13 BURNING QUESTIONS That Could Be Answered by an Ongoing YELLOW SUBMARINE Comics Series

Cartoonist extraordinaire Bill Morrison wants to bring the Beatles back to Pepperland — and beyond!

A couple of weeks ago, I did something I rarely do: sign a petition. I’m just not a petition-signing person — not that I’m apathetic, quite the opposite. But I have my reasons and I’ll leave at that. This one, on the other hand, I couldn’t resist — a change.org petition to get Apple Corps Limited (y’know, the Beatles) to license an ongoing Yellow Submarine comics series by Bill Morrison, who was the creative force behind the 2018 graphic novel adaptation of the classic 1968 animated film.

Signing this was a no-brainer: Not just because I love the Beatles. Not just because I love Yellow Submarine. Not just because Morrison’s graphic novel was top-notch. But because Yellow Submarine had a direct impact on my becoming an even bigger comics fan when I was 12 years old. You can read why here, if you’re so inclined. You might dig it.

Anyway, after I signed the petition, which was started two years ago by a fan named Francis Baldevarona, I approached Bill to see if he wanted to write a guest column that would not just promote the petition — sign here! — but also outline what a Yellow Submarine ongoing comics series could entail. (I interviewed him about the graphic novel, published by Titan Comics, some years back.)

So Bill came up with 13 BURNING QUESTIONS THAT COULD BE ANSWERED BY AN ONGOING YELLOW SUBMARINE COMICS SERIES. Not a definite outline or anything; just a walk through the Headlands.

It’s all in the mind, y’know…


1. During the Blue Meanie assault on Pepperland, Old Fred climbs an Aztec pyramid to get to the Yellow Submarine that’s perched on top. But how did it get there? He knows the workings of the craft inside and out. Did Young Fred have a previous adventure in the golden submersible?

2. Is the Beatles’ house, “The Pier,” a giant Tardis? It’s much bigger inside than outside, and the many interior doors seem to open into other times and places such as King Kong’s New York City, George’s meditation retreat, and a symphony hall. Adventures within the Beatles’ mansion seem limitless.

3. How did John become the Frankenstein Monster, and what would happen to the Beatles if they lost the solution that turns him back into John?

4. What are the origins of the Apple Bonkers, Jack the Nipper, the Countdown Clown, the Snapping Turtle Turks, the Hidden Persuaders, and the Butterfly Stompers, and how did they end up in service to the Chief Blue Meanie? Why do they serve him so faithfully? Are they well-paid, or does he have some compromising photos in a safe somewhere?

5. Is the hole that Ringo puts in his pocket in the Sea of Holes, and later uses to rescue Sgt. Pepper’s band, made by ACME? It appears to have the same properties as the ACME Portable Hole that Eddie Valiant uses to escape from Judge Doom’s steamroller in the film “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” If so, could the animated Beatles take a trip to Toontown? WFRR’s director Robert Zemekis was working on a live-action version of Yellow Submarine… hmmmmm.

6. Are residents of the Sea of Monsters, such as the Kinky Boot Beasts and the Suckophant, really evil, or merely misunderstood?

7. Also in the Sea of Monsters, the 7th Cavalry rescues Ringo from an angry band of Native Americans. Does that mean the Sea of Monsters exists in the United States in the Old West? Can you imagine a classic Western comic that also has dangerous monsters and the Beatles? I sure can!

8. Does the dreaded Flying Glove have a mate? If so, are there also dreaded flying shirts, pants, hats, boxer briefs, etc?

9. Is Jeremy related to the Blue Meanies? His blue skin, furry body, and long nose suggest that there could be some interesting family history between them.

10. Jeremy exhibits powers of magic by making the Chief Blue Meanie’s body bloom with flowers. In addition to his many other talents and abilities, is he also a sorcerer supreme, or at least a master of blue magic?

11. If the Yellow Submarine stalled in the Sea of Time, would the Beatles also cease to continue aging or youthening? (Is that a word?) Could that result in a “Beatle Babies” adventure?

12. An early draft of the Yellow Submarine script contains a sequence featuring Lovely Rita the Meter Maid. Could other characters from Beatles songs live in Pepperland? Perhaps Rocky Raccoon, Mr. Moonlight, Polythene Pam, Mean Mr. Mustard, Maxwell and his silver hammer, or Bungalow Bill?

13. The Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band version of John refers to himself as “the alter-ego man.” Is Sgt. Pepper’s band an alternate universe version of the Beatles? And if so, is there a Yellow Submarine Multiverse?

Want the answers to these and more? Sign the petition! All together now!


— YELLOW SUBMARINE: The Voyage From Screen to Page, With BILL MORRISON. Click here.

— How THE BEATLES Made Me an Even Bigger Comics Fan. Click here.

BILL MORRISON is a multi-talented writer, artist, and editor who has worked with the most iconic characters in popular culture. He started out painting movie posters like Bambi or The Little Mermaid for Walt Disney, before moving on to writing and drawing The Simpsons and Futurama comic books for Bongo Comics. He has been Art Director on the Futurama TV series and character artist on Matt Groening’s Netflix series, Disenchantment. Morrison also held the prestigious role as the fifth and final Executive Editor of MAD Magazine in the iconic humor publication’s seven-decade history. 

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. Thank you, Dan for putting a spotlight on the petition for an ongoing Yellow Submarine comic book.
    The article you wrote was fantastic. Having Bill Morrison give us possibilities for plot lines added to the necessity for an ongoing book.

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    • Francis, I’m really glad you saw this! Feel free to share wherever it can be the most effective! And thank you for the kind words!

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  2. Would love it if They would use AI to put the true voices of the Beatles on Yellow Submarine movie and also their cartoons . Totally doable now

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  3. I vaguely recall my parents letting us watch this on network TV. It must’ve been the early 70s, and we were barely in Kindergarten. After about a half hour of confusion to my young mind, I grew bored and my parents switched channels. Someday I should give it another try 🙂

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