In a cleanly framed, black-and-white nonfiction comic, Philadelphia cartoonist Box Brown examines marijuana ... the first graphic unpacking of this history ... Brown’s new book is definitely funny, even if the subject isn’t much of a laugh at all. Cannabis is more of an exploration of how racist propaganda helped produce laws that have unfairly punished minorities and engendered anti-immigrant sentiment in the US for as long as the plant has been here ... as Brown ably demonstrates, the former Federal Bureau of Narcotics Commissioner’s imprint on American drug policy has loomed large whether he’s been around to see it or not.
Brown’s signature style supports the narrative well, using grayscale panels and simple, uncluttered cartoon style to deliver the facts in an accessible, straightforward manner ... an illuminating look at a complicated and relevant topic. Teens working on current events assignments will appreciate its inviting approach and critical lens.
This illuminating work by Brown (Is This Guy for Real?) examines the history of the outlawing of marijuana in the U.S. and finds the drug’s restriction is based on racism and falsehoods ... Brown’s black-and-white cartoons are simple rather than realistic, but known figures like Nixon are readily identifiable, and each character is distinguished from the next by variations in facial features ... reminiscent of early comic strips ... This useful work will inform anyone curious about cannabis’s history in America.