less than stellar!

So they sailed unknown parts, without rudders or charts,

It was clear discontentment was peaking

Though we all were repelled, they gave Cap to Liefeld

And we knew that the hull had been leaking!

Yet over our groans they gave Spidey a clone

And he wasn't an over-achiever

It was the nadir, fans got stuck in the rear

And they told us "Face front, True Believer!"

The new captain in tears, after thirty-odd years,

Said "Fellas, we're too broke to pay ya."

"You've been through lots of shit-we appreciate it,

And we hope ya don't mind if we sue ya!"

Freelancers all cried, hoped that Ron Marz had died,

'Cause DC sounded awfully appealin'

They lined up for shots at fill-ins and guest spots

Many did more than their share of kneelin'!

When the ship hit the sound, many left for high ground

'Cause they felt that they'd been treated dirty

But Marvel repaid most ill will that they'd made

(Unless, of course, your name is Kirby!)

And ol' Smilin' Stan, to the lifeboats he ran

With the Backstreets and Mighty Mouse rowin'.

From the safety ashore, he yelled, "Excelsior!

'Tis to DC that I'll be a'goin'!"

There are those who were glad to see Marvel end badly

And their failure was long since a given

But I would propound that when Marvel went down,

They took half of the industry with 'em

Now it's often been said brighter days are ahead

When there'll be fewer books about hooters

I heard Scott McCloud say that there'll soon be a day

All our comics will be on computers!

And fingers do point, noses get out of joint,

But the blame can be spread among many

And freelancers drowned-comic stores got shut down

In some cities it's hard to find any

Maybe they've learned through a hardship well-earned

How they put a whole hobby in peril

And what's to be gained by the placin' of blame

In the wreck of the Marvel Fitzgerald?

When the waters are still, can't bear any ill-will

For the ship that was lost in the great bay

With the help of the Lord and the sailors aboard,

The Marvel will rise again someday

The Marvel will rise again someday

Though my check will bounce surely on payday

The Marvel will rise again someday!

(Chords and guitar tab for the above song can be found here.

You may want to transpose the chords or move the capo up if you sing in a higher register.)

The Simpsons weekly comic strips I've written are now running in various papers across Europe. Check them out, and if your paper isn't running them, email them and ask them why, I say, cause that's just wrong.

Love, Gail

You'll All Be Sorry! is a satire published by Comic Book Resources, and is not intended maliciously. CBR has invented all names and situations in its stories, except in cases when public figures are being satirized. Any other use of real names is accidental and coincidental, or used as a fictional depiction or personality parody (permitted under Hustler Magazine v. Fallwell, 485 US 46, 108 S.Ct 876, 99 L.Ed.2d 41 (1988)). CBR makes no representation as to the truth or accuracy of the preceeding information.

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