This sounds outstanding. Ricardo Cortes gave us “It’s Just a Plant: a children’s story about marijuana” and also illustrated the extraordinarily popular “Go the Fuck to Sleep.” His latest project is one that has taken years of research, development and artistry.
A Secret History of Coffee, Coca & Cola is an illustrated history of coffee, coca leaf, kola nut, Coca-Cola, caffe-ine, coca-ine, secret formulas, special flavors, special favors, and the future of prohibition. Itâ€™s a tale of cocaine factories in Peru and New Jersey; secret experiments at the University of Hawaii; and a peek at the files of U.S. Bureau of Narcotics commissioner Harry J. Anslinger (infamous for his â€œReefer Madnessâ€ campaign against marijuana, lesser known as a collaborator of The Coca-Cola Company).
â€œThis book is an incredible work of artistic journalism. Armed with color pencils and an eye for detail, CortÃ©s has produced a beautiful and subversive history of how that bottle of Coke ended up in your fridge. CortÃ©s weaves his peopleâ€™s history with meticulously and gorgeously crafted drawingsâ€”many of them recreations of the primary documents he uses to tell his story. The end product is a damning, epic tale of hypocrisy: while the US government leads the charge to criminalize the 10 million people who chew coca, it has simultaneously conspired with a multinational beverage giant to ensure an endless supply of coca to fuel its profits.â€