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Comics & Graphic Novels History

Wonder Drug

LSD in the Land of Living Skies

by (author) Hugh D.A. Goldring

illustrated by nicole marie burton

afterword by Erika Dyck

Between the Lines
Initial publish date
Nov 2021
History, Psychopharmacology, Entheogens & Visionary Substances
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2021
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Nov 2021
    List Price

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Could it be that the most remote frontiers of twenty-first-century exploration lie inside the human mind? Illustrated in kaleidoscopic full colour, Wonder Drug is the graphic history of a controversial and little-known medical research project carried out in the Canadian prairies—one that championed LSD as a way to model schizophrenia and cure ailments from alcoholism to depression.

Spanning the decades from the 1950s to present day, this captivating story follows Anglo-Canadian psychiatrist Dr. Humphry Osmond down the rabbit hole of psychedelic research, conducted both in the lab and in his living room. Lurching from dazzling imagery to fanged delusions, and studded with a cast of radical personalities such as Aldous Huxley, Allen Ginsberg, Ken Kesey, and Kay Parley, Wonder Drug is a trip like no other.

As Osmond and his colleagues grapple with professional isolation, a growing moral panic, and the burgeoning War on Drugs, their growing body of findings are maligned and misunderstood—but the promise of pharmapolitical revolution is still on the horizon, and the radical research in Weyburn, Saskatchewan may yet be realized.

About the authors

Hugh Goldring is a writer from Ottawa, Ontario, Algonquin territory. As one half of Petroglyph Studios, he works full time writing comics with social justice themes in partnership with scholars, unions, activists and NGOs. He is part of the Ad Astra Comix publishing collective which published his first graphic novel, The Beast: Making a Living on a Dying Planet. He was active in the Occupy movement and has been involved in several Food Not Bombs chapters. He has spent the last 5 years traveling across the United States, visiting with anti-fascists, migrant rights activists and anti-capitalists, trying vainly to make sense of it all.

Hugh D.A. Goldring's profile page

nicole marie burton (she, they) is a comics artist and children’s book illustrator living on unceded Algonquin land. Born in the US and now based in Ontario, she is a founding member of the Ad Astra Comix publishing collective. nicole’s work focuses on comics with social justice themes, including topics from Canadian history to the science of climate change. Her published works include The Beast: Making a Living on a Dying Planet, The Boy Who Walked Backwards, and a chapter in the anthology Drawn to Change: Graphic Histories of Working Class Struggle.

nicole marie burton's profile page

Erika Dyck is a historian of health, medicine, and Canadian society at the University of Saskatchewan. Her research has concentrated on the history of mental health, institutionalization, and experimentation.

Erika Dyck's profile page


  • Winner, Independent Publisher Book Award Bronze Medalist, Graphic Novel/Drawn Book

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