Philadelphia native Field Brown was 16 years previous when he was arrested for smoking pot. He was a direct sufferer of America’s lengthy working marketing campaign for weaponizing hashish and utilizing it as a software of oppression for its residents. “It sucked, it was horrible,” he says of the incident. “I needed to go to courtroom, I needed to see a probation officer each week, and I used to be criminalized. I believed, ‘this doesn’t appear proper to me,’ as a baby … It was apparent to me as a non-adult that this was bullshit.”
Field Brown, Graphic Novelist
Many years later, Field Brown would go on to publish the New York Occasions Bestselling graphic novel, André the Large: Life and Legend, for First Second Books in 2014. Three years prior, Brown had received a 2011 Xeric Grant for his comedian ebook, Love is a Peculiar Sort of Factor, and kickstarted his personal small publishing outfit, Retrofit Comics, that very same 12 months. He went on to put in writing and illustrate two extra biographical graphic novels for First Second, Tetris: The Video games Folks Play and Is This Man for Actual? The Unbelievable Andy Kaufman, printed in 2016 and 2018 respectively.
At present, Brown works full-time as a cartoonist, splitting work between writing and drawing his personal prolonged graphic novels, visitor writing for comics of licensed properties reminiscent of Journey Time, Rugrats and WWE, and spending time elevating a baby alongside his spouse. Not unhealthy for a person who determined to choose up cartooning after graduating faculty, and—by all technicality—was as soon as thought of a juvenile delinquent.
Hashish, Legalization, and the Delivery of a Graphic Novel
And absolutely, for the most effective, the fixed that turned and has remained a supply of inspiration for the cartoonist is similar herb that gave Brown a brand new perspective of life as a teen: hashish.
It’s additionally the topic of his upcoming historic graphic novel, Hashish: The Illegalization of Weed in America, due out April 2, 2019. The comedian ebook goals to supply important context to understanding America’s curiosity in banning hashish and demonizing its customers, relating its historic cultivation in Mexico Metropolis by Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés, and shedding gentle on Harry J. Anslinger and the Federal Bureau of Narcotics’ marketing campaign towards hashish use in America.
His comics are dense … However they’re playful, partaking, harmless, drawn in a way that is nearly cute. In different phrases, Brown is a real cartoonist.
It’s a story that Field Brown took lethal critical and spent painstakingly lengthy hours researching. Over our 45-minute cellphone name, Brown spouted tidbits in regards to the plant and its historical past I’d by no means heard earlier than. He spoke on Nixon’s efforts and function in establishing a conflict on medicine, in addition to the results of adverse hashish propaganda which nonetheless continues years after its legalization in lots of states. At one level, Brown recalled a second the place his editor instructed him to loosen up over his ebook’s subject material. Brown was caught up within the “reefer insanity,” and enraged with its potent historical past of lies.
“I in all probability labored on this ebook for 16 months or one thing like that, between the analysis, the drawing of it, and enhancing that stuff,” Brown remembered. “However in a means, I’ve been engaged on it my entire life, nearly the identical means that I had been working in the direction of the Andre the Large ebook since I used to be 10. I used to be so overwhelmed by the quantity of data that was on the market. It’s simply insane.”