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Danzig's Inferno

By Sean Phillips

"I'm being followed by ballet dancers. Mutant ballet dancers. They want my D.N.A. code. They have club-feet and acne and fat misshapen heads that look like they've been caught in machinery. I woke up last night and there was one sat on the edge of the bed, singing 'Some Enchanted Evening' in the dark. They fly over at night sometimes, in airships, using mail order X-ray machines to try to find me. I painted the windows black and put tinfoil over the walls to reflect the beams, but it didn't seem to do any good. I moved house six times in the last month, and they caught up with me anyway. Somehow they always seem to know where I am. I think I'm going mad."

Danzig's Inferno is a strip by John Smith and Sean Phillips, lettered by Steve Potter, which appeared in 2000 AD progs 718 and 719. Stanley Danzig was a philosopher with an I.Q. of 180, paranoid schizophrenia and a brain tumour who committed suicide by driving his car off a cliff. Then his life got really strange. After spending some time in a mutable psychedelic afterlife with an imaginary friend called Lester he was resurrected by scientists who wanted him to prevent the reality-warping antics of his former colleagues, who had transcended reality, turned into concepts and begun to wreak havoc on the physical universe. The late Danzig was unfortunately unable to stop them playing with normality and causality as if they were Play-Doh, and found himself exiled to some sort of empty insterstitial Limbo with only Lester for company. Phillips' mix of photographic and painted art was an ideal medium in which to convey this surreal, absurd and also rather sad little story.