HQ entrelaça maconha e racismo ao longo da história dos EUA

EUA, Literatura

hempadao 24 junho, 2019

‘Cannabis’, do quadrinista Box Brown, ganha edição em português

O quadrinista americano Box Brown tinha 16 anos em 1996, quando foi preso por posse de maconha. Ingênuo e sem ter fumado mais do que um punhado de vezes na época, viu aquela experiência com a Justiça dos EUA ter impacto definitivo em sua vida.

por Ramon Vitral,
no O Globo

— Pude ver um pouco do sistema e como eles tratavam meus pares, que não eram brancos e vinham de uma cidade menos rica. Desde então, acho que eu estava me coçando para contar essa história — diz Brown, nascido e criado na Filadélfia.

Mais de 20 anos depois de sua detenção, ele publicou “Cannabis: A ilegalização da maconha nos Estados Unidos”. As 256 páginas em preto e branco da HQ de não ficção chegaram às livrarias no início de 2019 e agora ganham edição em português.

“Cannabis” é didático em seu relato sobre a chegada da maconha nos Estados Unidos no início do século XX e tem como foco principal os empenhos de autoridades dos poderes Executivo, Legislativo e Judiciário para impedir o consumo e a difusão da erva no país. Mas não fica só nisso.

Shiva e Vishnu

O quadrinho narra em suas primeiras páginas a origem mitológica da planta a partir de crenças hindus, como uma das riquezas decorrentes dos esforços do deus Shiva pela busca do néctar da imortalidade, sob orientação do deus supremo Vishnu.

Mitos e crenças religiosas à parte, o álbum foi produzido a partir de extensa pesquisa bibliográfica para defender a tese de que todo o processo de combate e proibição do consumo e da difusão da maconha nos EUA tem o racismo como ponto de partida.

Brown mostra no livro como os Estados Unidos estiveram empenhados em sua missão de combater a maconha desde os primeiros registros da chegada da erva ao país. Ele narra como uma briga entre texanos brancos e imigrantes mexicanos portando maconha fez com que a cidade de El Paso se tornasse a primeira cidade dos EUA a criminalizar a maconha, em 1914.

Grande parte da obra é focada no empenho de Harry J. Anslinger (1892-1975), primeiro comissário do Departamento Federal de Narcóticos — órgão criado após o fim da Lei Seca sob apoio da indústria farmacêutica — e propagador de desinformação sobre a maconha em pesquisas fictícias difundidas em jornais e revistas da época.

— Não queria pegar leve ou soar hesitante e queria martelar esse posicionamento com fatos. Sou muito passional em relação a todos os temas pelos quais tenho mais interesse, mas realmente sinto que esse é extremamente importante — afirma o autor.

Brown se mostra cético sobre o processo recente de legalização da maconha nos EUA. Apesar de criminalizado em nível federal, o consumo da erva já foi legalizado em 33 estados do país para uso medicinal, sendo que 10 deles já legalizaram o uso recreativo para adultos a partir dos 21 anos.

O quadrinista crê na mudança da opinião pública em relação ao consumo da droga, o que dificultaria o trabalho de legisladores mais conservadores. No entanto, ele teme que, com a legalização se tornando inevitável, grandes corporações passem a ser as principais beneficiadas.

— Este é um recurso natural abundante, e há muito lucro a ser ganho sem que as corporações tentem abrir caminho para o setor e eliminem todos os outros produtores. Todo mundo continua falando sobre justiça social, mas todos aqueles com algum registro policial são mantidos fora da indústria da maconha, assim como não há espaço para nenhuma empresa pequena.

Apesar de “Cannabis” ser o primeiro álbum de Brown publicado no Brasil, o autor é atualmente um dos principais nomes das HQs autorais produzidas nos Estados Unidos. Cocriador e editor do selo independente Retrofit Comics, pelo qual publica títulos próprios e de colegas, ele intercala projetos mais pessoais com trabalhos biográficos e documentais lançados pela editora First Second Books, selo de quadrinhos da gigante editorial Roaring Brook Press.

O quadrinho 'Cannabis: A ilegalização da maconha nos Estados Unidos' Foto: Reprodução

O quadrinho ‘Cannabis: A ilegalização da maconha nos Estados Unidos’ Foto: Reprodução

Comédia e luta livre

Do mesmo gênero de seu trabalho mais recente ele já publicou “Andre, The Giant”, sobre a vida do atleta de luta livre André René Roussimoff; “Is this guy for real?”, biografia do ator Andy Kaufman; e “Tetris”, com a história do joguinho precursor da hoje bilionária indústria de games.

“Tetris” deve o próximo álbum do autor publicado no Brasil. Ainda sem previsão de chegada às livrarias nacionais, mas com os direitos já comprados pela mesma Mino que está lançando “Cannabis”, o livro tem como foco o contexto político do surgimento do jogo — criado por pesquisadores soviéticos no auge da Guerra Fria e transformado em febre nos EUA e no Japão.

— Acho que é importante lembrar que os videogames são uma forma de arte. As coisas que algumas pessoas dizem sobre games hoje são as mesmas que disseram sobre romances literários na virada do século. Cem anos depois, o romance de ficção é um dos meios artísticos mais reverenciados em nossas culturas. Talvez daqui a 100 anos o videogame seja visto da mesma forma — afirma Brown.

Cannabis: A Ilegalização da Maconha nos EUA

O amigo vloggeiro da Comix zone fez um vídeo review irado falando um pouco sobre a bibliografia da obra de Box Brown. Vale a pena assistir pois ele passa um belo pano na história do livro:


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