Australian artist Stuart McMillen is part activist, part researcher, and part comics geek. With interests ranging from climate change to drug policy, his informative comic essays lay down important social facts in very simple terms. His more famous titles include War On Drugs, Peak Oil, and Jimi Hendrix vs. Your Climate Denying Uncle.
McMillen’s probably best known for “Rat Park,” a 2013 essay about a Canadian experiment from the late seventies that blew apart the notion that the mere presence of drugs will turn everyone into a junkie. Addiction researcher Bruce Alexander believed that caged lab rats became easily addicted to drugs because it’s terrible living in solitary confinement, not because rats and humans are inherently addicts just waiting for someone to come along and offer them heroin.
All of McMillen’s comics are available for free on his website, although he’ll happily take donations for future projects. Right now McMillen’s working on a 400-page book called Thermoeconomics, which involves climate scientists including Buckminster Fuller and M. King Hubbert (who’s featured in the comic Peak Oil.)
Here’s a brief sampling of McMillen’s work, starting with a two-page spread from War On Drugs.
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