William Maxwell "Bill" Gaines, also known as Jerry Garcia from 1967-1992, (b. 1922, d. 1992, res. 1992) was the greatest criminal mastermind of the latter part of the 20th Century. Or just a humble comic book publisher, depending on who you believe.
William Gaines must have had an unremarkable childhood. No one can be found who remembers what he was like. Even his parents have… disappeared.
A Career Begins
It is believed that William Gaines began his career as a rum runner during prohibition, assembling one of the largest illegal liquor distribution rings in the United States. But this is only unsubstantiated rumor. Anyone who looked into this story or attempted to write about it would suddenly vanish, leaving behind neighbors who would only say, “oh, he/she moved to San Diego for their health,” before quickly closing the door.
Service to God, Country and Queen
During WWII, William Gaines was the most decorated soldier in the United States Army. He is known to have killed 2,723 German soldiers with his bare hands, and he single handedly captured the island of Saipan from a defending force of over 30,000 Japanese troops. He was also involved in a secret military program in conjunction with the CIA that used psychotrophic drugs to enhance the fighting ability of American troops, and to weaken those of foreign troops. This experience would prove important later in his career as a criminal mastermind.
Return to Civilian Life and the Greatest Invention of All Time
After the war, Gaines returned to an America that was fraught with decency and well-meaning. People were no longer buying his liquor. To counter this, Gaines invented the horror comic, a brightly colored piece of clever brainwashing. The horror comic’s true purpose was to lure the reader into a sordid life of crime. As we all know, criminals and delinquents all drink, so the more criminals and delinquents, the more customers for Gaines' demon liquor.
The plan was successful even beyond what Gaines anticipated. By the early 1950’s, crime rates had escalated above 1200% in most parts of the country. It is estimated that nearly 80% of American males between the ages of 13 and 24 had becomes criminals. Gaines built a network of publishers who distributed his horror comics throughout the nation. The country slowly sank into a lawless state of anarchy, with crazed bands of delinquents roaming the highways, stopping in cities and towns to drink, smoke marijuana, gamble, mug little old ladies, rape women on the streets, and become liberals. On the backs of these reckless youth, Gaines became the richest and most powerful man in America.
The CCA and Gaines' Downfall
Finally, the United States Congress had enough and decided to put a stop to Gaines and his criminal empire. Hearings were held into the dangers posed by the horror comic. Gaines, with his vast wealth, was able to hire the best lawyers money could by and made a mockery of the hearings. Realizing that the U.S. Constitution lacked the power to bring down Gaines and his vast criminal enterprise, in 1954 Congress replaced the Constitution with the Comics Code Authority (CCA), which essentially made anything even remotely fun illegal.
In less than a year from the ratification of the CCA, Gaines’ criminal empire was in ruins. Young males went back to being decent, clean-cut all American boys who drank Coca-Cola, smoked cigarettes, played marbles, helped little old ladies across the street, only raped girls in the back of their grandfather’s Buick, and joined the Young Republicans. Faced with the rapid loss of his power and wealth, as well as a nasty case of syphillis contracted during the war from a prostitue in Thailand, Gaines went insane.
The Lean Years
Gaines, in a desperate attempt to retain his sanity, used what little money he had left to hire a slew of psychoanalysts and other mental health professionals. At Gaines’ urging, his group of doctors and clinicians, referred to as “the usual cast of idiots,” gave Gaines copious amounts of LSD to probe the inner recesses of his mind. Gaines was familar with the drug from his military service and felt it would restore his superior mental powers. The doctors then published the results of their research in the journal “Mental Attribute Diagnoses Magazine,” or MAD.
Resurgence as a Smelly Hippie
The LSD helped Gaines to regain some of his mental capacities, and he began a new plan to build a criminal enterprise. This plan would be built around the LSD given to him by his doctors. Much as with his horror comics, he would devise a way to corrupt the youth of America, creating a reliable market for the drug. Recruiting contacts from his days in the military, his plan culminated in a folk-rock band called The Grateful Dead. Drawing on his years of experience as a criminal mastermind of comic books, Gaines created a new identity for himself: that of Lt. Colonel Jerry Garcia, Special Ops. This alter-ego borrowed heavily on his experiences as a CIA operative in WWII. Although the plan was successful, only those afflicted with the genetic defect called “the hippie gene” were susceptible to its influence. The Grateful Dead never did bring Gaines the wealth and power he had as a comics publisher.
In 1992, William Gaines died.
The Undead William M. Gaines
Much like a character from one of his comic books, it is alleged that Mr. Gaines rose from the dead as a zombie about three months after his death. His partially decayed corpse now wanders the land, looking for revenge on the families and descendents of those responsible for the downfall of his empire, and against anyone who seeks to defame his character and portray him as anything other than a kindly, benevolent, if slightly anti-establishment comic book publisher.
Please do not contact me regarding any corrections to this article. As of tomorrow I’ll be moving for the 16th time in the past two years, and I will not be leaving a forwarding address. I’ve been hearing strange noises in the bushes at night, and I think it is time for me to move on.