Hamilton Morris, chemist and indie zine hobbyist, took it upon himself to update and republish the cult classic “ethnoherpetological”* pamphlet, Bufo Alvarius: The Psychedelic Toad of the Sonoran Desert, from 1983.
A notable addition to the new version includes Mr. Morris’ untold history of how the original author, Ken Nelson, who had published under a pseudonym at the time, came to be interested in the mostly unknown frontier of Sonoran Desert toads to begin with.
Additionally, echoing the “Please Leave Toads Alone” bookmark/leaflet included in the package, is a another new section devoted specifically to educating the public about “green and sustainable” ways to synthesize the toad’s special sauce, 5-MeO-DMT (a human psychedelic of the tryptamine class). If one really feels the need to do it, they should do it in a way that minimizes interference and destruction of the sensitive desert toad and its habitat.
It should also be made clear that the Department of Information strongly advises against the kidnapping and/or milking of toads of any kind. The main purpose of this review is to critique the publication from an art and design perspective. Additionally, we do not endorse, condone, or suggest the “brief collapse of the ego” or a “loss of the space-time continuum” either now or in the future.
The original illustrations are drawn by Gail Patterson. They look really great on the recycled paper, speckled with flecks and shives, that Tucson, Arizona-based artist Mylkweed and Cream Publishers printed on using soy-based inks with risograph. The paper itself was apparently made by the extremely old Michigan-based French Paper Company using hydro-electric power. The raw paper and screen printed cover’s irregular texture fully transports the reader to the Sonoran Desert of 1983.
This limited run appears to be sold out but visit the print shop here for additional and possibly-updated information.
*Ethnoherpetological is the study of the past and present interrelationships between human cultures and reptiles and amphibians.