Comic Review: Reefer Madness (Dark Horse)

“It’s MADNESS! It’s MADNESS, I tell yas! Stay away from the REEFER!!!!” With the cultural debate going on these days surrounding the benefits of medical marijuana, and the legalization of […]

“It’s MADNESS! It’s MADNESS, I tell yas! Stay away from the REEFER!!!!”

With the cultural debate going on these days surrounding the benefits of medical marijuana, and the legalization of marijuana, this Dark Horse trade collection entitled “Reefer Madness” has been issued with perfect timing. Catch the wave, catch a whiff, sail away, high as a kite!!

Reefer Madness is edited and designed by Craig Yoe, well known for his collections of Weird Love and Horror reprints. Craig assembles a really fun collection of tales in this volume. They’re illustrated by a who’s who of golden and silver age artists, including Frank Frazetta (one pager), Kirby and Simon, Siegel and Shuster, Syd Shores, Al Feldstein, Robert Crumb (poster) and many more.

There are 20 stories in all. They range from over-the-top portrayals of brown hatted gangsters who try to get friendly corner store owners to sell their “funny cigarettes”, to lurid romance tales of girls who get ‘hooked’ on marijuana and alienate their families, to much more serious accounts of those who start smoking pot, and graduate to shooting heroin and prostituting themselves to support their habit. Very sobering indeed!!

In addition to the comic stories, there is a very well written synopsis of the history of “weed”, and the battles in United States to prevent its increasing popularity among the young and restless.

As in other Yoe collections, these stories are scanned directly from old comic books with minimal (or no) retouching, so you get typos, printing errors, gaudy color, poor registration and all. But you also get the feel of the medium as it was back in the days of the newsstand. It’s a historically accurate depiction of the times, back when we knew less about marijuana and other drugs, and when the drugstore was where we also bought our “hit” of comic books each month.

Dark Horse Comics, “Reefer Madness”, $19.99 for 220 pages of content, 16+

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!