Four-Colour Hysteria! Cannabis in Comic Books

CANNABIS CULTURE – If you were a comic book reader in the 1950s (and almost every young person was), you were told over and over that marijuana was a scourge that inevitably led to prison or worse. This was true whether you read superhero comics, romance comics, or crime comics. The theme was always the same: marijuana is evil.

In a nod to those bad old days, comic historian and graphic artist Craig Yoe has collected twenty-one vintage marijuana-themed comic book stories in a fascinating new book titled Reefer Madness Comics (Dark Horse Books). Printed in full color throughout, the book is a cultural and historical trip through an era in which everything about cannabis use was bad, from the people who sold it to the people who used it. These stories were a public warning against a perceived national menace, and they pulled no punches in delivering their message to readers.

“I started collecting these comics back in the ‘60s,” Yoe told Cannabis Culture. “It took a long time to score all the stories I include in Reefer Madness Comics. These comic books are rare and crazy expensive because they include very collectible artists like Joe Shuster, the co-creator

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