All the 1970s - 80s Dope Riders, along with other of my comics, are in my anthology Awaiting the Collapse. The comics I've done from 2015 through 2020 are in my new anthology, A Fistful of Delirium. Both are available at www.paulkirchner.com. If you'd like to purchase Dope Rider merchandise, visit my Dope Rider Store at CafePress.com. Your patronage is most appreciated!
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Dope Rider in "High Times" Part 3
The "Closers" page at the end of the issue had a short profile of me.
My wife and I still get a hoot out of the "ramshackle hog farm" reference. The part about me preparing for the collapse of civilization was true: we heated our apartment with a woodstove, I made bread with wheat I ground by hand, and the space under our loft bed was crammed with crates of freeze-dried survival food.
Dope Rider didn't appear again until January 1981. By that time Forçade was dead, having shot himself in November 1978 at age 33. I have met some sharply defined personalities in my life and he was definitely one of them. There is a fascinating profile of him by Albert Goldman in High Times Greatest Hits (1994) and plenty of information about him on the web, such as here and here.
Dope Rider's last appearance was in the May 1986 issue. I had been working on a story on and off for a few years between other jobs and I finally got around to finishing it. At this point, the magazine could no longer pay more than $50 per page and it had to print it in black and white. High Times had not turned out to be the next Playboy; it took a tremendous financial hit when laws were passed to ban the advertising of drug paraphernalia.
The last frame, where Dope Rider is on a billboard, is based on the famous billboard in Times Square that blew smoke rings.
I currently work mostly as an illustrator for advertising, doing storyboards and comps. I also take on illustration jobs and have written several books. I have three children.