Dark Horse has announced the summer publication date of a collection of historical comics focusing on the phenomenon of Reefer Madness–but more specifically the way in which culture and law enforcement responded to the anti-marijuana craze of the 50’s and 60’s.
As Dark Horse say, “now that eight states have legalized it for recreational use and twenty-eight for medical use, it is especially fun to relive the hysteria surrounding marijuana as a perceived gateway drug from the 1930s to the 1950s and beyond”.
Like the antidrug propaganda films of that era, the stories contained in this volume edited by Craig Yoe range from comically misinformed to soberly concerned about the influence of Mary Jane on the youth of America. Titles like “Teenage Dope Slaves,” “Satan’s Cigarettes,” and “Hopped-Up Killer” make it clear that the gulf in attitudes between today and the days of Reefer Madness could not be wider.
This edition includes an in-depth introduction discussing the campaigns against pot by the first drug czar, Harry Anslinger, and newspaperman William Randolph Hearst. The comics collected in this volume were created by comic book legends like Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster (Adventure Comics), Frank Frazetta, Jerry Robinson, and Jack Kirby.
Craig Yoe says:
This is one of the most fun books I’ve ever put together. Some of the writers and artists that created these comics must have been smoking something to concoct these ludicrous and loony tales of youth gone bad! The comics will serve up lots of lusty laughs for those who partake of contraband ‘giggle-smoke.’ Others attempting to snuff out the wicked marijuana cigarettes that they are sure unleash unbridled passions will see these comics as moral tales of dire warning!
Check out the following trailer for the book, created by comic creator and historian Craig Yoe: