Warning, Kids!
This is puh-lit’i-kul!
Don’t Read It!































Dr. Ellis Dee
later in his career


















Dr. Harris Isbell



















Dr. Paul Hoch






Dr Ewan Cameron






On the cover page a hole:

Yer picher here


In the hole, a head shot 0f Jimmy O’Shea, 14, his 9th grade yearbook. Around the hole, erupting from the fruited American heartland, a mushroom cloud composed of the atoms of all nightmare: cartoon bunnies with razorblade tongues, fulminating brain and fecal matter, car wrecks, human organs, there goes an eyeball, five severed toes, teeth with noses, cellars of eyes, yellow shit roads, dogs with bones through their skulls, eyes that are doors to vacant lots that are eyes of killers who live in the oil drums by the cemetery. You get the picher.

Jimmy turns the page. Gone is the mushroom cloud. He flies through spacious skies above amber waves of grain below a sun with googoo eyes. “Wow!” says Jimmy from his black & white headshot which is pasted on page 3 in the window of a single-engine Cessna 180 piloted by his father. Jimmy gazes on the highways, silos, churches, banks in the frame below. They smile back at him. They wave.

“America,” says Walter, Air Force cap on head, “a technological paradise.”

“Dad, what’s that down there?” Jimmy points to the frame inset in the lower right, where a dot on the perfect landscape is magnified into a cube of teeny barbed-wire rolls, tiny turrets.

Next page. “That’s the Addiction Research Center at the U.S. Public Health Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky,” says Walter from the tiny speck that is them in the sky above a maze of cubicles where squatting Black men mutter, one balloon to a cell,




Ohmigod! what’s happening? Toads, snakes, black widow spiders like bursts of Japanese flak flame through the frame skyward at Walter’s Cessna.

“Hold on!” screams Walter. A tit hits the plane, a penis, tiny people riding bodyparts like surfboards. Surf’s up! yells one.

In the frame beneath, a meaty big-ass guard strides down the cell block smashing Whazzit? balloons with his nightstick. He knocks a balloon into the next frame, where Dr. Harris Isbell CIA psychiatrist holds out an orange pill to the reader.

“This is Whazzit?,” he says. “Captain Trips Whizbang, Savior of the Free World.” The tab grows from frame to frame. Tiny words inscribed like names on a gravestone become visible, a product of Sandoz, Eli Lilly, and the CIA.

The pill melts to a teardrop in the rheumy eye of Jesus Christ, who says, “To our nation — closeness of Godmind. To our enemies — brain-death.”

What can it be, this magic puh-lit’i-kul pill?

Lie Sur Jik Acid Die Ethel Am EEd.

1949 frame (sepia colored): Ellis Dee gets off the boat in New York, just another crummy postwar European immigrant. But!

“Hey, kid,” says a gummint agent in shades and trench coat, “Wanna hit the Big Time?”

“Sure,” says Ellis, a hick from Zurich

Wuz he a hit? He’s a million hits!

He’s a gas!

Men in white coats spray him through the ventilating ducts from one frame to the next, where he’s inhaled by Boris Badanuf who screams “I’m a spy, I’m a spy, I wanna die!”

He’s an undercover spy!

1951. Memo: “What the CIA needs are human subjects of not too high mentality.”

A CIA agent squirts Ellis from a boutonniere on his trench coat lapel at a streetwalker who explodes into her sexual parts. In the next frame her cunt is the mouth of a streetsweeper sucking up penises from the gutter.

at a hipster in shades who becomes a frozen cube of black space ice orbiting the earth. Who says, “Thass TOO cool.”

at black addicts who fall through the frame into the Louisville Addiction Research Center, where the balloons above the cubicles say,



                                               Whooooooooooooooooooooo            Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa



He’s a faker!

A clown in a doctor mask sits at his desk. His balloon slides from his lips across the desk down in front of your Dad, Walter O’Shea, for him to sign.

“The peer-approved, government sanctioned, odorless, tasteless, colorless substance administered in voluntary double-bind experiment sponsored by the National Institutes of Mental Health will SIMULATE schizophrenia without dangers of any kind. Experience insanity in the safety of your own private ward at state expense. Unlock the mysteries of mental disease. Help suffering millions. And leave the driving to us.”

“Another amazing American technological breakthrough,” says Walter, “Where do I sign?”

That’s right, Jimmy, your Dad took LSD before Timothy Leary even heard of it. That’s science.


He’s a career-maker!

A page of moving testimonial portraits.

“I’m Dr. Paul Hoch. I gave intraspinal injections of LSD to psychiatric patients and then administered electroshock while I rooted in their frontal lobes with an icepick. Now I’m New York State Commissioner for Mental Hygiene. That’s what you get for cleaning brain-pans.”

“I’m Dr. Sidney Gottlieb. I ran Operation MKULTRA for the CIA, which provided free acid to thousands of unsuspecting Americans, some of them my own colleagues. My personal fave was Operation MIDNIGHT CLIMAX in San Francisco: we hired hookers to dose their johns with LSD while we filmed them through one-way mirrors.”

A hooker with highly exaggerated sexual characteristics is fucked from behind by a cloud of exploding molecules, while a CIA agent on the other side of the mirror jacks off.

“What a hoot! And they gave me the Distinguished Intelligence Medal.”

“I’m Dr. Louis Joylon (Jolly) West. I tested acid on psychiatric patients in Oklahoma for the CIA. My most famous patient was an elephant. I killed him with 300,000 mikes of LSD and a cocktail of tranqs. Wow! I was a contract Agency madman. I gave happy pills to Jack Ruby in prison. Later he died. I rented a pad in the Haight to dose bewildered hippies. And for those humble accomplishments, they made me head of UCLA’s Neuropsychiatric Institute!”

An elephant lies legs up trumpeting Whazzit?

“I’m Dr. Ewen Cameron. I dosed dozens of schizophrenics at the Allain Memorial Institute of McGill University, and while their minds were blown on acid I threw in sleep deprivation, massive electroshock, and million-time-repeated taped messages. I invented total mindlock. So they made me president of the Canadian, American, AND World Psychiatric Associations! Life is a bowl of cherries.”

But don’t think Ellis Dee only hung out with nazi docs.

He was also a party guy!

From a circle in the middle of the page Ellis Dee tosses pills to people radiating in arcs around him, their tongues out to catch them. Aldous Huxley! Alan Watts! Cary Grant! Clair Booth Luce and her husband Henry Luce, publisher of Life magazine! Mary Meyer (wife of Cord Meyer, Jr. CIA covert ops) who tosses one to her lover, President John F. Kennedy! Allen Ginsberg! who spits one to William Burroughs, who spits it out!

William Burroughs: “Listen: their Garden of Delights is a terminal sewer....Their immortality Cosmic Consciousness and Love is second-run grade-B shit....Flush their drug kicks down the drain.”

Allen Ginsberg: “Am I, Allen Ginsberg, the product of one of the CIA’s lamentable, illadvised, or triumphantly successful experiments in mind control?”

Timothy Leary: “It was no accident. It was all planned and scripted by the Central Intelligence, and I’m all in favor of Central Intelligence.”

Ellis Dee: “They used me, they abused me, but I don’t care! I’m an American! Goodbye Switzerland, hello Hollywood.

“They used me for torture

“They used me for fun

[appropriately lewd, gut churning, savage, erotic, violent pictures illustrate each]

“For control, for freedom

“To mimic madness, to create madness

“Open the doors of perception, slam the doors of sanity

“Madden enemy armies, become one with God

“Experience the birth of Eve, terrorize the Viet Cong

“Seek transcendence, rain brain death.

“That’s the kinda guy I am,” says Ellis, lying in the grass, winking at the reader, beaming ions.

Last page, final frame: “But Jimmy,” says Ellis, “Don’t bother to ask your Dad about me. He won’t say a word.”

Jimmy handed the comic book to an angel. He heard Cosmo snore in his mist-laden bed but the man in the bed looked more like Mr. Natural and his snore bobbed in a balloon, a cartoon saw cutting cartoon wood.

Leave it alone. Let it go. He turned off the lamp.


Jimmy had never dropped acid.

“In the spirit of peace and reconciliation,” said Cosmo. He handed Jimmy a bite-sized parcel as they stood by the door of the Ford.

“What’s that?”

“The universal solvent.”


“The Crossover Substance,” said Cosmo. “The boundary dissolver. The border crosser.” Gary Powers’ U-2 spyplane cyanide pill came to mind.

At the edge of town he found a service station that sold gas for 249/10¢ a gallon, his budgetary limit. He opened Cosmo’s package while the gas poured in, held up an inch-square pillbox of antique silver, heraldic orles handtooled on the four sides, the lid an apricot moonstone that glowed like requited love in the orange California light. He clicked it open with his thumbnail. Nestled in the silver reliquary, one tab of perfect acid.