Puff Puff Pass! - Cannabis Comix

The Comics Code Authority in the US began marking the covers of comics with its seal of approval in 1954. Although the Code did not specifically forbid showing the use of cannabis, a clause prohibited all elements that offended good taste or decency. It was then that cartoon character Kerry Drake fought, in his crime comics, against cannabis growers with the argument that they were “making marihuana addicts out of kids”.

These ‘addicted’ kids were Robert Crumb, Paul Kirchner, Paul Mavrides, Gilbert Shelton and Dave Sheridan. These ‘underground comix’ legends began to create cannabis strips in the late 1960s. As these comics were distributed in seed banks and head shops, they could escape the Code’s control, and prosper amongst comic readers. Dealer McDope, Dope Rider, the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, and their Spanish counterpart Makoki, became society's antiheroes.

Nowadays, with more and more countries choosing to legalize cannabis, the work of a new generation of illustrators including Abarrots, Rosa Codina, Aroha Travé and Roberta Vázquez shows that they do not need anyone’s approval. Maybe their cartoon characters do not mention weed straight away, but in many strips you will catch a glimpse of someone rolling a joint. Our new exhibition ‘Puff Puff Pass!’ browses through the ‘smoky’ adventures of various cannabis stars.

Puff Puff Pass! - Cannabis Comix
March 13th, 2020 to February 28th, 2021
Museum's ground floor, free entry

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