'Dahmer's Zombie Squad' (1993).

Nelson Danielson is a Canadian comic artist, whose black-and-white artwork has appeared in many satirical comic books published by such companies as Boneyard Press, Catfish Comics and SMASH! Comics. At Boneyard Press, he drew two infamous humorous comic books about real-life serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, 'Dahmer's Zombie Squad' (1993) and 'Jeffrey Dahmer vs. Jesus Christ' (1993). This makes him the third known artist to make comics about Dahmer. Other artists who did this are Al Hanford, Eric Gnoeff and Derf Backderf. Between 1993 and 1995, Danielson also drew other titles for Boneyard, including two comics poking fun at radio host Rush Limbaugh ('Rush Limbaugh Must Die', 'Howard Stern vs. Rush Limbaugh'), disgraced American football star and actor O.J. Simpson ('Doin' Time with O.J.', 'O.J.'s Big Bust Out') and the 'Power Rangers' franchise ('Mighty Morphing Rump Rangers'). Among his later indie comics were the graphic novel 'Rock Starz' (2005) and the comic book/web comic series 'Monkeys & Midgets' (2004) with writer Mike Gagnon. He should not be confused with U.S. comic artist and colorist Nelson Dániel.

Life and career
Nelson Gudmunder Danielson hails from Stonewall, Manitoba, but spent most of his life in Winnipeg. He studied at Stonewall Collegiate Institute. In 1992, he started working as an artist for the indie publishing company Boneyard Press, founded in Illinois by Hart D. Fisher. At the time, Boneyard mostly published fantasy and crime comics, often with an emphasis on horror, sex and black comedy.

Boneyard Press & Jeffrey Dahmer
In the summer of 1991, serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was arrested in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The mentally disturbed man had kidnapped, murdered, dismembered, cannibalized and posthumously raped up to 17 victims. He kept body parts in his fridge, others in vats of muriatic acid. On 17 February 1992, Dahmer was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment. The case shocked the world, but the sheer sensation also led to excessive media attention and coverage. In August 1992, the publisher of Boneyard Press, Hart D. Fisher, scripted a 20-page graphic novel, 'Jeffrey Dahmer. An Unauthorized Biography of a Serial Killer', drawn by Al Hanford

Although the book offered a well-researched and not too sensational account of Dahmer's crimes, it nevertheless caused huge controversy. A sensation-crazy journalist from Milwaukee bought copies and confronted the victims' families with it. Some of them sued Boneyard Press. Fisher's distributor, Capital City Distribution, went so far to destroy over 1,200 copies, instead of shipping them out to the retailers who paid for them. The "Dahmer comic book" soon grew into a huge media story, outraging moral guardians and general audiences. Many felt a comic about an only recently arrested serial killer was in extraordinarily bad taste. As it often goes, all the negative publicity actually increased Boneyard Press' sales, with Fisher and Hanford's book becoming a collector's item, given that some many first-run copies had now been destroyed.

Fisher gave a lot of interviews to defend his freedom of speech. At the same time, he and his company were subject of severe demonization in the press, court cases, death threats, protest marches, attackers, stalkers and vandalism. Embracing his new status as "most dangerous man in U.S. comics", Fisher released even more comic books based on real-life crime cases and controversial media figures. To add fuel to the fire, he brought out three additional comic books about Dahmer. Compared to Fisher and Hanford's comic, these new titles were all far more shocking, tasteless and silly. In Eric Gnoeff's 'The Further Adventures of Young Jeffy Dahmer' (October 1992), also scripted by Fisher, the supposed childhood of Dahmer was presented in a grotesque cartoony way.

'Jeffrey Dahmer vs. Jesus Christ'.

Dahmer's Zombie Squad
With Fisher as scriptwriter and Eric Gnoeff as cover artist, Nelson Danielson drew Boneyard's next Dahmer comic, 'Dahmer's Zombie Squad' (February 1993). The book is based on a real-life anecdote about Dahmer. The criminal once drilled a hole in the skull of one of his victims, so he could pour hydrochloric acid in it. He believed that he would be able to create a "zombie" he could use as sex slave. In 'Dahmer's Zombie Squad', the authors take this idea to its logical fantastical end, with Dahmer creating his army of living dead, who assist him during his crimes.

Jeffrey Dahmer vs. Jesus Christ
Fisher and Danielson's next release, 'Jeffrey Dahmer vs. Jesus Christ' (February 1993), went on an even more ridiculous and blasphemous route. In the story, U.S. Republicans, Democrats, representatives of the Vatican and Jesus have a huge fight. Many celebrities have a cameo, including Bill Clinton, George Bush Sr., Dan Quayle and Ross Perot. Unlike the title suggests, Jesus and Dahmer don't really fight much in the story. The cover even features a scene not present in the comic itself, though this could be explained by the fact that it was drawn by a different artist, again Tommy Pons. In the fall of 2022, 'Jeffrey Dahmer vs. Jesus Christ' attracted new attention when Netflix released the true crime drama series 'Dahmer', based on Jeffrey Dahmer. In one scene, the infamous comic is actually shown by the actors. Though for legal reasons the cover was altered, even though the company logo is still shown.

'Howard Stern vs. Rush Limbaugh' (August 1994).

Further Boneyard titles
After the Dahmer titles, Danielson remained affiliated to Boneyard Press, drawing several other comic books for the company. Remaining in the realm of black comedy, he drew 'Rush Limbaugh Must Die' (November 1993), another comic scripted by Hart D. Fisher. In this story, right-wing conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh finds himself the target of a left-wing assassination plot. Although he was mocked mercilessly, the real-life Limbaugh actually bought himself a copy and found the satire quite amusing. Fisher and Danielson also produced the follow-up 'Howard Stern vs. Rush Limbaugh' (August 1994), in which left-wing shock jock Howard Stern is pitted against his ideological counterpart Limbaugh. Both Limbaugh and Howard Stern obtained a copy and talked about the comic in their respective radio shows, giving Danielson's comic more publicity. 

In 1994, Hollywood actor and former American football champion O.J. Simpson was arrested for allegedly murdering his wife and her lover. A year later a widely mediatized trial followed. Fisher and Danielson brought out 'Doin' Time with O.J.' (December 1994) and 'O.J.'s Big Bust Out' ( March 1995). The stories follow Simpson after his imprisonment. The disgraced sports figure escapes from prison and is promptly hunted down by police officers, sensation-crazed paparazzi, demons and white supremacists. Contrary to what most people expected, the real-life Simpson was eventually declared "not guilty", making the comics instantly dated afterwards. Simpson also sued Boneyard Press. Danielson's last credited release for Boneyard, 'Mighty Morphing Rump Rangers' (August 1995), scripted by Fisher, is basically a pornographic version of the children's TV show 'Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers'.

'Doin' Time with O.J.' (December 1994).

Canadian indie comics
After 1995, Nelson Danielson remained active in the indie comics scene, working for other imprints. In the Summer of 1996, Danielson's short story 'Rot an' Decay', about two demons from the pits of hell walking around in New York City, appeared in the second volume of the Canadian 'Sunburn' anthology, published by Karl Thomsen in Winnipeg. It were the first five pages of the second issue of a proposed comic book series Danielson created. It is unknown whether the full series was ever released. In 1996, he worked with artist P.J. Guerra and writers Gary Timleck and James Leutri on 'Bikini Assassin Team' for Catfish Comics. In the first and only issue, the B.A.T. girls are hired to recover the missing daughter of a wealthy businessman.

'Rock Starz' (2005).

Rock Starz
By 2004, Nelson Danielson was working with SMASH! Comics, a Toronto-based publishing imprint, recently acquired by Open Book Press. In 2005, Danielson's solo comic 'Rock Starz' appeared at Smash Comics/Open Book Press, a space epic of over 230 pages following the trials and tribulations of the rock band Drunc & Disorderly, travelling the cosmos in search for paying gigs.

Monkeys & Midgets
With writer Mike Gagnon, Danielson created 'Monkeys & Midgets' (2005), a comic about a midget wrestling federation going bankrupt. To cash in on the publicity, the league's owners - the spineless Petney and his mysterious quick-tempered partner Hapblast - force the athletes to fight apes in the ring. After a 96-page graphic novel with Smash Comics/Open Book Press in 2005, the series continued as a web strip. Paperback re-editions of the original book appeared through Ka-Blam Hammer Books, with a hardcover 'Monkeys & Midgets Ultimate Edition' of 184 pages was released by the latter in 2016.

'Monkeys & Midgets'. 

Series and books by Nelson Danielson you can order today:


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