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dope fiend funnies
solid writing
competent art
historical bonus 2
total score 6
Dope Fiend Funnies
Only Printing / 1974 / 36 pages / Cozmic Comics
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This mid '70s British underground is the most obvious drug related comic book published under the Cozmic Comics imprint. Dope Fiend Funnies is an all-British comic anthology and features Edward Barker's classic, "How to Spot a Dope Fiend." The story educates readers that a drug addict can be identified by "long matted hair, unshaven face, dazed expression, dirty feet, sandals and Ban the Bomb badges, usually carrying copies of underground literature." Hmm, we can't argue with the facts now, can we?

William Rankin also contributes a solid, less tongue-in-cheek story with "The Raphaelite Brotherhood," which charts the rise and fall of Dante Gabriel Rosetti, a British painter and drug addict in the mid-19th century.

In the British underground comic history book Nasty Tales, David Huxley supposes that Dope Fiend Funnies is laden with irony, making any drug message more ambiguous. He concludes, "...it is possible to sense in this work a railing against the unfairness of the situation in which underground publishers found themselves. Drink was good and macho, while cannabis was evil, and pin-ups (or, more extremely, sex magazines) were a sign of permissible sexuality, whilst the sexual comics strips of Robert Crumb et al were dangerous attacks on the stability of society."

I don't know if you can pick up on all that just from reading this comic book, but I do understand how these stories might be produced while living in an environment that struggles under those very circumstances.

It is currently unknown how many copies of this comic book were printed. It has not been reprinted.
Edward Barker - 1, 20-23
Paddy - 2, 31-33
unknown contributor - 3-7
Caz - 8-9 (script)
Chris Welch - 8-9 (art)
Malcolm Livingstone - 10-13
unknown contributor - 14-19
? Prodes - 24 (collaboration)
Geoff Rowley - 24 (collaboration)
William Rankin - 25-30 (collaboration)
T. C. Worlmec - 25-30 (collaboration)
Chris Tyler - 34
Stephanson - 35
unknown contributor - 36