METH BEARS VS WEED DOGS
Printed on a Riso MZ790U. Shown for critique at Cranbrook Academy of Art, November 2012.
I created the Meth Bear character after a friend told me about his brother’s unusual experience during military training. Meth dealers turned a cabin in the woods into a meth lab, unaware that the US military owned the land nearby. The meth dealers fed junk food to the bears daily, so the bears would walk around the perimeter of the cabin hunting for food. They essentially trained the bears to bodyguard their meth lab. Eventually, the meth lab was uncovered during military training. I thought this story was bizarre and hilarious. Turning bears into bodyguards is a genius idea– far more clever than any plan I thought a meth dealer could devise. I don’t know if the bears actually consumed any meth, but I imagined a bear strung out on meth as the most brutal creature to ever walk the planet. I created the Meth Bear character and gave him a rival, Weed Dog (the most chill creature to ever walk the planet.) Since this summer, my friend and I have been creating Meth Bear & Weed Dog drawings, t-shirts, buttons, iPhone wallpapers, etc.
Meth and weed are in the forefront of popular culture, from songs glamorizing weed smoking to the Breaking Bad craze. We’ve romanticized the reality of meth and weed and packaged it for popular consumption, all while ignoring the real tragedy of addiction and drug warfare. I’m not sure if we are bringing needed attention to the brutal reality of the drug business, of ir we are just perpetuating the problem for pure entertainment. All I know is that we laugh at the ridiculousness of bears guarding meth labs and the disgusting sight of meth mouth.
This project was also an opportunity for me to learn how to use the Risograph machine and explore the possibilities of multiples and large-run prints.