“What the hell are you thinking, Sacks,” I hear you say. “You gave a comic called Marijuanaman four bullets? What, are you literally smoking pot? How can you give a book with a title like Marijuanaman such a good rating?”
To which I reply: “You’re so wrong. You have no idea how awesome this book is.”
See up there in that gold box where the artist(s) are listed? See the name there? That’s Jim Mahfood, and let me tell you, no matter what you might think of the title and cover of Marijuanaman, Jim Mahfood does an absolutely amazing job of illustrating this book.
As Jim told me in my interview with him, “It was like, if you let me and Joe take this and make it our own thing, where we can really put our stamp on it and it can exist in my world–what I draw, with my weird shit and psychedelic sex scenes and stuff–then it’s gonna be awesome.”
Honestly, the book really is awesome. It’s pretty much a straight-out, color-saturated, action-packed, mind-altering, insanely kinetic tour de force of pure awesomeness. Leaving aside the whole drug side of the story, there are pages of this book that are pure gorgeous psychedelic bright and colorful beauty. You can stare at these pages forever, just basking in the unadulterated pop-art beauty of them.
If you get a chance to look through Marijuanaman at your LCS, flip to page 47 and look at the explosion of energy in the kiss that’s depicted there–the eruption of passion and joy is so beautiful that you can’t help but smile when you look at it.
Or look at page 7, with the badass motorcycle rider, Cash Money, and the villain who looks like a refugee from a Big Daddy Ed Roth cartoon. That page is just so awesome it almost makes me giggle. Or flip to page 10, and kind of keep that page in your peripheral vision and tell me if the brain on that page doesn’t almost seem to start to glow. Hallelujah time, indeed.
This book is filled with scenes like these–scenes that are filled above the rim with art that seems suffused with pure unfiltered and unadulterated joy at the idea of drawing perhaps the wildest comic book of all time.
And yeah, there is a story, too, and there’s a nice little message behind it. Joe Casey does a nice job with the subject matter, presenting a clever story that allows Ziggy Marley’s ideas a chance to breathe and Jim Mahfood’s art a chance to glow.
The outline of the story’s a bit familiar, but that just makes it more fun and fresh in its execution.
I gotta tell you honestly, I scoffed when I considered reviewing a book with a title like Ziggy Marley’s Marijuanaman. How good (or how bad) could a book with a title like that be? But I was totally wrong.
I’ve been telling my friends about this book. They all scoff until I open it up and show them Mahfood’s amazing art. Then they quickly become converts to the adventures of the man from the planet Yelram (spell it backwards, folks!).
It’s no lie, and I’m not smoking weed, Marijuanaman is an impressively fun book. There’s weird shit and psychedelic sex scenes and all kinds of other stuff. It’s pretty damn awesome.