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Issue 43, "Anyhow Stories"

Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Steve Yeowell

Summary:
written by William Sherman (sherman@netcom.com), edited by Robert Kelly (bobek@rt66.com)

A General Honey is showing a Sergeant Washington around the deepest levels of the Pentagon. Honey is clearly nuts. They pass through various weird places, including a forest of gibbets (which Wallace Sage mentioned to his mother in that last phone call). It seems that the Silver Sugar Tongs are a facet of a higher-dimensional object, which Honey's group (some subsection of the military) uses to snare ghosts. Darren Jones, of previous issues, was a renegade member of this project, who lost the Tongs but used his knowledge to fashion low-quality Men from NOWHERE. He was captured recently and was incarcerated in the Ant Farm (which we will get to in a moment). The Tongs were recovered. Flight 19 was snared using the Tongs, it seems, but that experiment failed. The best results come from true ghosts, who are housed down here under the Pentagon and told nonsense stories. They then become the Men from NOWHERE. Wallace Sage is kept down here too; he is a very powerful telepath whose abilities are used to make weapons. We get the impression that Wally has been here for quite some time. Honey shows Washington the Ant Farm.

Back on Danny the Street, Josh tells Dorothy his theory that her powers consist of making the elements of her subconscious real. Dolores arrives, asking for Flex, and they take her to him. After he puts on his old costume (a small bathing suit, and wrestling boots) for old times' sake, she dissolves into air, telling Flex that she's sorry, just as the Men from NOWHERE arrive. These ones talk only in advertising copy. Josh and the Chief try to fight them, but are overpowered. Suddenly, Rebis, Cliff, Jane and one of the members of the Orthodoxy arrive. Cliff still has his insectoid legs.

Annotations:
written by William Sherman

p. 1: The storybook of the title was written by Lucy Clifford, and was published in 1882. It was reprinted in 1977. The best-known story in the book is "A New Mother," and this is in fact the story the ghosts are hearing. The story is every bit as terrifying as Honey makes it out to be. (A big thanks to Adam Stephanides [astephan@uxa.cso.uiuc.edu])

p. 4: Ka-Bala is a reference to the Kabbala, an ancient tradition of Jewish mysticism founded in Spain in the middle ages. You can look it up if you want details about the beliefs, but I should point out that Kabbalism has become associated in Western culture with secret societies and arcane knowledge. In this role it has appeared in several works referred to elsewhere in these annotations, such as the _Illuminatus_ trilogy, _Finnegans Wake_ and Pavic's _Dictionary of the Khazars_.

p. 6: Laika was the dog shot into space by the Soviets in the early days of their space program. There was no re-entry in the flight plan. Laika was an important symbol in the recent art-house hit film "My Life As A Dog", in the same way that Washington thinks of her here. An object of pity, a sacrifice to Big Science and the new frontier.

p. 8: The poetry here is from Lucy Clifford's _Anyhow Stories_, the same book on page 1 and page 20 of Issue 42 (thanks to Adam Stephanides [astephan@uxa.cso.uiuc.edu]).

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